34/70 help

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BigJay13

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I went to pitch my starter of 34/70 (two packets started up into 10 gallons of 1049 Pilsner) and there was a fruit fly in the starter! Dumped that and started over. Went to a place locally that sells a few things and found two packets sitting warm on a shelf—great. So right now, it is 30 hours post boil (I had to continue to cool in the ferm chamber anyway) but my starter isn’t cool enough to pitch. Once it is, how long should I let it go before pitching? I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place because I don’t feel comfortable throwing the packets in without waking them up. Thoughts?
 

BrewerBrad82

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W-34/70 is a great yeast. I would always recommend against making a starter with any dry yeast, as they are propagated and dried at peak viability. Instead, just pitch more packs directly into the wort. Also, yes, 2 packs in 10 gallons is quite the under pitch. If you can keep that fermentation in the 60-65F range the yeast will still perform wonderfully, but will likely express a bit more esters than if it was fermented in the lower 50F range.
 
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BigJay13

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I got the last two packets of yeast they had. Sounds like I’ll ferment at 66 and throw one packet in each.
 

Gnomebrewer

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I would always recommend against making a starter with any dry yeast
Starters work well with dry yeast. I actually prefer beers with dry yeast starters over those with direct pitch. Yeast is expensive here (W34/70 is about $8 a packet) - a starter with one pack is way cheaper than four packs of yeast.
 

Beermeister32

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Agreed, 2 packs for 10 gallons is an under pitch for lager. Since this is a Pilsner, I would not ferment at 66F. Pilsners do not have an ester profile that would benefit from this. I would get the underpitch in there as quick as you can, oxygenate well and continue in your fermentation chamber down to 50F. I actually pitch Pilsners at 46F and let them rise to 50F, so there is a possibility you could do that, it would give you time to round up more yeast.

Whatever you decide, you will have beer. W34/70 is a great and forgiving yeast. Most beers will do OK with the underpitch, might not be your best batch, but enjoyable. If you don’t save yeast, you could add another lager yeast like WLP833 Bock or WY2206 if the local brew shop has any. Lager yeasts are closer in profile to each other than most ale yeasts, you could make up for the underpitch if you could source more yeast.

Not the end of the world having a mixed yeast pitch, some brewers play around with mixed yeasts all the time. Historically all were mixed until Jacobsen at Carlsberg isolated individual strains, so no biggie there.

Either way, you will have beer!
 
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Steveruch

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Starters work well with dry yeast. I actually prefer beers with dry yeast starters over those with direct pitch. Yeast is expensive here (W34/70 is about $8 a packet) - a starter with one pack is way cheaper than four packs of yeast.
Where are you located? I've never paid close to $8 for any dry yeast.
 

cmac62

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I'd say pitch the two packs a little warm and cool it down after the yeast has had a chance to multiply. According to their website:

PITCHING: 80 to 120 g/hl for fermentation at 12°C – 15°C (53.6-59°F).
increase pitching for fermentation lower than 12°C (53°F), up to 200 to 300 g/hl at 9°C (48°F)

at 80 g/hl would be about 30 gs for a 10 gal batch and you have 23 grams of yeast. If I messed up the math someone let me know. :mug:
 

ebbelwoi

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Starters work well with dry yeast. I actually prefer beers with dry yeast starters over those with direct pitch. Yeast is expensive here (W34/70 is about $8 a packet) - a starter with one pack is way cheaper than four packs of yeast.
From what I understand, Morgan's European Lager Yeast is repackaged w34/70. It should be cheaper than AU$8, and it comes in 15g packets.
 

Gnomebrewer

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I have no knowledge about homebrewing supplies in Tasmania. Are there any other homebrew shops to check for a better price?
They're all about the same. I can get them online for a bit less, but would rather shop at my LHBS, and I'm happy making dry yeast starters - it's quite common down here (going by threads on the aussie homebrew forum).

So $8 AUD is currently $5.89 USD, so seems to be an average price that one would expect to pay in the US.
Is it only about that in the US? I see lots of threads with comments about dry yeast being a couple of dollars a pack. Maybe lager yeast's more expensive? I'm surprised starters for dry yeast aren't as popular over there as they are here. $3.50AUD for the DME to make a 6L starter (enough for a 10 gallon batch of lager) + $8AUD for yeast vs. $32AUD for 4 packs of yeast.
 
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BigJay13

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So I did end up throwing one packet in each carboy and they took off within 12 hours. Both carboys look like a yellow snow globe right now and I can’t smell any off flavors at the warmer temps. So far I’m very impressed! I’m going to submit it to Dr. Homebrew, hopefully, by the end of the month for feedback.
 
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