For dry yeast, I usually use S-23. But when I saw the W34/70 on AHS, I thought I'd try it. For my first try with this strain, I made a simple pils. Rehydrated it the day of the brew. Pitched around 60f. Chilled the wort to 54 (optimal). 48 hours later, no activity. Heated it up to 60f (which has worked before on lagers with lots of lag, or LLL's) and a day later there was finally the beginnings of a krausen appearing. Here we are, today, at 5 days post-pitch, and there's a very thin layer of foam. There's positive pressure on the airlock, and a bubble maybe every 10 seconds - not exactly a vigorous fermentation - and while the freezer is set to 54, the carboy temp is 60, indicating aerobic activity.
But damn, is it ever slow. I've never seen a lager do this before...most of my lagers are done in under a week, and bubble merrily along like ales. So:
- Has anyone else used the W34/70?
- Is this typical for it?
- Is this situation more typical for lagers than my previous experiences were (I've only done 4 or 5 lagers in my day)? I know a lot of people have lagers that take 2 weeks to ferment, so maybe this is actually normal...?