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Old 09-26-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default Need opinions

Ok, I have today to brew. I have an AG Bock planned. Here's the dilemma:

My 1 gallon lager starter (2 vials of yeast pitched about 24 hours ago) is not doing a damned thing. As usual, I keep my starters at around the same temp as my planned fermentation (this one is at 58 degrees, and the yeast is WL Oktoberfest yeast) (couldn't get hold of any bock yeast).

So, do I take a risk in brewing today and storing the wort until the yeast is ready to pitch, or do I just forget about it? I've never used this yeast, and even though the date was good on the vial, I can't guarantee its viability without seeing activity in the starter--I also want to pitch appropriate numbers.

I also have some S-23 saflager available, but that isn't exactly the yeast I really want to pitch.


I need your opinions!!!

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Old 09-26-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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I would move the starter to a warmer place. Lager starters can be done a room temp without any major issues. Unfortunately, even if you do this it won't be ready to pitch right away. You want to increase the number of yeast cells and you probably won't have enough time to do this if you pitch it today.

I would suggest brewing the wort and refrigerating it and then pitching the yeast once you have a nice krausen on the starter in a day or so. As long as your sanitation is good you shouldn't have a problem if you can refrigerate the wort.

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Old 09-26-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
I would move the starter to a warmer place. Lager starters can be done a room temp without any major issues. Unfortunately, even if you do this it won't be ready to pitch right away. You want to increase the number of yeast cells and you probably won't have enough time to do this if you pitch it today.

I would suggest brewing the wort and refrigerating it and then pitching the yeast once you have a nice krausen on the starter in a day or so. As long as your sanitation is good you shouldn't have a problem if you can refrigerate the wort.
Actually, my airlock is starting to have some pressure build up in it.

My thoughts were to brew today, refrigerate at fermentation temps, then pitch tomorrow or Friday. That's if my starter actually takes off. Still haven't decided. Seeing as I'm planning a double decoction for this one, it's going to be a long brew day if I'm going to do it today.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:30 AM   #4
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Being this is not going to be an ideal situation no matter what you do, my first instinct would be to pitch the S-33 and forget about it. If you really want to use the starter, I would guess that would probably work too if you just waited. Higher odds of something going wrong, but still pretty good odds that nothing will go wrong

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:32 AM   #5
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Well, obviously this is a bit late, but I didn't brew today. I tried moving the starter out of the fridge to see if it jumpstarted, and it is still flat lined. . .no sign of life. I'm going to give it another day. If it doesn't start by tomorrow, I'm going to go ask for my money back from Friar Tuck.

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:35 AM   #6
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dry yeast my friend.....dry yeast. The best way to go. I am probably going to do an experiment with the new bavarian wheat dry yeast from fermentis. If that works similar, I will probably almost never use liquid.

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:39 AM   #7
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I hear ya. . .

I'm frustrated as hell with liquid. . I hate making starters, and about 40% of the time they flop-- I think it has a lot to do with how the yeast was shipped and handled. My only frustration is the lack of strains available with the dry varieties, although I'm beginning to use them more and more.

I heard Fermentis was coming out with a wheat yeast. . . Do you know if it is a Bavarian strain?

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:45 AM   #8
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I'm not real familiar with it. It is apparently brand new. Northern Brewer describes it as a bavarian strain, but does not elaborate much beyond that.

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:47 AM   #9
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I'll have to ask my LHBS guy if he'll get some in. I'll buy 6-8 packs of it. . .at about $.69 a pack (what he charges for the S-33, and S-04), and with a shelf life of 2 years, you can't go wrong.

Hell, Friar Tuck charged 5.99 for a vial of White Labs. . . Not terrible, but a bad waste if it's dead. . .That's why I'm planning on asking for my money back. I know the manager there pretty well, and he's always taken care of me, so I doubt I'll have any problems.

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Old 09-27-2007, 02:51 AM   #10
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I take it you don't have a LHBS anywhere near. I'll probly never use dry yeast again. So many more choices with Liquid. I also have never tried white labs, only WYeast. Smack it, let it puff up and pitch. I LOVE IT! I have made a few starters for larger beers though and they all do great. I also have a homebrew shop less than 5 min away.

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