Quantcast

Did i pitch too much lager yeast?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Nate R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
581
Location
Sacramento
Hey all. So i finally realized the economies of making large yeast starters and saving some.
I did a 5 gallon batch of a basic pilsner. I added what is probably about a 2 to 3L starter size of wlp800.
I picthed at 47, then let it rise to 54 where i am holding it. This is only my second lager, and first with a starter yeast.
I read to expect 3 to 4 days to see activity, but this thing is already producing bubbles in the blow off bucket.
Did i pitch too much? Should i still run the lager time of 3-5 weeks? Will i need to adjust temps or time for dilactly rest or just follow normal schedule?

Thanks all!
 

MrPowers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
526
Reaction score
326
Hey all. So i finally realized the economies of making large yeast starters and saving some.
I did a 5 gallon batch of a basic pilsner. I added what is probably about a 2 to 3L starter size of wlp800.
I picthed at 47, then let it rise to 54 where i am holding it. This is only my second lager, and first with a starter yeast.
I read to expect 3 to 4 days to see activity, but this thing is already producing bubbles in the blow off bucket.
Did i pitch too much? Should i still run the lager time of 3-5 weeks? Will i need to adjust temps or time for dilactly rest or just follow normal schedule?

Thanks all!
No you pitched at, or just under, the correct amount for a lager. I do 8l of starter + a brewday vitality starter for my 11 gallon batches of lagers. You should see airlock activity sometime between 4 and 24 hours after pitching. If it's taking 3-4 days to see activity in a lager that indicates a severe under-pitch.

I don't know what lager "schedule" you're following, but pitching the appropriate amount of yeast (which it sounds like you did) should help with, or completely negate, the need for a diacetyl rest. You will probably still want to test for it, but you may not need to do it.

Your beer should be finished with primary fermentation in 5-9 days, at which point you can spund (if you have the ability) and move to lagering until it's clear. If you don't have the ability to spund, you can transfer to kegs and force carb while dropping to lagering temp or, just drop to lagering temp with the beer still in primary (try to avoid oxygen suckback). After your beer is clear, you can start drinking (if kegged/spunded) or continue with your normal packaging routine.
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
5,284
Reaction score
2,155
Location
Taft
I always do a diacetyl rest with lagers. It's like insurance imo. Theres a yeast pitching calculator you can use . I cant remember off the top of my head but if you search around here you'll find it . I usually do a 1L starter using the proper starter cans . They say it's good for wort up to 1.060.
 

jtrux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
222
Reaction score
47
Mr Malty is a pitching calculator. But I usually just do a 2l starter for all batches bc that’s the biggest flask I have
 
OP
Nate R

Nate R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
581
Location
Sacramento
No you pitched at, or just under, the correct amount for a lager. I do 8l of starter + a brewday vitality starter for my 11 gallon batches of lagers. You should see airlock activity sometime between 4 and 24 hours after pitching. If it's taking 3-4 days to see activity in a lager that indicates a severe under-pitch.

I don't know what lager "schedule" you're following, but pitching the appropriate amount of yeast (which it sounds like you did) should help with, or completely negate, the need for a diacetyl rest. You will probably still want to test for it, but you may not need to do it.

Your beer should be finished with primary fermentation in 5-9 days, at which point you can spund (if you have the ability) and move to lagering until it's clear. If you don't have the ability to spund, you can transfer to kegs and force carb while dropping to lagering temp or, just drop to lagering temp with the beer still in primary (try to avoid oxygen suckback). After your beer is clear, you can start drinking (if kegged/spunded) or continue with your normal packaging routine.
Thanks! After some reflecting (and looking at the amount of slurry i kept out of the 5L starter) I may have pitched closer to 4L, but according to your 11 gallon batches, that should be ok.

Question for you- you suggest spunding
#1: is that to just help self-carbonate the brew for speed
#2: is it due to the style to stay as close to "authentic" as possible
#3: Or, do you have another reason you suggest spunding.

I do have a Spunding valve (using it right now on my hefeweizen as it is a few days after pitching (also did a starter on this batch. I am calling it am "Imperial hefe". OG was 1.079.). I should be able to use it in a few days on this pilsner.
Will spunding have any effect on flavor? I still read things all over the place on fermenting under pressure- especially with lagers. But my understanding is that is how traditional beers (aka the German purity law) beers are carbonated.

Again, thanks for all the input all!
 

MrPowers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
526
Reaction score
326
Thanks! After some reflecting (and looking at the amount of slurry i kept out of the 5L starter) I may have pitched closer to 4L, but according to your 11 gallon batches, that should be ok.

Question for you- you suggest spunding
#1: is that to just help self-carbonate the brew for speed
#2: is it due to the style to stay as close to "authentic" as possible
#3: Or, do you have another reason you suggest spunding.

I do have a Spunding valve (using it right now on my hefeweizen as it is a few days after pitching (also did a starter on this batch. I am calling it am "Imperial hefe". OG was 1.079.). I should be able to use it in a few days on this pilsner.
Will spunding have any effect on flavor? I still read things all over the place on fermenting under pressure- especially with lagers. But my understanding is that is how traditional beers (aka the German purity law) beers are carbonated.

Again, thanks for all the input all!
Spunding helps to:
1. Consume any oxygen introduced during the transfer, due to the presence of active yeast, to extend the shelf life
2. Increase beer foam/head retention because yeast under pressure (when used to spund or naturally carbonate) produce glycerol which aids in foam retention
3. Carbonate the beer with 100% pure CO2, again, helping to prevent oxidation and prolong shelf life
4. Speed (in the case of some cloudy/yeast driven ales. Ex Hefeweizen/witbier) can be an added benefit, but with lagers since you are going to cold condition until they clear, oxygen mitigation is the primary benefit

Spunding does have an impact on flavor, but it’s primary impact is preserving flavors that were already present in your beer before carbonation. In addition, it usually imparts a certain softness and rounded carbonation characteristic that a force carbonated beer doesn’t have.

And keep in mind, spunding is different than fermenting under pressure. Spunding you are just “capping” fermentation at the end (3-6 gravity points of fermentation depending on style). It is similar to carbonating with priming sugar, but, you are using the original wort. I don’t even use a valve, I just transfer my beer to kegs 3-4 points above FG, seal them up, and let fermentation finish.
 
Top