Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Cooling Lager Prior to Yeast Pitch
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-12-2006, 12:00 AM   #1
DiegoProf
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 17
Default Cooling Lager Prior to Yeast Pitch

Hi all,

I'm getting ready to brew my first lager (which will also be my first all grain batch. This is probably a very bad idea...). I was reading John Palmer's book, where in the latest edition he recommends cooling the wort to fermentation temperature prior to pitching the yeast (rather than pitching at 70 and then cooling to optimum fermentation temp). This makes good sense to me. But since I'll be working with White Labs #833, this means going all the way down to 48-55 degrees F.

My question is -- how am I supposed to do this?? I've got a two-stage immersion chiller that will get the wort down to 70 pretty quick, but no way it'll get it to 50. Should I stick the immersion-cooled wort in the carboy, put it in the fridge, and let it sit overnight to get down to 50, prior to pitching the yeast? It makes me a little nervous to leave vulnerable wort exposed for so long, but I don't see any real alternative.

-Matt

__________________
DiegoProf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2006, 12:13 AM   #2
boo boo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,171
Liked 30 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Yes I would wait to pitch my yeast. If you need to put it in the fridge than do it.
My water is cold this time of the year and I get to 55f with an immersion chiller if I leave it going and stirring for 1/2 an hour. I then put it in my fridge until I get 50f and pitch a 45f yeast slurry ( from a starter or yeast cake ) into it. I get a great start and ferment.

As long as everything is sanitary, you should have no worries.

__________________

How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

boo boo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2006, 07:27 AM   #3
knipknup
Bloody John Roberts
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
knipknup's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain
Posts: 887
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Wow, I too am brewing my first lager tomorrow and was going to post the exact same question. This board rocks!

__________________
knipknup is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2006, 12:43 PM   #4
Mikey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: I'm gone!
Posts: 668
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Although there's no universal agreement, you can do it either way.

1) pitch at fermentation temps and expect a long lag time unless you have a BIG starter. Slight risk of contamination.

2) pitch at room temp and cool when fermentation starts. This is faster but risks (I've never tasted this) some fruity off flavours.

__________________
Mikey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2006, 09:41 PM   #5
Dr Malt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 287
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

Default

I have made lagers for 4 years during the winter months where my garage get down to the nice temperature of about 55 F for fermentations. I boil my worts and cool to about 75 F with an emersion chiller. I then pitch my lager yeast at 75 F and place it in my 55 F garage. In some cases, I have placed my primary fermenter in the house overnight to allow the yeast to get a good start before cooling to the 55 F. In all cases, I have not had any major flavor effects (fruity, sulfury) from this practice. In fact, I have had excellent lagers. I feel the warmer temperatures for the first 12 - 24 hours allows the yeast to get going. I also use a yeast starter.

Dr Malt

__________________
Dr Malt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2006, 09:52 PM   #6
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,283
Liked 1072 Times on 715 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

If you pitch between 60-70 and immediately put it in your cooler environment, it will likely cool to optimum ferment temps before the yeast really start working anyway. Of course, there will be people who want to split hairs and argue that even an hour at higher than recommended temps will utterly ruin your batch even during lag time, but unless someone blind taste tests it, I'm undecided.

__________________
BrewHardware.com has a new website. Please check it out and let me know what you think!
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN!
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc. Did you know we are also now a full service homebrew shop selling malt, hops, yeast (Wyeast), etc?
Bobby_M is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-12-2006, 10:49 PM   #7
Kaiser
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Kaiser's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,904
Liked 115 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Though pitching lagers cold is the preferred way, you shouldn't do this unless you have the proper amount of yeast to pitch (about 100ml (3oz) of yeast sediment for an average 5 gal batch) and the ability to bring the wort to that temp before pitching w/o having to wait long. pitching warm and letting it coold during then initial hours would be safer.

I bring the wort below 50F by using a utility pump in a bucket with ice water to circulate this ice water though the immersion chiller after I got the wort below 70 with tap water. This idea comes from Jamil (see mrmalty.com). He also has a good pitching calculator on this page.

Kai

__________________
BrauKaiser.com - brewing science blog - Twitter - water and mash chemistry calculator
Kaiser is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-13-2006, 12:14 AM   #8
dantodd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
dantodd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Carlos, CA
Posts: 1,155
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

do what kaiser suggested regarding the ice water in your chiller. Then pitch big.

This will keep away the diacetyl which means you won't need to bring the beer up to 70 after primary for a diacetyl rest. It will also help you limit esters which are more appropriate to ales than lagers.

__________________
dantodd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-13-2006, 04:01 PM   #9
Dr Malt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 287
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

Default

Dantodd:

I am not sure I am clear on your thinking on the diacetyl and not needing a diacetyl rest. Could you give me a brief reasoning on what you are referring to?

Thanks.

Dr Malt

__________________
Dr Malt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-13-2006, 08:27 PM   #10
dantodd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
dantodd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Carlos, CA
Posts: 1,155
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Diacetyl precursors are created in much greater abundance at high temperatures. Usually when you pitch at 70 and then drop of the 40s for fermentation there are enough diacetyl precursors to exceed the taste threshold for the average drinker. Bringing the beer up to 70 again about 3/4 of the way through fermentation will induce the yeast to consume the diacetyl precursors. If you pitch at fermentation temperatures there are many fewer precursors produced and even if they are converted to diacetyl it will be at below the taste threshold.

Jamil Z. in a podcast I listened to recently said he doesn't do a diacetyl rest and pitches at fermentation temperatures. I jsut listened to John Palmer on Basic Brewing and he pitches at fermentation temperatures and still does a diacetyl rest.

__________________
dantodd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gelatin in Lager Primary Prior to Keg... Evan! General Techniques 17 04-18-2011 10:35 PM
ups.. Cold crashed my lager prior to primary Elfmaze General Beer Discussion 4 09-12-2009 08:41 PM
Lager Bottling: Pitch New Yeast? cdanprice General Techniques 4 05-14-2008 03:06 AM
Should I remove some of the yeast cake prior to pitching on it? RegionalChaos General Techniques 10 03-28-2008 03:26 AM
Pitching New Yeast Prior to Bottling slushy1975 Bottling/Kegging 2 06-23-2006 01:35 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS