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Old 09-02-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default First Lager

I brewed my first all-grain Lager last night. ( I usually make ales) I had my fermentation chamber ready for a temp of 50f, buy come pitching time, I noticed that the wyeast( american lager 2035) used suggests pitching between 60-72. So I pitched at 68, and it has been fermenting for 12 hours . I don't seem to have a lot of action. Advice?

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Old 09-03-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by armymedic942 View Post
I brewed my first all-grain Lager last night. ( I usually make ales) I had my fermentation chamber ready for a temp of 50f, buy come pitching time, I noticed that the wyeast( american lager 2035) used suggests pitching between 60-72. So I pitched at 68, and it has been fermenting for 12 hours . I don't seem to have a lot of action. Advice?
They only suggest pitching too warm to compensate somewhat for underpitching. Even Wyeast recommends a starter (right on their website) for lagers since they don't have enough yeast in the package to pitch at the proper temperature.

For that yeast strain, here is what they say:
YEAST STRAIN: 2035 | American Lager™

Back to Yeast Strain List

A complex and aromatic strain that can be used for a variety of lager beers. This strain is an excellent choice for Classic American Pilsner beers.

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium
Attenuation: 73-77%
Temperature Range: 48-58F, 9-14C
Alcohol Tolerance: 9% ABV
Styles:
Classic American Pilsner
Dark American Lager
Lite American Lager
Premium American Lager
Standard American Lager
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:04 AM   #3
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Also, directly from Wyeast's website:

Pitch Rate:

Lagers typically have a reduced ester profile and are characterized as clean with discernable malt character. It is very important to recognize that pitch rate is directly related to ester production. Increasing the quantity of yeast pitched is the most effective method of reducing the ester profile in the finished beer. A minimum of 12 million cells per milliliter is recommended to keep esters at a minimum.

One Wyeast Activator pack will deliver about 6 million cells per milliliter to 5 gallons of wort. In order to increase this rate to 12 million cells per milliliter it is necessary to either pitch two Activators or to make a 0.5 gallon (2 liter) starter with an Activator. If a starter is made using a Propagator (50ml package) then the starter needs to be 1 gallon (3.78 liters) to achieve 12 million cells per ml.

Fermentation Temperature:

One of the most common questions we field is, “should I start my lager warm or cold?” The answer depends on how much time you have for your primary fermentation and how clean you want your final beer. The best results will be achieved by pitching at least 12 million cells per milliliter into cold and well aerated wort (48 to 58°F, 9 to 15°C).

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Old 09-03-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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I do have about 1 inch of foam now. definitely some activity, just not as much as I was hoping. It is a 10 gallon batch, and i pitched 2 activator packs in 2 primaries. I have since lowered my fermentation temp to 60.
Should I continue to lower it into the mid 50 range?

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Old 09-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #5
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I do have about 1 inch of foam now. definitely some activity, just not as much as I was hoping. It is a 10 gallon batch, and i pitched 2 activator packs in 2 primaries. I have since lowered my fermentation temp to 60.
Should I continue to lower it into the mid 50 range?
The thing is with lowering the temperature like that, the majority of fermentation will be done before you even get to 50 degrees. I'd go ahead and do it, but it takes a long time for 5 gallons of fermenting beer to change temperature. That's just one of those things to keep in mind for next time.
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