Originally Posted by bowz98
Should I have left it in 70 degrees for a day or so first, then brought the temperature down to 50 degrees?
Regarding this question specifically, no, you should not start a lager out at 70 and then reduce. I have heard of some people starting their lagers out at higher temps to "get the yeast going", but even they typically start out in the 60's (not as high as 70). That said, I think the general consensus is that this is not good practice. Many brewers, most notably German commercial lager brewers, start their lagers out cold and pitch in the mid 40's, then warm up to ~50. This seems to be a more professionally vetted practice than "warm pitching". Personally, I just chill my lagers down to primary temp (50) and pitch/ferment at the temp, then warm up for a diacetyl rest at 65 for 2 days, then ramp down to 35 over a period of 2-3 weeks.
I'm sure there are some that will argue in favor of the "warm pitching" practice, so take my opinion as just that. The beauty of this hobby is that ultimately you, the brewer, get to decide what works for you.