Newbie, American lager and inactive yeast

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guitslinger

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Here's my deal... I got the American Lager all grain kit from Northern Brewer earlier this year and didn't get to brewing it until yesterday, my 9th batch. The Wyeast "smack pack" was kept in the fridge since it arrived, but by the time I used it, it was a couple weeks short of it's "best by" date, should still have been good. I usually do a starter the night before with the smack packs but just gave it 4+ hours to warm up and "inflate" per the package. It didn't. I went ahead and added to my carboy, gave it a good shake and stuck it in the fridge. Today there's no sign of fermentation. I'm going to try saving it with some dry yeast from NB but it won't get here for a few days. So...

1) will the beer be OK until I can get the new yeast in?
2) Will the addition of the dry yeast be enough to save it?
3) Does the package lie? Does it need to sit out longer?
4) Should I just dump it and try again at another time?

Grateful in advance.
 

jhoyda

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You severely under-pitched. A lager requires a multiple liter starter with fresh yeast, even larger with old yeast. I would try and get more yeast ASAP.

1) yes
2) probably
3) yes, a starter is the best way to judge viability
4) NO
 
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guitslinger

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Thanks jhoya!
estricklin, I have to get my supplies online so by the time I get the dry yeast added it'll be 4-5 days. However, it is in the fridge holding at 50 deg.
 

k_mcarthur

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I agree with both replies. With my lagers I make large starters and at mid 50's it takes up to three days to start see krausen. Also NEVER dump a batch, especially before you get to taste it. I've had some batches that weren't really what I was expecting, but it's easy to find someone who wants a few gallons of just ok beer for free. Infection is the only viable reason for dumping in my mind, but that's a whole other topic.
 

estricklin

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Lagers can be a bit slow getting started at times, sometimes mine don't get going for a day or 2. But ya you probably did under pitch quite a bit. I like to keep a pack of dry yeast laying around for emergencies.
 
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