Author Topic: Lager Woes  (Read 2962 times)

Offline theoman

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Lager Woes
« on: February 20, 2013, 01:54:30 AM »
It's been 2 1/2 days since I pitched Wyeast 2000 Budvar Lager yeast into my CAP and there is still no airlock activity. I pitched at around 9.5 (celsius) and let it cool to and held steady at 9. I've given the fermenter a good shake a couple times a day to no avail. I'm now letting it warm up a couple degrees to see what happens. The smack-pack was slow to act, but there was activity. Any thoughts? Be patient? Pitch a pack of SA-05 for a light corn ale?

Offline tygo

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 04:47:44 AM »
One smack pack?  What was the OG?
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 05:42:10 AM »
One smack pack?  What was the OG?

+1.  If it was one smack pack, you drastically underpitched, especially if it was a month or two old.   
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 05:52:05 AM »
You need more yeast my friend. Head over to mrmalty.com and use the pitch rate calculator there.

On a side note, lager fermentations are always slower. The lag phase takes a while as well as the growth phase - it ALL takes longer. The only thing I trust my airlock to do is keep bad stuff out of my fermenting wort, it is never an indicator of fermentation.
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Offline theoman

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 05:53:35 AM »
One smack pack?  What was the OG?

+1.  If it was one smack pack, you drastically underpitched, especially if it was a month or two old.

Really? Even with the oversize smack packs? I did a batch with a single pack of Bohemian lager and it was excellent. It's true the pack was about 4 months old, so maybe that's the issue.

This morning I put the fermenter in my 12-ish degree cellar. I ran home at lunch and it looks like there is maybe something happening. It might not be as crisp and clean as I was hoping, but maybe I'll at least get beer.

Offline theoman

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 05:55:01 AM »
You need more yeast my friend. Head over to mrmalty.com and use the pitch rate calculator there.

On a side note, lager fermentations are always slower. The lag phase takes a while as well as the growth phase - it ALL takes longer. The only thing I trust my airlock to do is keep bad stuff out of my fermenting wort, it is never an indicator of fermentation.

Good stuff. Thanks. So maybe I shouldn't have jacked up the temp just yet.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 05:26:01 PM »
Go to mrmalty.com or yeastcalc.com.  For 5.25G of a 1.050 lager you need about 368B cells for a proper pitch.  If you pitch one smack pack, you are pitching <100B cells and if it's 4 months old it can be as low as 10B cells.  Granted you can get away with this at times, especially with longer lagering periods.  But your results and time to consumption will dramatically improve and become more consistent by following the pitching rates on the websites.

Dave
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 02:59:51 AM »
Now you understand why I gave up on getting fresh yeast into Europe about a year ago. I've never gotten a fresh wyeast or white labs delivery, so it's better (for me anyway) to just get the dried stuff and do a couple starters.
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Offline theoman

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 06:43:07 AM »
I have a packet of 34/70 I'm thinking of chucking in. Opinions?

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 07:05:17 AM »
I have a packet of 34/70 I'm thinking of chucking in. Opinions?

I'd say do it. If your other pitched yeast can recover in time it should overpower the dried stuff, otherwise the dried stuff will rehydrate and at least be able to keep anything less desirable from getting in.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 12:03:40 PM »
I have a packet of 34/70 I'm thinking of chucking in. Opinions?

I'd say do it. If your other pitched yeast can recover in time it should overpower the dried stuff, otherwise the dried stuff will rehydrate and at least be able to keep anything less desirable from getting in.

+1.  Don't forget to rehydrate!
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Offline theoman

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 12:13:59 AM »
I have a packet of 34/70 I'm thinking of chucking in. Opinions?

I'd say do it. If your other pitched yeast can recover in time it should overpower the dried stuff, otherwise the dried stuff will rehydrate and at least be able to keep anything less desirable from getting in.

+1.  Don't forget to rehydrate!

So I went home after work, dumped in the yeast and then thought, "Hm, I probably should've rehydrated that." Sigh...

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 02:34:40 AM »
RDWHAHB
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 11:32:47 AM »
Dave Zach

Offline theoman

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Re: Lager Woes
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2013, 01:19:56 AM »
I'm trying to relax.

Here's the latest:
So yesterday, one week after my first pitch, I checked the gravity. The beer smells and tastes like good hopped wort, but the gravity hasn't changed. Also, it foams up with barely a bump and there's a layer of stuff on top (see pic). What's the consensus? Continue to be patient or raise the temp and throw in a packet of SA-05? Oh, the wort is resting at just above 51 degrees F.