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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Lager yeast starter
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default Lager yeast starter

So.. I am going to ferment my first lager. I am brewing a BM blonde and fermenting w/ 001 for 6 gal and San fransisco Lager for the other 6 gal. My ?? is how do you make a starter for a lager yeast. I am wondering about temps, How long before I brew will the starter need to be made, Such things as that.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:22 AM   #2
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Make it like any other starter. You just want to grow a suppy of healthy yeast,,,,,,,,,,,,,, unless you want to drink the starter

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Old 10-04-2008, 01:25 AM   #3
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na no drinking of the starter I am just wondering about the ferment temps of my starter? same as an ale yeast?
JJ

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Old 10-04-2008, 01:29 AM   #4
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I typically make a gallon starter for my lagers. I let it go at room temp, then chill it down the night before I brew and decant off the spent wort before I pitch.

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Old 10-04-2008, 01:50 AM   #5
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You can do it at ale temperatures, if you're planning to decant the spent wort anyway. If you have tons of time, you can certainly do it at lager temperatures, though. Since I make big starters for my lagers, I always chill them for several days before using, and decant the beer before allowing it to warm up into the high 40s for pitching.

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Old 10-04-2008, 01:59 AM   #6
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I always recommend having your starter propagate the yeast at fermentation temps. That is the agreed upon method by most every published expert on the subject. Whether you're going to decant the starter beer off the yeast or not, the yeast will be better off and your beer will be cleaner this way!

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Old 10-04-2008, 02:48 AM   #7
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I don't know about others, but Jamil Zainasheff, Dr. Maribeth Raines-Casselman, and (I believe Greg Noonan also) state that propagating lager yeast in the 60's-70's is acceptable.

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Warmer starters (up to 98°F, 37°C) equal more rapid yeast growth, but using these very high propagation temperatures negatively affects the viability and stability of the resulting yeast. Very rapid growth or excessive growth can result in weaker cell membranes due to lower unsaturated fatty acid concentrations. Lager yeasts tend to be especially sensitive to high temperatures.

The cooler you ferment the starter (down to the planned fermentation temperature for the main batch) the slower the yeast growth, but the yeast can be healthier than yeast coming from a high temperature starter.
Keep starters between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C). A temperature around the low 70s (72°F, 22°C) strikes the best balance for the propagation of yeasts. Lager yeast starters can be kept a few degrees cooler and ale yeasts can be kept a few degrees warmer, but this temperature strikes a good balance of yeast health and efficient propagation for both types of yeast.
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Room temperature or 77°F (25 °F) is the recommended temperature for propagating brewing yeasts. At this temperature rapid growth and fermentation occurs without any adverse affects on subsequent fermentation performance. Although ale yeast will grow just fine up to near 90 °F, lager yeasts start to lose viability at high temperatures. The mid 70s are optimal for growing lager yeasts and higher temperatures should be avoided.
From my own experience, I propagate lager yeasts around 65° on a stir plate. I make sure I pitch enough (given by Jamil's yeast calculator), and the results have been good...42 points and second BOS for a Maibock at a local comp with over 100+ entered brews.
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Old 10-04-2008, 03:01 AM   #8
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For a lager ........... more yeast the better.

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Old 10-04-2008, 03:03 AM   #9
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I agree. And in the case of a starter, you're not making beer, you're propagating yeast. I would agree that you don't want to make your starter at 80, and ferment at 45 (that just can't be great for the yeast), but I think room temperature for a lager starter works just fine. Of course, I've never compared them head to head- if I've done a starter at lager temps, I've been happy. If I did one at room temp (because it's so much faster), I've been happy.

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Old 04-12-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INeedANewHobby View Post
I always recommend having your starter propagate the yeast at fermentation temps. That is the agreed upon method by most every published expert on the subject. Whether you're going to decant the starter beer off the yeast or not, the yeast will be better off and your beer will be cleaner this way!
How can this be accomplished if the lager starter is made with a stir plate?
Has anyone used a stir plate in a refrigerator?
Should I chill the starter wort to 50 F, pitch the yeast and then utilize the stir plate at room temperature?
Very confused.
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