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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Using Saflager S-23 at below 10C/50F
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:54 AM   #1
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Default Using Saflager S-23 at below 10C/50F

Hello all,

I'm going to brew a lager just as soon as I get my temperature regulated and right now my fermentation fridge is hitting slightly below 10C/50F. Can you please advice from your experience if this Saflager yeast will work at this temp? In the packaging it says preferred temp is at 11c but any idea if it will work at lower temp?

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Old 02-22-2011, 01:51 AM   #2
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The lager will ferment at about a degree or two over the ambient temp, so if your fridge is at 49-50F then you'll be perfect. And if you are really concerned about it, just unplug the fridge for 2-3 hours a day. That will let the temps climb up to 52F or so pretty easily.

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Old 02-22-2011, 07:22 AM   #3
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Unplugging the fridge is the only solution for now. I have to work during the day so the fridge will be off for at least 12 hours and on again for the next. I have a thermometer in there right now to see how it goes in the next few days before I start with my brew.

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Old 08-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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I ran into a similar issue recently.

I brewed up a pumpkin spice lager and bought a deep freezer the same day (terrible planning, I know). So I threw my 5G bucket with wort but without pitching yeast over night. The next morning my wort was frozen even though I set my deep freezer to the lowest setting. I do not know what temp it actually hit because I put my thermometer in a cup of water and the cold snapped my thermometer in half when I finally thawed it out.

I did some engineering research and decided to swap the deep freezer temp control with my mini fridge temp control. I extended the necessary wires up over the lid and into the chest freezer so the controller is inside the freezer, and the attached probe is coiled up inside a glass of water; similar what my broken thermometer.

When my wort finally cooled to 9C, I pitched the yeast (1 package) and placed it inside the deep freezer at the lowest setting.

So far it seems to be hovering between 10C and 15C which is what Fermentis suggests for their product. My only main concern is that I'm not seeing any activity after 72 hours. The recipe calls for 14 Days in primary, and this is my first lager. I'm wondering if by freezing the wort I denatured my sugars in some way and the yeast has nothing to eat? Or does lager yeast take longer to go through it's growth phase before it begins chowing down?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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I've used S-23 a couple of times with good results. The first time, after reading reports of excess fruitiness with cold ferm temps, I went in the mid-50s for a Bohemian pils. Turned out well, won a few medals. The next time, I wanted to see if it really was fruity when fermented cold; did virtually the exact same recipe, fermented at 48, beer turned out very well, although it was struggling to finish by the time I warmed it up for a d-rest. No fruitiness, the beer won some medals, including a gold a few weeks back.

So it will be just fine at 50 or even below, but make sure you pitch LOTS (200-300 grams rehydrated per hectolitre of wort) and keep an eye out for when fermentation begins to slow down. In a nutshell, it will work, and you can expect a nice beer to result if you take care of your yeast.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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Yeah one packet of lager yeast isn't really enough to do much other than make a starter or 2-3gal batch. Next time pitch two packets or grow up a large enough slurry to pitch.

Also, freezing has virtually no effect on wort and very little effect on finished beer. So don't worry about that part. Think about ice beers, where beer is partially frozen post-fermentation to draw off some water without loosing any flavor or alcohol.

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