Advice For Lagering A Dopplebock

Question:

I decided to brew a Dopplebock since I now have a deep freezer with temperature control. I am looking for some input regarding secondary fermentation and lagering.

I used a starter on this larger than expected 1.100 SG beast. I pitched at around 60F and had a strong start and continued activity at 48F. That was 3 weeks ago.

I went to transfer to secondary and took a gravity reading – 1.032 (target is 1.019). I was hesitant to transfer fearing that it would not finish off correctly. I figured I would be able to start dropping the temp for lagering, but it obviously has some more work.

I did see an increase of CO2 and yeast activity as the carboy warmed up a little. I decided to put it back in the freezer at 48F until I had some forum thoughts on my situation. I do not want to screw it up considering the time, money, and TLC invested at this point.

I did look up Wyeast 2206 and did see that alcohol tolerance was 9%. Based on my gravity readings, that is where I am at right now. What can I do to finish off the remaining sugars if my yeast has maxed out?

1. Is this where a diacetyl rest may come into play/help?

2. Is it OK to go ahead and transfer to secondary and let it finish or should I just ride it out in the primary (be patient)?

Answer:

I would leave it in the primary (for now) and raise the temp to 58f-60f for a diacetyl rest.

After 3 days or so, transfer to secondary and start slowly bringing the temp down to your lagering temp (about 5 degrees a day to avoiding shocking the yeast, they’re still working, you know).

Also, remember that you’ll get more attenuation during your lagering phase (just don’t freeze it).