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Old 02-12-2011, 01:33 AM   #1
maltoftheearth
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Default My first lager: One packet of yeast or two?

I am brewing my first lager this weekend (recipe below.) My local brew store recommended I use two packets of lager yeast rather than one. What's your opinion? I don't mind sitting on this beer for a while in my cooler if that yields a better flavor. My concern is that the brew store is advising me to use more yeast in order to speed up the primary fermentation.


Ingredients:

8 lbs. German 2-row Pils
0.25 lbs. Munich Malt
0.75 lbs. Weyermann CaraFoam
0.75 lbs. German Vienna
1 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellets boiled 60 min.
0.5 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh Pellets boiled 15 min.
0.5 oz. Czech Saaz Pellets boiled 1 min.
Yeast: White Labs WLP830 German Lager (edit: SUBBING Wyeast Boehemian Lager)

Predicted Results:

Original Gravity 1.048
Terminal Gravity 1.010
Color 3.72 °SRM
Bitterness 19.0 IBU
Alcohol (%volume) 5.0 %

http://www.brew-dudes.com/munich-helles-recipe/457


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Old 02-12-2011, 01:36 AM   #2
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It's usually two, but you should ask Mr. Malty. http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html


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Old 02-12-2011, 01:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilhomer View Post
It's usually two, but you should ask Mr. Malty. http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
It appears you are correct, sir.

I don't need to create a starter for Wyeast smack packs, right? That has everything I need, doesn't it?
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:57 AM   #4
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A smack pack still needs a starter to be most effective, at least that's what the instructions on the smack pack recommend.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:10 AM   #5
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If your brew store has dry lager yeast you can get away with pitching two. Lagers take a lot of yeast and have a tendency to produce more off flavors with underpitching and have a nasty habit of stalling.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:15 AM   #6
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Edit: I didnt see this being a lager and the mr. malty pitching rate is saying you'll need 350 million yeast cells. Since each smack pack is 100 million you will be under pitching if you don't make a starter.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:20 AM   #7
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even two smack packs is not likely enough for a lager without a good-sized starter, though it is a fairly low gravity beer. two packs of dry yeast, i have had good results.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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My LHBS said the same thing, 2 smack packs. I did as they instructed (they haven't let me down yet). One of the smack packs didn't swell, but I pitched both anyway. After 72 hours I had nothing going on. I pitched another and wammo, 3 hours later I had a constant buddling to the point that I almost put a blow off tube in. I was home doing a brew-cation so I just checked it every hour and all is going great.

My question is, that pack that didn't swell, do you think some of the yeast got going when I pitched the third and will that be enough to get it to the finish line?

It is a simple Munich Helles recipe, sg was 1.052. It has a IBU of 18 (looking for a malty sweet amber lager).

Right now I am on day 7 of stage 1 of lagering (constant 52 degrees) will go for 1 more week then 3 at 42ish.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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I would still make a starter, even with the two packets. This will ensure yeast viability, produce more healthy yeast, and prepare the yeast for fermentation. Also, with just pitching two packets, how do you know that you are getting 100% viable yeast, most likely your not.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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Would you re-pitch before bottling if you didn't do a starter. I am worried that the 2+ packs doing the entire lagering process will not be enough to get the carbonation I like.


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