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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Pi on August 17, 2011, 01:40:30 pm

Title: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: Pi on August 17, 2011, 01:40:30 pm
 Never used this strain but things appear pretty quiet in the carboy. I pitched at 55f. I did not wait for the pack to swell. It's been about 30 hours now, and I'm getting about 2 bubbles a minute. Do you think I underpitched? I also used Fermcap btw. Should I repitch or RDWHAHB?
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: blatz on August 17, 2011, 02:07:42 pm
so you did not make a starter and pitched a single pack of lager yeast?  :o

if that is true then yes, you drastically underpitched, but it sounds like you're getting  activity now so not much to do but wait it out.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: Pi on August 17, 2011, 02:50:40 pm
Thanks Paul, Experience is what you get right after you needed it. When doing a starter lager, Wyeast suggests smacking the pack at 75f and pitching after fermentation starts. Denny says he likes to pitch at lager temp. so next time i do a lager starter should i keep the starter at wha temp?
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: denny on August 17, 2011, 03:20:34 pm
Thanks Paul, Experience is what you get right after you needed it. When doing a starter lager, Wyeast suggests smacking the pack at 75f and pitching after fermentation starts. Denny says he likes to pitch at lager temp. so next time i do a lager starter should i keep the starter at wha temp?

What I do is make a starter at least a week or 2 ahead.  For 5 gal. I like to pitch the slurry from a gal. starter.  I usually do that in a couple steps.  I make the starter at room temp and let it ferment out.  Then I put kit in the fridge for a day or 2 to drop the yeast out.  On brew day, I decant off the spent wort and pitch the starter slurry directly from the fridge (while it's still cold) into wort that's a few degrees below my intended fermentation temp.  If you just pitch a pack without a starter, you're only pitching about 1/4 of the amount of yeast that you should be.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: blatz on August 17, 2011, 03:43:53 pm
what he said ^
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: majorvices on August 17, 2011, 04:05:48 pm
Yeah, you can't really make a lager by picthing at 75 degrees. You are creating esters in the beer that are un-lagerlike, not to mention creating excessive diacetyl that the yeast may not be able to reabsorb,

You shouldn't pitch any beer at 75 degrees, IMO, but you should pitch lagers at 44-48 degrees ideally. Of course, that means pitching enough yeast. Check thee pitching calculator at www.mrmalty.com to get an idea how much yeast you need for any beer.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: Pi on August 17, 2011, 09:01:36 pm
Just read the thread on "just how important is a starter". I have always had better results when pitching a starter. I have been using Hefe from a local brewery for the past year or so; getting excellent results every time. this last batch, the brewer was out of town so I went with a smack pack. Didnt even wait for it to swell.  Now it's been about 48 hours and I'm getting barely a couple bubbles. I feel like social services is gonna come knock on my door any minute and charge me with yeast abuse. Those poor little guys.
Thank you Denny and Paul for your help and insight. I picked up a stir plate today and some WLP001. Do you treat Ale starters the same way (make in advance; put in the fridge etc.)? What's a good gravity for starters? Never used a stir plate either. Anything I should know?
There's probably already discussion about this on this forum, just that I dont know where to look. or I'm just plain lazy I guess.
Also wanted to know if it's ok to use fermcap in my starter?
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: majorvices on August 17, 2011, 11:57:34 pm
Generally you want teh starter to be between 1.020 and 1.040. Stir plate is great, just be sure you have a large enough flask (check the pitching calc at www.mrmalty.com to get an idea what size starter you need for every beer). Starter for ale is generally the same as lager but your gonna want about 2.5X the amount of yeast for lager.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: Pi on August 18, 2011, 12:01:06 pm
I checked out mrmalty (excellent resource btw) and for 6 gallons of 1.062 Lager wort, with a stir plate, it says to use 2 packs/vials of culture to make 2.7L. of starter. Is it ok to use 1 pack and ramp up? Also when should I add the additional wort? Finally, is it OK to use a drop of fermcap in a gallon of starter wort?
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: blatz on August 18, 2011, 02:02:45 pm
I checked out mrmalty (excellent resource btw) and for 6 gallons of 1.062 Lager wort, with a stir plate, it says to use 2 packs/vials of culture to make 2.7L. of starter. Is it ok to use 1 pack and ramp up? Also when should I add the additional wort? Finally, is it OK to use a drop of fermcap in a gallon of starter wort?

you certainly can use 1 and step up - you'll just need to weigh the time/cost benefit of going through the steps - sometimes for me, its easier to buy 2 vials and do one starter.

I recommend doing the first step to completion (24-48 hours if using a stir plate) chilling and decanting and then adding fresh wort.  

You can kinda work backwards with the mrmalty calculator - for your 1.062 Lager you need ~520bn cells, so if you wanted to do a two step off one very fresh vial and keep the starter sizes less than 2L (I don't know what size your flasks are - making an assumption here), you'll need to grow the first step to about 275 bn cells, so your first step would be 1 vial: 1.5L starter, and the second (after crashing/decanting): 2L on the slurry.

Hope that helps.

Fermcap is okay AFAIK.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: Pi on August 18, 2011, 02:39:01 pm

Just got word I have to leave town for the weekend. I got a swollen smack pack (Lager) kept at ~48. Should I Do the 1.5L starter and leave till Sunday (on the stir plate), or wait and start my starter on sunday?

Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: denny on August 18, 2011, 02:41:21 pm
Do you treat Ale starters the same way (make in advance; put in the fridge etc.)? What's a good gravity for starters? Never used a stir plate either. Anything I should know?
There's probably already discussion about this on this forum, just that I dont know where to look. or I'm just plain lazy I guess.
Also wanted to know if it's ok to use fermcap in my starter?

Yep, same thing for ale starters, but since you don't need as much yeast I don't start them quite as early as lagers.  I shoot for a starter gravity of 1.030-35, no matter what the gravity of the beer.  And I always use Fermcap in my starters.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: majorvices on August 18, 2011, 02:55:21 pm

Just got word I have to leave town for the weekend. I got a swollen smack pack (Lager) kept at ~48. Should I Do the 1.5L starter and leave till Sunday (on the stir plate), or wait and start my starter on sunday?



It'll be fine in fridge. Or you can make it now and let it run all weekend. Only risk you run is starter throwing stirbar.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: Pi on August 25, 2011, 08:38:31 pm
OK, so I left it alone and things seem to be going ok. Been about 1.5 weeks now at 48*F and I am getting a bubble about every 8 seconds. Should I rack to another carboy, a corney keg, and/or drop the temperature? Oktoberfest is the style.
Title: Re: Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Seems sluggish
Post by: tschmidlin on August 25, 2011, 08:40:55 pm
OK, so I left it alone and things seem to be going ok. Been about 1.5 weeks now at 48*F and I am getting a bubble about every 8 seconds. Should I rack to another carboy, a corney keg, and/or drop the temperature? Oktoberfest is the style.
You should check your gravity.