lager starter Temp? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > lager starter Temp?

Thread Tools
Old 11-21-2005, 02:59 AM   #1
Oct 2005
Posts: 153

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?
A fool and his money are soon partying.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 07:19 AM   #2
ScottT's Avatar
Aug 2005
Hurst, Tx
Posts: 653
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

"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."

Primary: Empty

Secondary #2: Empty

Bottle Conditioning: Oatmeal Stout

Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption... Beer!"
-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

Next up: Hefe Weizen

Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 03:49 AM   #3
Kaiser's Avatar
Nov 2005
Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,895
Liked 131 Times on 76 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 04:04 AM   #4
DeRoux's Broux
DeRoux's Broux's Avatar
Nov 2004
Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 2,959
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts

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.
DeRoux's Broux

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lager Pitching Temp: Can we settle this lager debate? mdf191 General Techniques 32 11-02-2011 08:21 PM
Can I lager my lager starter for a week or two if I want to? HangLoose Recipes/Ingredients 1 04-18-2009 12:25 AM
Ideal ambient temp for lager fermentation temp? tinydancer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 06-30-2008 03:54 PM
lager starter temp positiverpr All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 03-01-2008 09:23 PM
Lager starter temp? drayman86 General Techniques 3 01-31-2008 10:42 PM

Forum Jump