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Old 04-16-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
Righlander
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ok so i recently did my first lager. using wlp820 oktoberfest/marzen yeast. first of all i under pitched. i used 1 vial and only did a 1 liter starter. og was like 1.057. so it's been a week and there's little to no activity. it's sitting at like 50f-52f in the ferm fridge. so i went ahead and ordered 2 more yeast vials. i'm going to try to make a bigger starter as per mrmalty. my question is...is it screwed?
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:19 PM   #2
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I usually pitch and leave for a day at 65ish, to make sure the yeast are good and active before I drop the temp down. Seems to have worked for me.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Righlander View Post
ok so i recently did my first lager. using wlp820 oktoberfest/marzen yeast. first of all i under pitched. i used 1 vial and only did a 1 liter starter. og was like 1.057. so it's been a week and there's little to no activity. it's sitting at like 50f-52f in the ferm fridge. so i went ahead and ordered 2 more yeast vials. i'm going to try to make a bigger starter as per mrmalty. my question is...is it screwed?
Try bumping the temps up a notch. White labs says optimum temp for that is 52-58F and you are at the low end or below:

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp820.html

My lagers do well if I go by WL's recommendations.

I don't think you are screwed. Give it some more temperature and perhaps pitch more yeast. I do tend to do big starters, but for my first lager I used one vial of WL's yeast without a starter and it had no problems once I got it going at a slightly higher temp, then crashed it to normal fermenting temps. I left it at about 68 for 8-10 hours, then into the lagerer...

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Old 04-17-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
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When I make a lager, I make a huge starter, crash it and decant the spent wort, then make a smaller starter that I pitch at high krausen. This works really well. I ferment lagers in the mid 40's using this technique.

Also, I don't know if you've used much lager yeast, but it can be really slow to wake up from the package compared to a ale yeast. The first time I used one I thought it was a dud because after 2 days the gravity hadn't dropped in my starter. I think your beer will be fine, just make sure you do it properly in the future.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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When I make a lager, I make a huge starter, crash it and decant the spent wort, then make a smaller starter that I pitch at high krausen. This works really well. I ferment lagers in the mid 40's using this technique.

Also, I don't know if you've used much lager yeast, but it can be really slow to wake up from the package compared to a ale yeast. The first time I used one I thought it was a dud because after 2 days the gravity hadn't dropped in my starter. I think your beer will be fine, just make sure you do it properly in the future.
very helpful. thanks. i'm going to try your starter method
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