Author Topic: Lager starter and krausen.  (Read 1335 times)

Offline gmac

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Lager starter and krausen.
« on: April 04, 2014, 02:43:00 AM »
I had two vials of WLP833, one that was past the due date and one that was getting close. I pitched them both into a 1.5L starter of 1.035 OG wort. They took a while to show any evidence of fermentation on the stir plate but I crashed it yesterday, decanted after a few hours and then added a second dose of wort at the same concentration. I was thinking of doing this 3 times to get it built up to a reasonable amount.

But this second one is showing no sign of activity. Could it be possible that when I decanted I dumped the good yeast and the dead yeast from the vials was what dropped out first?  Or, do lagers normally show very little activity. I know they start slower but I expected this to take off faster since it was already active? 

I will check the wort tomorrow to see if it tastes sweet still and maybe check it with a refractometer to see if it had dropped much. I know it's not exact once it's fermented but it should give me a feeling of progress.


Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Lager starter and krausen.
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 06:34:58 AM »
It's hard to say.  Decanting after only a few hours could have been the problem, did it drop clear in that time?

The dead yeast will drop out first, that's for sure.  I would have expected the next round to start faster, but activity with lager yeast can be hard to judge.  I think you're doing about the only thing you can do right now, I hope it works out.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gmac

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Re: Lager starter and krausen.
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 01:21:11 PM »
It's hard to say.  Decanting after only a few hours could have been the problem, did it drop clear in that
The dead yeast will drop out first, that's for sure.  I would have expected the next round to start faster, but activity with lager yeast can be hard to judge.  I think you're doing about the only thing you can do right now, I hope it works out.

It wasn't crystal clear but it had dropped a lot. It was about 6 hrs in the fridge.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lager starter and krausen.
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 06:58:04 PM »
For lagers, I typically make a small batch (2 gallons lightly hopped) to step up beers, because I have found that the lager yeast doesn't drop clear quickly in starters and I am impatient with starters.  Beer that I will drink, on the other hand, I will be plenty patient with....

Good luck with the lager - 833 is a good one for German beers, especially bocks.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline gmac

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Re: Lager starter and krausen.
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 08:23:52 PM »
Thanks guys. I pitched it and saw activity in under 12 hrs and big action in 24 so I hope I had enough but it looks good.
Bock planned for this yeast right after this is done, weather permitting. Need the garage to stay cold for a bit longer.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Lager starter and krausen.
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 09:38:54 PM »
Thanks guys. I pitched it and saw activity in under 12 hrs and big action in 24 so I hope I had enough but it looks good.


Sounds like you pitched enough to me!  Strong activity in that time frame doesn't say underpitching (to me).
Jon H.