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Old 12-04-2010, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default no visible activity/ help??

I have never brewed lager before and I'm wondering about fermentation activity. I used White Labs American Lager yeast 840. The website stated that optimum fermentaion temp was 50-55 F. The label said to leave the wort with the pitched yeast out for 10-24 hours at room temp. I left it out for about 10 hours then put it in my lager freezer and the temp was consitantly between 50-55F. I checked the brew after about 30-40 hours and there is no activity. there is no foam on top or co2 coming out of the airlock. I'm used to brewing ale and fermentation is usually quite ferocious.

I took the wort out of the fridge and put it at room temp. in order to wake it up. Does lager yeast work more slowly? I hope I'm not being impatient. should I put the wort back in the fridge?

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
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Patience my friend... I've had brews with no visible signs of fermentation for up to 72 hours... it always depends on many factors, such as strain and age of the yeast. Do what the directions tell you, and relax a bit. If it hasn't started in 72 hours, you may have to repitch...

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:36 PM   #3
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I am having the same problem. Mine was showing no activity at about 64 hours. I haven't been home to see it in a day and a half. Hoping it has started. the guy at my local HBS said if it hasn't started to bring it into a warm room of the house until it starts and then bring it back out. I believe the mistake we both made was not making a starter beforehand, especially with your using a liquid yeast. I used the dry yeast that came with my kit

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
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First and foremost it hasn't been 72 hours yet...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/, and by visible signs we don't necessarily mean a bubbling airlock.
It IS a sticky at the top of the beginners forum for a reason, afterall.

Secondly you don't know what's going on....all you know is you have what you define as a "visible sign of fermentation" by which your more than likely mean your airlock is bubbling or you still see krausen... (I'm betting airlock bubbling.)

Your HYDROMETER is the only BEST indicator of fermentation activity. Nothing else is accurate or consistent...

Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by krausen formation. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are.

The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal.

And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

Besides, With lagers everything is slow and there is often little visible "actvity."

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:42 PM   #5
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yeah. I was thinking the same thing. I didnt realize that it took about 24 hours to make a starter until I started brewing....oops. Normally I use dry yeast as well. I went to a new HBS because my normal is making me angry with their appearant lack of mativation in stocking. They recommended this one. I read quite a bit of positive reviews about it so I pulled the trigger.

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
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How much yeast did you pitch? Lagers require significantly more yeast then ales. If you under pitched you will have more lag time. Did you make a starter?

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Old 12-04-2010, 07:24 PM   #7
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Akbrewer I did not make a starter. I made 5 gallons of wort and pitched the yeast according to the directions. The label said the amount I had was made for 5 gallons. It recommended a starter for higher gravity beers. I do beleive I am simply being impatient. This is only my third brew and I am making my own recipes. I did one kit and found it fun but not as rewarding. I read the FAQs on the page but I can still be nervous if I want too. My first recipe I put together (my second time brewing) came out great. It is a Rock Bottom resturant IPA inspired beer. Amarillo and cascade goodness. haha.

This brew came out great. I tasted some before I Pitched......It was great. I love coming up with recipes and doing all the IBU calculations and such. I just dont want this tasty brew to somehow turn sour

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Old 12-04-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAS0311USMC View Post
Akbrewer I did not make a starter. I made 5 gallons of wort and pitched the yeast according to the directions. The label said the amount I had was made for 5 gallons. It recommended a starter for higher gravity beers. I do beleive I am simply being impatient. This is only my third brew and I am making my own recipes. I did one kit and found it fun but not as rewarding. I read the FAQs on the page but I can still be nervous if I want too. My first recipe I put together (my second time brewing) came out great. It is a Rock Bottom resturant IPA inspired beer. Amarillo and cascade goodness. haha.

This brew came out great. I tasted some before I Pitched......It was great. I love coming up with recipes and doing all the IBU calculations and such. I just dont want this tasty brew to somehow turn sour
The label isn't truthful- there is barely enough yeast in the vial to make a 1.040 ale. You're about 3 vials short of enough to make a 1.060 lager. Without a huge starter for a lager, and with only 1 vial, you're in for a long wait. Check out this link for how much yeast you should pitch for your beer: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

Anyway, if your sanitation was good, it should be fine. The yeast will reproduce before they get to work fermenting your lager. The label says to keep it at room temperature until signs of fermentation start, and then reduce the temperature. That's not the best way to make a great tasting lager, but it's to compensate somewhat for the gross underpitching. At this point, you can just wait it out and for next time (lager or ale) make a starter with liquid yeast!
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
First and foremost it hasn't been 72 hours yet...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ferm...e-signs-43635/, and by visible signs we don't necessarily mean a bubbling airlock.
It IS a sticky at the top of the beginners forum for a reason, afterall.

Secondly you don't know what's going on....all you know is you have what you define as a "visible sign of fermentation" by which your more than likely mean your airlock is bubbling or you still see krausen... (I'm betting airlock bubbling.)

Your HYDROMETER is the only BEST indicator of fermentation activity. Nothing else is accurate or consistent...

Unless you take a gravity reading you don't know what's really going on, not by airlock bubbling or by krausen formation. Neither of those signs are effective, they don't tell you exactly where on the fermentation process you are.

The amount of krausen can vary for whatever reason, it can come quick and depart quickly or it can linger long after fermentation is complete, and it all be normal.

And airlocks sometimes bubble or they don't.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

That's why you need to take a gravity reading to know how your fermentation is going, NOT go by airlocks, or size of krausen, or a calendar, the horoscope or the phases of the moon (those things in my mind are equally accurate).

The most important tool you can use is a hydrometer. It's the only way you will truly know when your beer is ready...airlock bubbles and other things are faulty.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" like repitching, or bottling, or racking, without first taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

Besides, With lagers everything is slow and there is often little visible "actvity."
Revvy, I didn't realize it was after Christmas already.... or are you just warming up?
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Where's my beer. I know I left it around here somewhere.....
Kegged/Drinking:Nihilistic Integrity - Black IPA, #1 BIAB pale ale, Bells Two Hearted - yes a keg of the real stuff
Kegged/Conditioning:Wally N Seans Braggot, Emerald Eyes - Irish Red, Atomic Tsunami - brown
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:39 PM   #10
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Great advice. Thank You. I am planned on 2 weeks primary and 2 wekks secondary so I am guessing that is plenty of time to develop a good fermentation. Next brew is getting a starter!!

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