Saflager 34/70

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Bluelinebrewer

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Hey all. Quick question regarding Saflager 34/70. I had a recipe kit that I had ordered a couple months ago, a Noble Pils. Long story short, time got away from me and I didn't get it brewed as quickly as I thought I could. The liquid yeast that came with it was past the 6 month mark, and instead of making a huge starter, I bought a couple packs of Saflager 34/70. I read through several threads regarding 34/70, and rehydrating dry lager yeast. I'm hoping someone can critique my process, which I developed after reading several threads.

Boiled 200 ml water in a flask, to sanitize. Allowed to cool to about 70℉. Dumped both packets of yeast into the flask, let it set for about 15 minutes. Then swirled the mixture for about 10-15 minutes, then every couple of minutes for the next 20 minutes. I wasn't able to cool my wort down to a good pitchable temp, so I placed both the rehydrated yeast, and the wort in the fermentation cooler and set the temp to 45℉. I plan on pitching tomorrow morning, assuming the wort has dropped to 45℉, and then bringing temp up to 53℉. Does this sound ok?

One thing I noticed when I went to "check things out" a while ago... There's a layer of foam on top of the yeast. Almost like a krausen. Is that normal? I would expect that if I had made a starter, but I didn't, just water and yeast. Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Freedomfan

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I used 34/70 in my my last lager and I wouldn't recommend chilling your wort all the way down to 45 degrees. 50 is about as low as I would go since this yeast is a slow starter, for me anyways. Your re-hydration technique looks good and I don't see any issues with storing it in your ferm chamber other than the temp. I think you'll like the 34/70. I found it to be very simliar to WLP830. Once it kicked off I reached termal gravity in 18 days at 52 degrees. I did a diacetyl rest but it really wasn't necessary with this yeast.
 
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Bluelinebrewer

Bluelinebrewer

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I used 34/70 in my my last lager and I wouldn't recommend chilling your wort all the way down to 45 degrees. 50 is about as low as I would go since this yeast is a slow starter, for me anyways. Your re-hydration technique looks good and I don't see any issues with storing it in your ferm chamber other than the temp. I think you'll like the 34/70. I found it to be very simliar to WLP830. Once it kicked off I reached termal gravity in 18 days at 52 degrees. I did a diacetyl rest but it really wasn't necessary with this yeast.
Thanks for the reply! I plan on jumping the temp up to 53 in the morning. If its at 45 when I wake up, which I'm sure it will be, if not already, should I ramp it up before pitching? Or should I go ahead and pitch and just expect a slow start?
 

Freedomfan

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I like to give my lager yeast a strong start so I always try and start towards the middle of the optimum temp range. Even after hydrating it will take awhile to get going at a nominal temp. You could try and pitch at 45 then warm it up to 53 but I would be worried about too long of a lag time. YMMV. In any event make sure you aerate extremely well and make sure your sanitization is good and the long lag time won't be a big deal.

One last thing. Don't worry about the layer of foam on the yeast, it's normal.
 
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Bluelinebrewer

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I like to give my lager yeast a strong start so I always try and start towards the middle of the optimum temp range. Even after hydrating it will take awhile to get going at a nominal temp. You could try and pitch at 45 then warm it up to 53 but I would be worried about too long of a lag time. YMMV. In any event make sure you aerate extremely well and make sure your sanitization is good and the long lag time won't be a big deal.

One last thing. Don't worry about the layer of foam on the yeast, it's normal.
Great! Thanks for the info!!
 

TrustyOlJohnson

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Your tecnique looks good. I hydrated 2 packs in a similiar way and pitched into a 48 degree all grain Schwarzbier. I really enjoyed the results!!
 

dcp27

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Your plan/process sounds good, but personally I'd keep it a few degrees colder. I've never had much of a lag time with W34/70 and I always pitch around 45F and hold around 48F, without rehydrating. Generaly hit FG within a week. Great yeast!
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Your plan/process sounds good, but personally I'd keep it a few degrees colder. I've never had much of a lag time with W34/70 and I always pitch around 45F and hold around 48F, without rehydrating. Generaly hit FG within a week. Great yeast!
The two I've done with Saflager 34/70 were pitched at 43 and 45 and let to free rise, fermented at 49, and both took off within 48 hours and fermented strong to the expected FG.
 
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Bluelinebrewer

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Well, I pitched earlier and set the temp on the ferm chamber to 53℉. I would guess in about 24 hrs, it'll be up to that. I went with 53℉ because Fermentis states that that is the optimal temp. Guess we'll see how it goes! :)
 

Kiichi

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I read in another thread citing something scientific which I do not quite recall that you should actually rehydrate the yeast at about 100 degrees (+-5 I think) to get optimal revitaliastion. At that temp you are supposed to get best rebuilding of the walls.
Sounded all very plausible and was supported by other people.

I certainly will try that with my next brew.
 
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Bluelinebrewer

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I read in another thread citing something scientific which I do not quite recall that you should actually rehydrate the yeast at about 100 degrees (+-5 I think) to get optimal revitaliastion. At that temp you are supposed to get best rebuilding of the walls.
Sounded all very plausible and was supported by other people.

I certainly will try that with my next brew.
Yeah, I kind of wondered about that as well. But, I just went with what Fermentis recommended, so hopefully it'll all work out!
 

betarhoalphadelta

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I read in another thread citing something scientific which I do not quite recall that you should actually rehydrate the yeast at about 100 degrees (+-5 I think) to get optimal revitaliastion. At that temp you are supposed to get best rebuilding of the walls.
Sounded all very plausible and was supported by other people.

I certainly will try that with my next brew.
I have read something similar that IIRC actually tracked cell counts or lag times (not sure which), but which definitely suggested 100 deg was the way to go.

However, the Mangrove Jack's instructions (and I'm not sure if this is similar for Fermentis) do *not* state this for lager yeast. It suggests somewhere around 65-75 (working from memory here, might be off a tad) for lager yeast.

That said, I followed the Mangrove Jack's instructions and had a 92 hour lag time, and when I've used SafLager 34/70 I pitched directly into the wort without rehydration and had <48 hour lag.

So take it FWIW...
 

beersk

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I rehydrate most of my dry yeast at around 90 degrees and it works out pretty well. I've also done the chill the wort in the fridge as well as the rehydrated yeast thing and it works great. 34/70 is a great yeast. Clean, doesn't produce diacetyl, ferments well at low temps, very easy to use...I fermented a helles at 48 recently and it went pretty strong and came down to 1.012. Perfect. Lag times are usually around 24 hours with 2 minutes of pure O2 and 2 packets of rehydrated yeast pitched a couple degrees under my planned fermentation temperature.
 

osagedr

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The only concern I have is that it was a long time between rehydrating and pitching. Normally I wouldn't worry but everything is trickier with lagers. Keep us posted about how it turns out; I'm curious to see how things go in the last 10 SG points of fermentation.

I have used W-34/70 and its liquid equivalent WY2124 many times. It is a yeast strain that can handle the cold (45 or even lower) pretty well, especially if you pitch massive. There is generally no need to go quite that cold but it still works down there. I currently have it fermenting a faux pilsner around 47 (split batch with WY2247).
 

Virtus

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I will borrow these thread. I pitched 250g w34/70 at 58 fahrenheit wort 200L. After one week i get strange smell like oxidation, but at the end beer is fine but these smell is stil present. It is strange that i smell oxidation in a primary... is it possible that these smell is because of acetaldehyde? I also ramp temp from 58 to 65 degrees forth day of fermentation for one week. Thanks
 

UnrulyGentleman

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Reviving this thread because I stumbled upon it in a mad dash to see how much trouble I’m in. First time brewing a German Lager and using 34/70. All-grain, 5 gallon batch with a low-ish OG of 1.036. Cooled wort to 50F and pitched two packets of 34/70, not rehydrated and at room temperature (gasp!) straight for the packets. Sanitation was on/point though, I can assure you of that. That was Saturday. Now on Tuesday, 72 hours later, my Tilt Hydrometer is indicating no activity outside of about 1 or 2 gravity points dropped which I consider within its margin of error. How much trouble am I in?
 

duncan.brown

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Now on Tuesday, 72 hours later, my Tilt Hydrometer is indicating no activity outside of about 1 or 2 gravity points dropped which I consider within its margin of error. How much trouble am I in?
34/70 straight from the packed is notorious for long lag times at cooler temperatures. Here are the gravity readings from the last two 34/70 lagers I did (these are relative low OG beers). I wouldn't say you're in trouble yet. It supposedly has shorter lag times in subsequent generations, but I haven't tried re-pitching it yet as the dry yeast is so easy and cheap to keep on hand.

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 7.06.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 7.06.43 PM.png
 

Beermeister32

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34/70 is a great yeast and will take off and finish. I didn't see that the wort was oxygenated, make sure you do that before pitching the yeast. I usually build what I'd call a quick starter when using 34/70. While sources will tell you this is not necessary, I have found it useful in bigger lagers such as my recent 1.070 Oktoberfest.

To do the quickie starter, pull some hopped wort from your brew kettle near the end of boil into a sanitized 2 liter erlenmeyer flask. It is better to use hopped wort to protect the starter from possible stray bacteria infections. You can chill it down with pre-boiled and refrigerated brew water or use a chill bath. In either case, water it back to about half strength, 1.035 in this case. Use some nutrient and put it on a stir plate. I refrigerate the carboy down to 45-48F degrees before pitching, depending on the beer style, then ferment at 50F. I wanted a huge amount of yeast for the big Oktoberfest, so I used 3 dry packs in the flask, ran it for a day on the stir plate while the wort is cooling. I then transfer the starter flask to the wort chamber to settle out and equalize with the wort temperature to avoid yeast shock. Decant off the starter beer, and oxygenate the wort for 2 minutes. Really works great, you will produce a ton of yeast which helps produce a clean lager fermentation on big beers without yeast-generation induced off flavors or flavor drift.
 
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duncan.brown

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Normally, I normally oxygenate the crap out of my lagers but Lallemand claims that you don't need to oxygenate when direct pitching dry yeast into low-gravity wort:

Should I oxygenate my wort?
Our yeast contains adequate reserves of carbohydrates and unsaturated fatty acids to achieve active growth. It is unnecessary to aerate wort upon first use.
However, in high gravity wort (>16 Plato), some oxygenation would be beneficial in order to promote the synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and sterols, which leads to new membrane cell formation. If oxygenation is not possible, then increase the pitch rate for high gravity worts to ensure an adequate population of fermenting cells.

They also say that rehydration is option for if the wort gravity is below 1.065 SG. I've been following this advice recently (and did with the above two batches) and both beers turned out great. I might try @Beermeister32's quick starter method next time to see if it shortens the lag and has any impact on flavor.
 
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