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Old 03-28-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Lager Starter Temp?

I'm doing my first lager this weekend and had a question on what temp my starter should be prior to pitching? And if it is a cooler temp, keep it on the stir plate at the lower temp or just lower it prior to pitching?

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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Lower it prior to pitching. With lagers, it doesn't hurt to pitch at a slightly warmer temperature and hold the wort there for a day while the yeast multiplies and gets established. Hold the wort and pitch at 65 for the first day, then gradually lower the temperature to the mid 50's for three to four weeks, then lower it to lagering temperatures for four to eight weeks.

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #3
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I'm doing my first lager this weekend and had a question on what temp my starter should be prior to pitching? And if it is a cooler temp, keep it on the stir plate at the lower temp or just lower it prior to pitching?
I always do a warm pitch around 75 deg and let it cool down to 50 in about a day. Had my Czech Pils and IPL at a club meeting last night they all enjoyed the clean crisp flavors. The same question came up last night and I stated I always do that warm start. I let my lagers ferment at 50 deg, keep them in the primary to age again at 50 deg for another 4 weeks. Think about it before refrigeration that was the way the did lagers in the cellars of the breweries. Benefits of cold crashing would be you speed up the aging process.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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This is a great read. http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

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Old 03-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info, I've seen a couple different things about pitching at around 45F then letting it come up to temp. Seems like fermentation would take a lot longer to get started doing it this way tho. I'm gonna go with pitching @ 65, then slowly bringing it down to 50F

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, I've seen a couple different things about pitching at around 45F then letting it come up to temp. Seems like fermentation would take a lot longer to get started doing it this way tho. I'm gonna go with pitching @ 65, then slowly bringing it down to 50F
Doing that, you sacrifice beer quality for a fast start. I've tried it both ways and now I always pitch a little below fermentation temp and let it rise to about 50. My lagers are immensely better for doing that.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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So do you crash your starter prior to pitching or just keep your starter <50 deg the entire time?

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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So do you crash your starter prior to pitching or just keep your starter <50 deg the entire time?
I do my starter well in advance and ferment it at room temp. When it's done I refrigerate it for a day or 2, then decant the spent wort before pitching.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Is it just pitching at a higher temp that can give off flavors?

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Old 03-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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Doing that, you sacrifice beer quality for a fast start. I've tried it both ways and now I always pitch a little below fermentation temp and let it rise to about 50. My lagers are immensely better for doing that.
I have never noticed an immensely difference between the methods. I notice an immense difference by doing step infusion. I get more maltiness doing step infusions.
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