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Old 03-30-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default Yet another Long Lager Lag question

I brewed up a 10 gallon batch of my favorite blonde ale this weekend and this time I split it into two 5 gallon batches. In one I did the usual ale and in the other I used WYeast 2007 pilsen Lager. The ale is fermenting as usual.

For the Lager, I did a 2L starter from a smack pack. The yeast was smacked about 5 hours before pitching into the starter. It only swelled a small amount but I wasn't concerned because it's a lager yeast. The starter was on a stir plate for about 21 hours at room temp (68deg) then I put it in the fermentation cooler for about an hour at 60 degrees. the entire starter was swirled up and was pitched into 5 gallons of wort that was at 62-64deg. I ran pure O2 for 1min 30 seconds to aerate the 5 gallons before pitching.

I put the fermenter in the cooler and cooled it at 4 deg/day down to 50. It's been 2 1/2 days (60 hours) and no signs of fermentation. No airlock activity, no bubbls or krausen on top, nothing. In fact, the wort is beginning to stratify with a more clear layer forming on top.

My plan is to take a gravity reading when I get home from work today and see if there is any fermentation taking place. If not, what should I do?
My thoughts are:

1. re-aerate for 30 seconds with O2
2. Warm the fermenter to 58 degrees
3. stir up the yeast and trub

Any other ideas or suggestions? Do I need to go pick up some dry lager yeast and pitch it? I'm inexperienced with Lagers so I'm not sure if I should be concerned yet or not. The only other Lager I've brewed took off within 24 hours.

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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Everythings low and slow in the cold dark of the lagering fridge...Just relax...the yeast know what they need to do, and will do it...Yeast rarely lets us down...it's not like it was 30 years. Modern yeast works, just not often on the timeframe we want it to. Me personally I'd check back in 2 weeks or whenever I was going to do my diacytal rest. I've never had yeast not work...so I don't tend to worry.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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Sounds about right for a lager, mine always take a couple days before there are visible signs etc.

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Old 03-30-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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Sounds right. The yeast will start reproducing and this can seem like a delay in fermenation, but they are really getting ready to do their thing. The lower temps make them work slower, so it's not quite like an ale fermentation.

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Old 03-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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Do you remember the production date on the package of yeast? Also, what was the OG?

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #6
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Sounds like your starter was too small. You can greatly reduce your lag time by pitching the proper amount of yeast. Check this out if you haven't already: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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I don't know the production date on the yeast package. The OG was 1.046. According to MrMalty's pitching rate calculator, I'd need about 3.5L starter but my stir plate won't work with a growler due to the convex bottoms of those types of containers. My flask is 2000ML so I'm limited by that for starter size. I could have pitched 2 packs into the starter and met the recomended rate but I only had one...maybe next time.

It sounds like I need to RDWHAHB. I just didn't want to miss an oportunity to "fix" things if they were broke. I'll relax and check it after 7 or 8 days.

thanks

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Old 03-30-2011, 08:17 PM   #8
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Mine took a little over four days to get going, I was very nervous but it eventually took off and everything turned out fine.

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:07 PM   #9
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You should be fine. Just take the experience and use it in the future. That is what is most important.

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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I didn't do anything and this morning signs of fermentation appeared. All is well. Thanks.

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