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Old 11-21-2005, 01:59 AM   #1
ALPS
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Default lager starter Temp?

My smack pack was finally swollen by this morning, so I set out making a starter for my first lager. I boiled three qts water with three cups DME, and pitched the yeast into one quart and plan to add the second quart tomorrow and the third on Tuesday. I plan to steadily drop the temp each day, as well.

The smack pack didn't swell untill I kept it in a warmer area(68), as per the advice given by my LHBS. To me this seems kinda warm for lager yeast, even if it is just to get them started. Again, this is my first lager, I could be wrong.

My questions are: 1) Should the starter be kept in a cooler place right from the start? Or is it ok to go from 68 to 60 to 55 to 50 over the next four days? And 2) At what temp should the wort be when I pitch the yeast? I'm thinking right at 50, the same temp it'll be stored in for primary fermentation. The LHBS guy recommended raising the temp after pitching to get the yeast going, but I'm not sold on that. What has everyone else done?

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Old 11-21-2005, 06:19 AM   #2
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http://www.whitelabs.com/faq.html



"What temperature should I pitch a lager yeast?

There are two different methods of pitching lagers. Brewers use each method with success, but every brewer has their preference. The easiest method is (A).
A) Start the yeast warm and lower to 50-55F after the start of fermentation. The yeast should be pitched at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you see active fermentation, bring the temperature of the wort down 10 degrees per 12 hours until the desired fermentation temperature has been achieved. This method works well without forming high amounts of esters because most esters are produced after the first 12 hours.
B) Pitch the yeast at the desired fermentation temperature (48-55 Degrees F). Lager yeast ferment well at this temperature, but they grow very slowly. If you are using this method, understand that you may not see signs of activity for 48-72 hours. If starting the fermentation cold, we recommend you make a 1-2 liter starter per 5 gallons, or if a commercial brewery, a starter 10% of the batch size."
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Old 11-22-2005, 02:49 AM   #3
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Thanks, ScottT

I seem to have the same problem with my lager. I pitched at about 70F and lowered the temp to 50 over the last 12 hrs. Now I was getting worried about the lack of fermentation signs. I guess I'll just leave the fridge door open for the night so to get the temp back up and the yeast has some time to grow.

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Old 11-22-2005, 03:04 AM   #4
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i asked the owner of Saint Arnold's brewery what he did when he was a homebrewer. he said let it get going (the starter), then set it in the lagering vessel to allow it to reach the right ferm temp to be pitched. much like you can do once you pitch it into the wort. once you see signsof activity, bring temp down to prefered temp.

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