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Old 07-12-2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default Lager pitching temp question

So as you guys can tell from other posts I have an Oktoberfest planned. I am a little confused though. The fermentation temps for wyeast 2206 are 48 to 58 I believe. My kegger sits @ 50 right now. The directions on the package say to pitch @ 70 and wait for signs of fermentation then move to the desired fermentation range. Well if I do that then move 70° of wort into a 50° kegger by the time my wort gets down to temperature it could be done fermenting. I made on APA recently with a 2L starter and at 70° it was down to FG within 48 hours.

I plan to cool wort to around 60 by way of coil and chilled top off water, then pitch my yeast and place in kegger immediately. The starter will be 70, so the entire corny will be just on the plus side of 60. I'll stay in range the entire time. I have oodles of time alloted for primary. Will this work?

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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Long story short. I want to pitch around 60, place in kegger and let it cool and sit to around 48-50 for like a month. I'm almost certain there's NO way fermentation does not occur.

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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Mods - please delete, I searched and found there is no real answer.

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:00 PM   #4
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There are a lot of diferent opinions on how to ferment with lager yeast, the wiki has some good information
Fermenting Lagers - Home Brewing Wiki

and there is a Brew strong episode devoted to Lagering, that is a good listen to, and explains the lagering process.

A couple things though you want to do though:
Make a good starter, and pitch at a 1.5x pitching rate.
Make sure Fermentation begins before dropping the temp down, so you get a good solid fermentation.

Lagering is a process applied after the fermentation step, where the yeast slowly clean up the beer.

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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Well I plan to make a 1 gallon starter, pitch 60-65°, then immediately place in 50° kegger. Then I will see what happens. I don't mind a slow fermentation because I have about a month available for primary.

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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The cleanest tasting lagers are produced by pitching a large amount of healthy yeast at temperatures slightly colder than the optimal temperatures listed for the yeast and letting the beer warm up to the lower end of (or even slightly lower than) the optimum fermentation temperature range for the yeast.

Wyeast and White Labs instructions to start fermentation warm are written to facilitate faster yeast growth with less yeast (1 vial or pack). When yeast undergo the growth phase and early fermentation at warmer temperatures, they invariably produce more esters, ketones (diacetyl), and sulfur compounds. Some of this can be cleaned up with a diacetyl rest, some can't. Too much of these are considered "off-flavors" in most lagers.

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
Well I plan to make a 1 gallon starter, pitch 60-65°, then immediately place in 50° kegger. Then I will see what happens. I don't mind a slow fermentation because I have about a month available for primary.
Actually, you'd be better off to have the yeast and the wort at very close to the same temperature and closer to the desired fermentation temperature.

I like to pitch a 48 degree starter into 50 degree wort. The wort being ever so slightly warmer seems to make the yeast "energized" and they aren't temperature shocked. Pitching a 70 degree starter into 60 degree wort and then placing it in a 50 degree fermentation temperature doesn't sound like ideal conditions for the yeast.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:49 PM   #8
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Okay, this is what I have gathered and will try.

I am brewing Tuesday and tonight I plan to make my starter. Wyeast 2206 propogator 1 gallon, 1# DME. I plan to pitch my starter at 70°, then place in cooler and cool to 50° until brew night.

Then when brew nite comes I'll make my batch to end up with 4 gallons, top off with 1 gallon cold water (around 35°) after cooling and I should be down around 55-60°. I'll decant the starter and pitch the remaining yeast. Then I'll seal it up, snap on my one way valve and place in keg o rator which is 50° for the balance of primary fermentation.

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Old 07-12-2009, 06:22 PM   #9
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The thing I've done in the past is put the chilled wort and the starter flask in my temp cabinet set to 55ºF, and let them balance to the same temp over night, and pitch in the morning. then let cabinet warm up to 58, wait till fermentation starts then set it to 48-50ºF.

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Old 07-13-2009, 02:36 AM   #10
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Well I made the starter. The package didn't swell, but I'm not worried too much about that. I made it big too, 1gallon. I'll let it incubate @ 68° for the next 36 hours or so. The package says 70-75, but my house is 77 and my basement is 68. If neither of those is close enough then I can't brew anyways.

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