lager help - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > lager help

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-08-2013, 01:23 AM   #1
nolabrew85
 
nolabrew85's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 372
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts



I pitched the yeast on my first lager and put it in the fridge Saturday night. I probably pitched the yeast somewhere around 65 to 70 degrees. It was a wyeast Czech pils smack pack. The fridge is keeping the contents of the fermenter between 52 and 54 degrees, but I have seen absolutely no airlock bubbling yet (almost 2 days later). Is that normal for lagers? If not, any suggestions on how to kick start it?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 01:49 AM   #2
DenverUSMC
 
DenverUSMC's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Posts: 100
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


Give it some time, when I do lagers I generally make a gallon starter and have activity in 12 hours or so. I'm not a calculations guy so I can't say for sure but it would seem that you under pitched. I would give it time.
__________________
On tap
: NB Caribou Slobber
: Double Eagle clone (Rock Yard)
Fermenting
: AHS Anniversary IPA
Lagering
: Heineken clone
Next:

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 01:55 AM   #3
sudbuster
This ain't my first rodeo....
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
sudbuster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Western Arkansas
Posts: 4,030
Liked 282 Times on 218 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by nolabrew85 View Post
I pitched the yeast on my first lager and put it in the fridge Saturday night. I probably pitched the yeast somewhere around 65 to 70 degrees. It was a wyeast Czech pils smack pack. The fridge is keeping the contents of the fermenter between 52 and 54 degrees, but I have seen absolutely no airlock bubbling yet (almost 2 days later). Is that normal for lagers? If not, any suggestions on how to kick start it?
Well, sir, me thinks someone left out some important information on lager brewing. Lagers require a pitch level 3 to 4 times the ale level. You might get away with pitching a smack-pack into a low gravity ale, but not a lager. Most lager brewers make a starter of up to 1/5 the brew volume. Wishing you good luck.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 02:13 AM   #4
nolabrew85
 
nolabrew85's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 372
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by sudbuster

Well, sir, me thinks someone left out some important information on lager brewing. Lagers require a pitch level 3 to 4 times the ale level. You might get away with pitching a smack-pack into a low gravity ale, but not a lager. Most lager brewers make a starter of up to 1/5 the brew volume. Wishing you good luck.
Damn! I have heard you have to use more yeast for lagers, but thought I had enough. This was my first time using a smack pack. I have always used 11g of dry yeast for my ales and always achieve about 5% ABV. So when the brewstore recommended one smack pack, which looks like it would be considerably more yeast than 11g, I thought it would be enough.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 02:21 AM   #5
Mojzis
Recipes 
 
Jan 2012
Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,265
Liked 152 Times on 107 Posts


It has to do with the quality of the yeast also. Dry yeast are healthy and ready to go. Liquid need to build reserves and multiply....hence why the starter is imperative.

Edit:

"An excellent property of dry brewing yeast is that they have a very high cell count, they store well (years) and the yeast are packed with nutrient reserves which allow for fast starts. When brewing lagers, the vast majority of yeast strains are liquid yeast strains, requiring large starters for lager beers. Liquid yeasts contain a much lower cell count and lack the nutrient reserves that the dried yeast strains hold. For this reason it is nice that there are a few dried lager yeasts available to home brewers."

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 02:42 AM   #6
nolabrew85
 
nolabrew85's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 372
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts


So what should I do at this point? Go get more yeast tomorrow and pitch it? Should I take bucket out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit to try to kick it start it and then put back in immediately after bubbling?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 03:15 AM   #7
moti_mo
Recipes 
 
Oct 2008
Denver, CO
Posts: 561
Liked 33 Times on 27 Posts


Give it some time.

Yes, you should have made a starter, but the smack pack should still be sufficient to ferment your beer. Before I started making starters, I made a few lagers/pilsners where I pitched only a smack pack and not even close to what you get by doing an "appropriate" lager starter. One of them got a 3rd place in a comp...not saying it wouldn't have been significantly better if I had made a starter, but just saying that if the pack swelled, you should eventually see some activity. Just give it some time.

Make sure you do the rest of the fermentation on a good schedule, allowing for a good diacetyl rest a day or so after you see the krausen drop (edit - and of course lager for a good period after that). Your beers should still turn out fine. Maybe not perfect, but RDWHAHB

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 04:50 AM   #8
nolabrew85
 
nolabrew85's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 372
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts


Thanks. I raised the temp up to 55 over night and when I woke up, it was bubbling fine. And then brought back down to 53 and still going good

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 05:40 AM   #9
onthekeg
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
Posts: 1,786
Liked 83 Times on 65 Posts


It still may not be as good as it could have been though. Next time, make a starter and see how good beer can be.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 05:53 AM   #10
zeg
Recipes 
 
Jan 2012
West Lafayette, IN
Posts: 1,216
Liked 129 Times on 111 Posts


In addition to a starter, it's a good idea to pitch a bit below the intended fermentation temperature and let it warm up to the temp you want. Pitching high and then cooling can encourage off flavors in the early part of fermentation, and possibly cause some of the yeast to go dormant early, leading to attenuation problems. The general principle is that as yeast are becoming less active, you want to be increasing the temperature.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dos Equis Amber Lager (Mexican vs. Bohemian Lager Yeast selection) jgoodloe Fermentation & Yeast 5 01-22-2014 01:51 PM
Campfire Lager (Amber Lager Recipe) BigRob90 Recipes/Ingredients 0 04-15-2012 05:50 AM
Lager Pitching Temp: Can we settle this lager debate? mdf191 General Techniques 32 11-02-2011 08:21 PM
Fast primary for Extract Lager. Treat it like a Lager or an ALE now? Recluse Extract Brewing 0 02-28-2010 06:05 PM
What to do after lager?Making a Oktoberfest Lager using White Labs Octoberfest(WLP820 Evstakiev Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 07-20-2009 12:43 AM


Forum Jump