Dark lager take two

by EJ

Yesterday I knocked out my second take of a dark lager as per the recipe in my previous post. I steeped 100g crystal malt and 150g chocolate malt in 2.25 liters of water at 75c for 15 minutes. I then tipped that into a pot to top up to 10 liters at 75c. I added to that the lager kit and 500g of dry malt extract and commenced a 60 minute biol. I added Hallertau hops at 20, 10 and 0 mins, 10g at a time. I used the chiller to cool it down and then filled up the fermenter with my wort and cold mineral water to 23 liters. I admit now that the last 2 liters were cold from the tap! After taking the OG reading at a very low 1.034 I pitched the rehydrated Saflager w-34/70.image

All was well and I crashed out most satisfied however in the morning noted that there was no activity out the airlock. Closer inspection revealed a little split in the black rubber o-ring, which is supposed to make the fermenter nice and airtight. I could see pressure building with the level of water in the airlock being pushed down but just before it could bubble the level suddenly elevated again. That’s when I checked the seal and found the problem. I opened it up, took out the seal, taped it up and put all back together. She’s bubbling away quite happily now. I was reminded though of some earlier ferments which appeared very lackluster, upon which I blamed the yeast, temperature, etc but never thought to check the equipment closely. I’ve leaning a new trick today…keep my eyes open.

On another note, below is my first all grain, looking lovely. The temperature over the course of primary fermentation has been very warm for the season which is a bit of a shame but I don’t know how heavily the brew has been affected yet. Can’t wait to find out.image