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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Lager Yeast Starter
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Lager Yeast Starter

So, I've been brewing for a while, but just now getting into yeast starters. Should I take different steps with a lager starter than an ale starter? Do I leave a lager starter on the counter 24-36 hours prior to pitching like an ale? Or should I put my lager starter in my temp controlled refrigerator? Thanks for any helpful comments or tips.

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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So, I've been brewing for a while, but just now getting into yeast starters. Should I take different steps with a lager starter than an ale starter? Do I leave a lager starter on the counter 24-36 hours prior to pitching like an ale? Or should I put my lager starter in my temp controlled refrigerator? Thanks for any helpful comments or tips.
You can make it at room temperature, but then put it in the fridge at 40 degrees or a bit lower for about 48 hours to crash out the yeast. On brewday, decant the spent wort, and keep it out of the fridge while you chill your wort. Ideally, you'd pitch 45 degree yeast into 48 degree wort, and then let it rise up to 50 degrees for fermentation.

You need a big yeast starter for a lager, compared to an ale. My last lager starter was 8 liters. That's why I decant- 2 gallons of spent oxidized wort is way too much to add to my beer!
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:52 AM   #3
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Thank you for the information. I've been brewing for over two years now and I FINALLY did my first lager. Having the temperature controlled environment was an expense but I finally got the correct equipment. Getting my wort cooled to 48 degrees will be the next issue. The water out of my faucet isn't that cold yet. I guess I could dunk my boil kettle into an ice bath and hit it with the wort chiller.

How long can I leave a starter in the refrigerator for? Would two weeks be too long? Not that I would do that, but just asking.

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:39 AM   #4
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The other thing you can do to cool your wort to 48 degrees is to cool it as far as you can using your wort chiller. Then transfer the wort to your fermenter and cover it without adding the yeast. Put the fermenter into your "fermentation chamber" ( I assume you have a freezer or fridge with temp control) overnight to chill it the rest of the way. Then aerate and pitch your yeast. A long as your process has been properly clean you should have no problems. I have used this method to get my Kolsch wort down to 62F many times.

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Old 09-19-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Thank you for the information. I've been brewing for over two years now and I FINALLY did my first lager. Having the temperature controlled environment was an expense but I finally got the correct equipment. Getting my wort cooled to 48 degrees will be the next issue. The water out of my faucet isn't that cold yet. I guess I could dunk my boil kettle into an ice bath and hit it with the wort chiller.

How long can I leave a starter in the refrigerator for? Would two weeks be too long? Not that I would do that, but just asking.
I don't know how long yeast can be viable and fresh in the fridge- I've never really heard anything about that. I've kept starters a few days in the fridge after they've been finished, but I don't think any longer.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:03 AM   #6
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So what if u brew a lager, chill it to the 60's pitch a lager yeast at the same temp, then stick it in you ferm chamber to cool it down to lager temps? I usually cool my ales to 70-75, pitch my yeast, then stick it in the ferm chamber with the probe on the FV and set to 62-63. Temp gets down pretty quick. Anyone else do this or is it bad practice?

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Old 10-29-2012, 05:11 AM   #7
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You can do that but it will produce more diacetyl and you will get a less clean lager. Check this out.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/brewing-classic-styles-narziss-fermentation-lagering-49872/
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...menting_Lagers

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Old 10-29-2012, 05:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CatalinaBrewing View Post
So, I've been brewing for a while, but just now getting into yeast starters. Should I take different steps with a lager starter than an ale starter? Do I leave a lager starter on the counter 24-36 hours prior to pitching like an ale? Or should I put my lager starter in my temp controlled refrigerator? Thanks for any helpful comments or tips.
I've always make a 10 percent size starter for any beer I'm making. I brew 24 gals with about a 2 1/2 gal starter split between the carboys. I'll pitch my lagers at room temp and then put them in the high 40 to low 50 deg fermentation temp. This gives a quicker start and IMO does not affect the flavor of the beer. I've brewed a lot of Munich style Helles this way and always got a clean malty tasting beer.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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I've always make a 10 percent size starter for any beer I'm making. I brew 24 gals with about a 2 1/2 gal starter split between the carboys. I'll pitch my lagers at room temp and then put them in the high 40 to low 50 deg fermentation temp. This gives a quicker start and IMO does not affect the flavor of the beer. I've brewed a lot of Munich style Helles this way and always got a clean malty tasting beer.
Brewed a Helles on Sat, cooled wort to 75 deg and added 1/2 gal starter to each carboy at same temp. Next morning wort was cooled down to 53 deg in the shop. Sunday evening slow ferment was starting. Mon morning nice 1/2 krausen on top and a slow and steady ferment going. Beer is now fermenting at 50 deg slowly chugging away.
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