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Unusual Lager Start of Fermentation

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hopfenundmalz:
This has happened twice, once on a CAP with WLP833, and now with a Munich Helles with the WLP835 X strain. The wort has been chilled to 45F, pumped into the conical, O2 added and the yeast pitched. On the Helles I waited for about 5 hours for the trub to settle, dumped a pint, and then shot the O2 and pitched the yeast from 6L of starter. The lag time was getting to be long, no signs of activity.

So after about 40 hours I put 2 PSI of CO2 on the bottom port, and cracked the valve to blow the Yeast off the bottom. Fermentation was evident, and it has kept going at an active rate for a lager.

I assume that the yeast were all on the bottom. They had been going through the lag phase, but were not dispersed in the wort. What does everyone think?

The CAP last year turned out fine. I think the Helles will be OK to.

davidgzach:
Jeff,

Sounds like you have it figured out.  They were active, just not dispersed.  I'd be happy to test the Helles out for you to make sure it's OK.... ;)

Dave

jackhorzempa:
“They were active, just not dispersed.” I just can’t wrap my head around this.

How can a yeast be active but not dispersed?

I have made many batches of lagers (70+) and they have all started in less than 24 hours; a typical lager show signs of fermentation in about 8-10 hours.

I should provide a caveat that I do not follow the ‘traditional’ method of yeast pitching for a lager:

•   I pitch the entire content of the yeast starter at high krausen
•   I pitch at temperature greater than 45°F; for my last lager (a CAP) I pitched at 57°F. Over an 18 - 24 hour period I had the primary down to 50°F.

I should also mention that I grow my lager starters at cool temperatures: 58-60°F.

My overall philosophy for yeast pitching (both ales and lagers) is to pitch plenty of healthy and growing yeast cells. It is my opinion that healthy, growing yeast cells are just as important to getting a healthy fermentation going as the metric of yeast cell count.

Cheers!

davidgzach:

--- Quote from: jackhorzempa on February 11, 2013, 12:42:20 PM ---“They were active, just not dispersed.” I just can’t wrap my head around this.

How can a yeast be active but not dispersed?

I have made many batches of lagers (70+) and they have all started in less than 24 hours; a typical lager show signs of fermentation in about 8-10 hours.

I should provide a caveat that I do not follow the ‘traditional’ method of yeast pitching for a lager:

•   I pitch the entire content of the yeast starter at high krausen
•   I pitch at temperature greater than 45°F; for my last lager (a CAP) I pitched at 57°F. Over an 18 - 24 hour period I had the primary down to 50°F.

I should also mention that I grow my lager starters at cool temperatures: 58-60°F.

My overall philosophy for yeast pitching (both ales and lagers) is to pitch plenty of healthy and growing yeast cells. It is my opinion that healthy, growing yeast cells are just as important to getting a healthy fermentation going as the metric of yeast cell count.

Cheers!

--- End quote ---

Pitching from a crash cooled and decated starter is definitely going to be different than your experience.  The thought is that the yeast were all on the bottom, in lag phase.  They were actively reproducing but not dispersed in the beer as in high Krausen.

Jeff, correct me if I am mistaken.

Dave

hopfenundmalz:
Dave, That, and the yeast can get caught up with the trub. Have read that the Germans will let the trub settle out in a settling tank for 24, rack of the trub to the primary fermenter, and then pitch.

Jack. I do the starters in the basement, about 60-62F. If you think about 6L for 10 gallons, that is a lot of liquid that is not the same as the beer you are making going in. I pitch cold to minimize the VDK production. The yeast fired off immediately after they were blown off the bottom with CO2, with a bubble going through the airlock every second, and are still going along nicely at ~49F.

Yeah, my lagers usually get going fairly quick. This has happened twice. I think next time I will wait 24 hours, dump the trub, and then add theO2 and pitch the yeast.

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