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Old 06-08-2013, 12:16 PM   #1
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Default Is 16 hours enough for a lager starter?

Last night I cooked up a 2L starter for a 1.067 Midwest Oktoberfest lager. The yeast is Wyeast Oktoberfest Lager 2633 manufactured on 4/5/2013. It's been about 12 hours and it's chugging along real nice on a stir plate.

I'd like to brew today in a few hours, but will that be enough time? Can I get away with just pitching it and letting it be?

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Old 06-08-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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I typically get my starter going at 7AM for a 5PM pitch time. So, I think you're fine. However, I don't brew lagers, so I could be missing something.

-Mike

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Old 06-08-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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Often starters for lagers should be decanted before pitching. The yeast book advises not to pitch a whole starter where the volume is greater than 5% of the batch, because of the off flavors in the starter. At 2 liters you're at about 10%. I would never pitch an undecanted 2 liter starter into a light lager, however, you're talking about a darker and pretty hefty gravity o-fest. You're probably fine pitching the whole thing. The proponents of pitching the whole starter would point out that a healthy fermentation should clean up those off flavors.

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Old 06-08-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'll let it go for a few more hours and pitch it as is.

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Old 06-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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A 2L starter seems awfully small for a lager with an OG like yours.

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Old 06-09-2013, 02:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
A 2L starter seems awfully small for a lager with an OG like yours.
That would be very true if the thread starter weren't using a stir plate. With a plate, Mr. Malty puts his starter size at 2.12L.

Problem is that MM also says to use 4 vials to make that starter. You mostly can get around that by making a 1L starter, crash/decant it and then step it up to 2L.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Well, it came out at 1.067 and I pitched the entire started. It was rolling real nice 4 hours later. 8 hours later I had to switch my blowoff container from a 1qt mason jar to a growler. I woke up to this...

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Old 06-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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A 2L starter for that beer, even from a stir plate, is about 1/2 the recommeded pitch rate.

Likely it's fermenting as well as it is because it looks like the fermenation temp might be warmer than the typical range for lager.

I used a 7L starter for my last lager of around that same OG, using the intermittent shaking method.

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Old 06-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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That room in my basement stays right below 60.

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Old 06-09-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbs71 View Post
That room in my basement stays right below 60.
So with the exothermic reactions it could well be into the mid 60s for beer temp.
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