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Doppelbock and fermentation

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durgarth

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Having a few issues with the fermentation of my first Doppelbock. The brew day went very well and I managed 20 litres of 1092 wurt after a 90 minute boil.

I chilled the wurt to 22 degrees and after sterilising everything.....several times....put it into the fermenter.

Now I know with a fairly big beer that I needed to have a starter. Two days beforehand I made a starter of 1500 ml using WLP 833.

I pitched the yeast when the wurt was at 12 degrees.....2 days.....nothing. I waited another 12 hours......nothing.

Starting to panick, I raised the temp to 15 degrees.....12 hours....i saw some faint commencement in the middle of the fermenter, but I just couldn't wait any longer. I reairated the wurt and pitched a US 05.... I know stupid I suppose but I got panicky.

It's bubbling away nicely now sitting at 15. It has dropped 30 points (amazing) in 24, On reflection I think the lager yeast was just starting and I panicked.

So here is the question. Should I now revert to my original fermentation schedule (lower to 9...until almost done then to 15..... Then lower to correct lager temps.)....or should I just leave it....

Any help greatfully accepted......and lesson learnt (I think)
 

manticle

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I'd lower to get use of the lager yeast (05 will presumably take a back seat) but that's really up to you.

What you should know though is that a 1500mL starter (no idea how you made the starter either) is not enough for a 1092 ale, let alone a 1092 lager.

Normal lager above 1050, I'd probably be looking at 3-4 L, at least 6-7 or more for your beer. Fresh smack pack into 6-7 L (of identical wort), ferment cool, pitch at starter's high krausen is how I would do it but there are other methods. I no chill so this is easier but regardless - your yeast was way under the numbers you should have.
 

durgarth

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Thanks Manticle, appreciate it. I think I really needed to do a bit more research into the fermentation and the starter. ah well, lessons learnt.

The starter was made with 500g of DME boiled and then chilled. I have a home made stir plate, and I set it on the plate for 2 days. Only 1 packet of 833.........
 

tiprya

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You should only make starters to around 1.040 (even if your target beer will be higher).

To achieve that gravity use 1g DME/10ml water. So 150g in 1.5L.

36 or so hours is about right, then you can chill it and decant off the wort, and just pitch the yeast if you'd like.
 

manticle

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I make starters differently to tiprya.

Not suggesting anything is wrong with tip's method as it is very commonly used but I don't do it that way.
If I used dme I would though.
 

iralosavic

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Mmm delicious 833 (It's the Hella Bock in Wyeast, right?). Starters can be 1.030 to 1.035 without any issues. You want to encourage growth, not fermentation, plus you save DME! A lot of people discourage chilling before decanting in favour of simply allowing the yeast to floccuate over a few days, then decant without the chill in between, but I can't say I've noticed any differences in the end product (I guess you'd have to be at a high level of refinement to notice such things?).
 

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