Lagering question

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Dec 5, 2007
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Sanford, NC
I have been reading many posts and I see that 3 weeks in the primary is typical for a lager.

I put a Mexican lager into the primary on Monday of this week (1/28) and pitched the yeast at about 68 F. It has been in the lagerator and has been staying at about 48-54 F (The vial says optimum is 50-55 F).

I checked today and there is still no airlock activity and no krausen. I took an SG reading and I have the same SG as when I pitched. Will this be ok until Tuesday when I get more yeast or should I scour more and try to get some sooner?

(I'm assuming everything was sanitized correctly, no signs of infection yet)
There is something wrong. I'd get some more yeast in there ASAP. You are probably fine until Tuesday, but only probably. Don't do anything rash, though.

Also, why does your temperature vary so much? Yeasties don't like that, but it shouldn't shut them down like what you've seen.

My temp is varying so much because of the lagerator. I haven't gotten my temp controller hooked up yet. I will be sure to do that ASAP. I made the temp controller that pintofbitter designed and it has taken me a while to complete but it's done now so I'll make sure I turn it on.

Thank you for the suggestion. I'll check around locally more and see if I can get the yeast today.
I would try to get the temperature to 65F until you see the first sign of activity. It should start up soon --It sounds like the yeast was past it's "best before" date or at 48F it is real slow to move.
The yeast was about 12 days past it's best before date. I didn't think that would make that big of a difference but I'll bring it upstairs for a day or so and get it at around 65 and see what happens.

If it starts I want to get it back down into the 50-55 range correct?
Two didn't say if you made a starter or not, I will assume not...2...I always leave my lagers at room temp until it becomes active then move it to the colder temps. Some people will pitch cold, but I don't. ;)

I'd recommend bringing back up to room temp and rouse the yeast in there a bit to see if any activity starts. If not, pitch a starter. 16 days past expiration date is nothing. I've used yeast that was expired over a year. Just make a step up starter and it all works out.
I would bring it to 52-55F as soon as activity starts. My experience brewing with yeast a few weeks past the "best before date" is that it will take 2-3 days longer to start (assuming you did not make a starter). By the end of the day today I predict you will see some activity. Good Luck.
Well good news. I noticed today that we have activity. I moved the fermentor downstairs into the lagerator. Hopefully all is well.

Thanks for your help everyone. Next time I will be sure to make a starter if my yeast is past it's "best before date".