About to pitch some Wyeast Munich lager yeast in my Vienna Lager. However, I had some questions after explaining my procedure.
A week ago I smacked the Wyeast pack and let it sit in 80 degree closet for 36 hours. It is just over 3 1/2 months old. No swelling (not unexpected,) but I wanted to get the starter going. I also wanted to save some of the yeast and opened 4 slants and inoculated those. Considering the viability might be low, I decided to start with a 1.037ish, 500ml starter. Put it on the stir-plate and while there was a steady thin layer of bubbles on top, it never had krausen. After 3 days it also never turned chocolate milk color.
I put it in the fridge and then took the "beer" from the starter to taste. It tasted fine and definitely didn't taste like fresh unfermented wort. So, something is happening. Also, the slants now show lots of white stuff growing in them, and so, I assume that there was SOMETHING alive in there (or in my air!) Being that, as it may, yesterday I put the rest of the starter wort in and same thing happening: small bubble layer, no krausen, and still not choc milk color in the starter.
I plan on pitching it, because if nothing happens, I have dry lager yeast backup. I will probably be pitching a too low cell count, but that cannot be helped.
As to my question: is this your experience with Munich Lager yeast? no krausen in starter? no choc milk color?