Should I pitch more yeast?

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Finn

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Hi guys -- my lager has been out in the shed doing about 55 degrees for a little over a week. It really doesn't seem to be working very hard and I'm wondering if I didn't maybe pitch the yeast at a little to high a temp. This is my first lager ... how fast should it be bubbling during primary? It just seems really slow ...

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--Finn
 

Professor Frink

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Lager yeast ferments pretty slow. I'd give it more time. Why do you think you need to pitch more, have you taken a gravity reading?
 
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Finn

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Professor Frink said:
Lager yeast ferments pretty slow. I'd give it more time. Why do you think you need to pitch more, have you taken a gravity reading?
No, I was trying to avoid that ... I worried that I'd contaminate it, and wouldn't that just suck? Just being paranoid because I've never seen such a slow ferm rate. Of course, I've never fermented anything at 45 degrees F. before either. Anyway I think the best thing to do is to wait until it's done, rack it and pull a sample then. I'll worry about it then ...

Thanks!

--Finn
 

Professor Frink

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Well, if you're going to pull a sample, I'd do it before you rack, that way if you need to add some yeast you can do it in primary. I wouldn't worry about contamination, as long as your careful when you check the gravity, you should be ok.
 

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With a lager, I'd wait about 12 to 14 days before checking the sg and doing the diacetyl rest if needed before I'd even think about racking. So, you have plenty of time!
 

malkore

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If your methods are sound, there's almost zero risk of contamination when taking a hydro reading.
 

Jaeger48

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malkore said:
If your methods are sound, there's almost zero risk of contamination when taking a hydro reading.
This is where I would be concerned. When I check grav I wash my hands in bleach water and then rinse with hot. I wipe the surface of the carboy around the plug and ferm-lock with a bleach rag. My wine thief is stored in a bleach solution. I rinse it with hot water (and my pipette) and when I pull the ferm-lock's plug I always keep it in my hand- never setting it on anything. Pull the sample and then seal immediately.

Being in a coat closet (nothing above though) how open is that method to contamination?
 
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Finn

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Jaeger48 said:
This is where I would be concerned. When I check grav I wash my hands in bleach water and then rinse with hot. I wipe the surface of the carboy around the plug and ferm-lock with a bleach rag. My wine thief is stored in a bleach solution. I rinse it with hot water (and my pipette) and when I pull the ferm-lock's plug I always keep it in my hand- never setting it on anything. Pull the sample and then seal immediately.

Being in a coat closet (nothing above though) how open is that method to contamination?
Ha ha! Better than mine! My lager is currently in the shed that is the wintertime home of my two beagles and one cat. The beagles of late have been busying themselves digging after gophers all around the back forty (0.40 acres, that is), including the septic drainfield area. I bet that place is swarming with pathogens. I'm hoping lots of diligence and bleach will make it OK, but you can see why I'm reluctant to make any more incursions past the airlock than I absolutely have to ...

One thing I forgot to do this time, is use applejack in the airlock for extra protection.

I think a coat closet should be just fine, though. And after it goes into the conditioning vessel, the whole schmeer goes into the woodshop, where the dogs aren't, to hang out at 35 degrees until spring.

cheers!

--Finn
 

Nurmey

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Jaeger48 said:
This is where I would be concerned. When I check grav I wash my hands in bleach water and then rinse with hot. I wipe the surface of the carboy around the plug and ferm-lock with a bleach rag. My wine thief is stored in a bleach solution. I rinse it with hot water (and my pipette) and when I pull the ferm-lock's plug I always keep it in my hand- never setting it on anything. Pull the sample and then seal immediately.

Being in a coat closet (nothing above though) how open is that method to contamination?
Check out a no rinse sanitizer like Star San. It would greatly simplify your process as well as being a bit safer without all that rinsing off of bleach.
 

Yooper

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I just spray my stuff with some star-san that I keep in a spray bottle and use a sanitized turkey baster to pull out the sampe. I definitely don't go to any trouble at all, and don't spray my hands or anything like that. No infections yet!
 

tagz

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I'm going to jump on this thread so I don't have to start a related one. I have a pale ale that has been slowly bubbling away in the primary for five days. It had a real long lag time (24 hrs) because it was my first time using liquid yeast and I didn't propagate enough. Anyway, it started after 24 and has been bubbling slowly since (2 per minute). It started at 1.048 and today, on day six, it was 1.030. So, my question is, with the weak yeast starter how long should I expect it to take before I can transfer to secondary for dry hopping. And am I going to run into any trouble with a longer fermentation time? Oh by the way, its Wyeast 1056.
 
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