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Old 06-27-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
ISLAGI
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Default PM Oktoberfest Lager q.

I am putting together a PM Oktoberfest/Marzen. I am using Wyeast 2206 (smackpack) for the yeast, and I was wondering if I can turbocharge the fement by tossing in a pack of Notty to kickstart the ferment, while the 2206 builds up?

I don't have the gear to make a starter, besides I forgot to pull the pack out of the fridge - d'oh!

Tanks....



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Old 06-27-2009, 10:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ISLAGI View Post
I am putting together a PM Oktoberfest/Marzen. I am using Wyeast 2206 (smackpack) for the yeast, and I was wondering if I can turbocharge the fement by tossing in a pack of Notty to kickstart the ferment, while the 2206 builds up?

I don't have the gear to make a starter, besides I forgot to pull the pack out of the fridge - d'oh!

Tanks....
Well, if you toss in a package of notty, the fermentation will probably be done way before the 2206 even thinks about starting. Either use the notty and ferment at 59 degrees and forget about the 2206, pitch the 2206 without a starter (not recommended), or get some DME and make a starter and then brew your lager. You don't need any gear to make a starter. You need 1 cup of DME and 1 quart of water.

Check out mrmalty.com and click on "yeast pitching calculator" to see how much yeast you need for your lager based on the age of the yeast and the OG of your wort.

If it was me, I'd make the starter. Lagers are not difficult, but definitely more finicky about temperatures in order to taste good.


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Old 06-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #3
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Well I guess I'll go with the Notty at 59F. According to the calculator I would need a 9.5 L (2.5 G) starter for 6 gallons at 1.052 OG. Not gonna happen....

Oh well...any thoughts on taste with the change?

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Old 06-28-2009, 12:01 AM   #4
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All you really need for a starter is a sauce pan and any kind of vessel. Cover it with Al foil if you don't have a lid.

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Old 06-28-2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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As far as differences it taste, it'll be different. It won't be bad, but it won't be a lager. It will be lager-ish, though. You will probably be missing the crisp clean finish of a lager.

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Old 06-28-2009, 03:19 AM   #6
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All you really need for a starter is a sauce pan and any kind of vessel. Cover it with Al foil if you don't have a lid.

Expand on that one please...I haven't done a lot of digging, but it always sounded a lot more finicky than that.

Is there a minimum extract to water ratio to make a starter?

In this instance, I would have needed a 2.5 gallon starter. Boil 2.5 gal of water with some amount of extract, cool, then add smack pack?

How long would it take to get the appropriate cell count after that?

What then?

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Old 06-28-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISLAGI View Post
Expand on that one please...I haven't done a lot of digging, but it always sounded a lot more finicky than that.

Is there a minimum extract to water ratio to make a starter?

In this instance, I would have needed a 2.5 gallon starter. Boil 2.5 gal of water with some amount of extract, cool, then add smack pack?

How long would it take to get the appropriate cell count after that?

What then?

<noobishness off>

God I love this place!!!
Yeah, you've pretty much got it. I have a three gallon carboy, so big starters work in there but I usually do smaller starters and use a growler.

I use 1/2 cup DME to 2 cups water. Start the water boiling in a small saucepan, and then add the DME. Boil for a couple of minutes, then stick that saucepan in the sink in cold water. While it's cooling, sanitize the growler and a funner and some foil. Once it's cool, pour the yeast in the growler through the sanitized funnel, then pour the wort in (it helps rinse the yeast down into the growler). Cover with the foil, and shake. Give it a shake or a swirl each time you walk by it. Once it's fermented out, you can use it, or even pour off the spent wort and add more cooled starter wort.

For lagers, I like to the the finished starter and put it in the fridge a couple of days. Then, I pour off the clear spent wort and just swirl up the remainder of liquid/yeast and use that for my lager. For lagers, I like to take my yeast out of the fridge during the boil so that my yeast is about 48 degrees and the wort is about 50 degrees when I pitch. That makes a great lager! No esters, and a crisp, clean flavor in the lager.

Some people like to pitch their lagers in the 60's and wait for signs of fermentation before dropping the temperature. That's not necessary if you use a big enough starter, plus I don't like the flavor profile as much. Just like I don't pitch my ales at 85 and wait for them to come down to room temperature, I don't do it with the lagers. The lager would be just about finishing up fermentation by the time it got down to 48-50 degrees, and then you'd have some off-flavors. If you pitch cold, you often don't even need to do a diacetyl rest.

I hope I'm not making it sound "hard"- it's not at all! It's just more dependent on proper yeast health, and on proper fermentation temperatures. Lagers are just a little more finicky.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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Sorry, I didn't realize the size of your starter. My ale starters are like 2L and couldn't be easier.

Here's something to consider. You could make the starter out of pretty much your entire LME in the grain bill. Get that down to temp, pitch. Then cut that amount of water and LME from the following days boil and do like an all grain half batch. Once that gets down to temp you can merge the 2 and should have a nice healthy fermentation.

The previous paragraph is nothing I've ever done, so it's just an idea. You'd have to do some homework on how this would affect IBU, but in a lager I can't imagine IBU's are paramount.

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Old 06-28-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
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First off...Thanks for all of the great answers! Who knows, 10 more years and I may know a little something about this hobby....

Kind of veering off into the science end of things, a 2.5 gallon starter for 6 gallons of beer? WTF... How can BMC make money having to spend that much on starter/yeast for their lagers?

Anybody know the basis for the cell count recommendations?

Also, to follow up on Yooper's howto help, how long would it take to develop the cell count? Does it really need two days in the fridge? I tend not to be that organized so I am wondering...

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Old 06-28-2009, 03:41 PM   #10
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At $7 a smack pack you may want to consider washing your yeast and re-using it. Spend a couple weeks on this board and you'll learn so friggin much.

Also, you can prob pick up wyeast bavarian 2206 now on discount at LHBS because it's out of season. The old discounted yeasts require starters, but since you're making one already, it doesn't really matter.

EDIT: Give it about a year. Once you get into trying to engineer a starter, a lager, and all grains you really learn how to think your way around a batch and you can really use some experience and make some batches you would have never thought possible.



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