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Old 07-02-2009, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default First Lager - no yeast activity - did I screw up?

Hi all,

I started brewing a Dortmunder Export on Sunday (6/28) with an SG of 1.050. I rehydrated 2 packs of Saflager S-23 at 40* F. I thought I would be able to get the wort down to my target pitching temperature of 44* using a pre-chiller in a bucket of ice, but I wasn't able to get close to that temp. So I put the wort in my lagering fridge and put the yeast in the regular fridge. Overnight the wort cooled down to 44*, so I let the yeast warm up for about 15 minutes, shook it up and pitched it. Over the last couple of days I've raised the temp to 50*, but I've seen no fermentation activity at all. This morning (72 hours after pitching the yeast) there was still no visible activity; gravity of the beer is 1.047 so at least there's a little bit of something going on. I shook the beer up to aerate a bit, and put it back in the fridge. This evening there's still nothing visible happening. I kept the beer from the gravity reading in a separate jar at room temp to see what the yeast does when it's warmer, but that sample isn't doing anything 12 hours later.

Should I be concerned? I wanted to pitch at the lower temp to avoid diacetyl, but I suspect I screwed up with the yeast by not rehydrating at a warmer temp then cooling. I'm guessing that the answer will be "give it time, RDWHAHB" but I thought I'd ask in case there's something else I should be doing.

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Old 07-03-2009, 01:59 AM   #2
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Lagers don't usually go all kinds of crazy like ale can. They are usually lowkey, drawn out ferments. If you went from 1.050 to 1.047, the yeast are doing what they do, just leave them be for a few weeks. Lagers can take 3-4 weeks for primary fermentation sometimes.

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Old 07-03-2009, 02:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderwig View Post
Lagers don't usually go all kinds of crazy like ale can. They are usually lowkey, drawn out ferments. If you went from 1.050 to 1.047, the yeast are doing what they do, just leave them be for a few weeks. Lagers can take 3-4 weeks for primary fermentation sometimes.
Yup. Your beer is fine...

Besides the fact that Bubbles in the airlock, mean absolutely nothing. It is a valve to release excess co2, NOT a fermentation gauge...since you are brewing in a Lager (In a fridge perhaps?) things are slower, since the yeasts are colder, also any CO2 developing is sitting heavy on the beer, and DOESN'T NEED to vent out...

Read this and the links for airlock info http://www.homebrewtalk.com/1388434-post9.html

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," anyway, just because we don't see anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligantly away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years....the yeasts are busy for a long time doing what they need to do.


You took a reading...the gravity has changed, that means it is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

Lagers are slow things....
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