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WTF is Up with Saflager W34/70?

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Evan!

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For dry yeast, I usually use S-23. But when I saw the W34/70 on AHS, I thought I'd try it. For my first try with this strain, I made a simple pils. Rehydrated it the day of the brew. Pitched around 60f. Chilled the wort to 54 (optimal). 48 hours later, no activity. Heated it up to 60f (which has worked before on lagers with lots of lag, or LLL's) and a day later there was finally the beginnings of a krausen appearing. Here we are, today, at 5 days post-pitch, and there's a very thin layer of foam. There's positive pressure on the airlock, and a bubble maybe every 10 seconds - not exactly a vigorous fermentation - and while the freezer is set to 54, the carboy temp is 60, indicating aerobic activity.

But damn, is it ever slow. I've never seen a lager do this before...most of my lagers are done in under a week, and bubble merrily along like ales. So:

  • Has anyone else used the W34/70?
  • Is this typical for it?
  • Is this situation more typical for lagers than my previous experiences were (I've only done 4 or 5 lagers in my day)? I know a lot of people have lagers that take 2 weeks to ferment, so maybe this is actually normal...?

Thanks!
 

Pangea

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I'm responding to this several month old thread because I'm experiencing the same thing. I brewed my first lager 12 days ago and used 34/70. Again, my first lager so I didnt know if what I was seeing is normal or not. I posted in another thread to ask if anyone had any experience with 34/70 or lager yeasts behaving like this.

What I'm seeing is exactly like you describe - very slow looking fermentation. Definite signs of fermentation, but slow. Very little krausen or just a thin layer of foam.

So how did this one turn out??
 

Tonedef131

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I've used it a couple times, I pitched two packs and it acted as all other lagers I have made.
 

menschmaschine

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I've used it twice now and love it. I pitch 2 packs per ~5+ gallons, rehydrated per Fermentis instructions, cooled back down to ~50°F and pitched into ~50°F wort. I had early signs of fermentation both times in about 12-16 hours. Attenuation was good (~76%) on a 1.046 lager. Taste-wise, it is very similar, if not the same, as WLP-830.
 
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