Fermenting Pilsner in smaller carboys

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

beardedbrew

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Reedsport
I'm definitely a noob to Pilsners and am finally brewing my first tomorrow (10 gal) and I have my larger fermenters occupied forcing me to start my primary in two six gallon carboys. I'll probably have 5.15 gallons in each carboy. My question is how much do Pilsners foam up when in primary? I think I'll have a blow off tube on each in case that were to happen, but want to be prepared as I'd rather catch it with some Fermcap to avoid wasting beer. I'm assuming it won't be a problem since fermentation will be cold and sloooooow, but wanted to check to error on the side of caution.

Thanks for the help!
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,667
Reaction score
12,296
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I'm definitely a noob to Pilsners and am finally brewing my first tomorrow (10 gal) and I have my larger fermenters occupied forcing me to start my primary in two six gallon carboys. I'll probably have 5.15 gallons in each carboy. My question is how much do Pilsners foam up when in primary? I think I'll have a blow off tube on each in case that were to happen, but want to be prepared as I'd rather catch it with some Fermcap to avoid wasting beer. I'm assuming it won't be a problem since fermentation will be cold and sloooooow, but wanted to check to error on the side of caution.

Thanks for the help!
Since lagers are bottom fermenting, you don't typically see much krausen with them although there is some. I pitch at 48 degrees, and allow it to warm up to 50 degrees for fermentation, and there is maybe an inch or two of krausen during active fermentation.

Fermentation won't be really slow, if you pitch the proper amount of yeast. You should be at FG in 7 days or so.
 
OP
B

beardedbrew

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Reedsport
Since lagers are bottom fermenting, you don't typically see much krausen with them although there is some. I pitch at 48 degrees, and allow it to warm up to 50 degrees for fermentation, and there is maybe an inch or two of krausen during active fermentation.

Fermentation won't be really slow, if you pitch the proper amount of yeast. You should be at FG in 7 days or so.
Thanks! I pitched 300 billion yeast cells to just over 10 gallons from 3 Wyeast smack packs about 14 hours ago and have absolutely no activity. I activated the yeast packs 8 hrs prior to pitching and pitched at 50F. Two of the three yeast packets were older than the third. One was dated in August and the other two in May. At the end of the 8 hrs, only the newer smack pack swelled (the other two swelled slightly). I evenly dispersed the 3 packets between the two carboys. Sooooo, do you have any suggestions to what I might expect to happen with this beer with this particular experience?
 

osagedr

Recovering from Sobriety
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
123
Location
Winnipeg
I also made 10 gallons of Pilsner this weekend. I pitched 960 billion cells of Wyeast 2278 yesterday morning, hit it with 120 seconds of pure O2, then another 120 seconds this morning. I MIGHT see some activity by tomorrow morning.

You didn't pitch anywhere close to 300 billion cells. Your packages from May may have had a viability as low as 10%. Your August package would be around 50%. So you might have pitched more like 70 or 80 billion cells, around 10% of what you needed, depending on your OG.

If you like you can warm it way up, look for signs of fermentation, then start to cool it back down into about the mid-50s. What yeast strain did you use? As an alternative, grab four packages of W-34/70 or S-23 dry yeast from your LHBS, rehydrate as per the product sheet instructions, and pitch that. One way or the other, your beer is going to need some help.
 
OP
B

beardedbrew

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Reedsport
I used 2007 Pilsen Lager yeast and my OG is 1.058. I would rather stay consistent with yeast as apposed to using something other than what's in there, wouldn't you?
 

osagedr

Recovering from Sobriety
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
123
Location
Winnipeg
I used 2007 Pilsen Lager yeast and my OG is 1.058. I would rather stay consistent with yeast as apposed to using something other than what's in there, wouldn't you?
My main concern would be getting the proper amount of yeast pitched at the earliest opportunity. I recently had 2206 crap out on me in a doppelbock but had fresh S-189 slurry available so pitched that as well. As long as the strains are appropriate for style, who cares? Mixing strains is the least of your problems.
 
OP
B

beardedbrew

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Reedsport
That makes sense. I got a couple of packets of S-23 on hand, but you're saying I'll probably need 4 total? I can get more by tonight tonight I think... I'll be a day or two from pitching the S-23 since you're suggesting to rehydrate, yes?
 
OP
B

beardedbrew

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Reedsport
I am screwed if I need 4 packets because the closest HBS is out of all of their lager yeast. It's actually a health food store with some brewing stuff in it so it's not surprising. I might be able to get yeast shipped to me by the end of the week. Otherwise, I guess I can make starters with what I got. Thoughts?
 

osagedr

Recovering from Sobriety
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
123
Location
Winnipeg
Well, you don't want to make a starter with dry yeast. Rehydrating takes less than an hour. You have some cells in there already, and S-23 performs well at warm temperatures. So rehydrate the S-23 you have according to the product sheet (http://www.fermentis.com/FO/pdf/HB/EN/Saflager_S-23_HB.pdf), let your beer warm up to about 55, and pitch it (get your S-23 slurry down to around the same temp before you pitch). It's an underpitch but warmer temperatures are more forgiving, and S-23 is one of the yeasts that will still produce a nice lager at that temp.

Good luck!
 
Top