Author Topic: Lager starter question  (Read 456 times)

Offline trapae

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Lager starter question
« on: May 04, 2014, 12:33:09 PM »
I have never brewed a lager before, only ales, but my brew partner just got fermentation control low enough to do a lager.   Question is, when making a starter for a lager, can i let it sit on my stir plate at room temperature (70) for my normal 24 hours or does it have to be the ideal fermentation temperature for lager yeast?  And do I go longer than 24hrs.

Thanks
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Offline denny

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Re: Lager starter question
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 12:38:13 PM »
When you make a starter, you;re growing yeast, not making beer.  Yeats grows better at room temp, so that's what you want to do.  You'll be decanting the wort anyway, so no need to worry about any off flavors.  Have you looked into the size of starter you need for a lager?  For 5 gal. of lager, a gal. starter is kinda the rule of thumb.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Lager starter question
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 02:06:35 PM »
When you make a starter, you;re growing yeast, not making beer.  Yeats grows better at room temp, so that's what you want to do.  You'll be decanting the wort anyway, so no need to worry about any off flavors.  Have you looked into the size of starter you need for a lager?  For 5 gal. of lager, a gal. starter is kinda the rule of thumb.

in addition some lager strains are sluggish to start even at room temp, at least for me. start them earlier than you would for an ale.
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Offline trapae

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Re: Lager starter question
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 06:23:55 PM »
Thanks
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Offline beersk

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Re: Lager starter question
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 02:43:19 PM »
I like to do step up starters for the first generation of a lager yeast. So I'll do a 1qt starter, let it go a few days (shaking it occasionally), chill/decant, then pitch another 2qt wort on top and let that go a few days, chill/decant, pitch slurry into wort.
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Offline trapae

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Re: Lager starter question
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 03:55:12 PM »
Probably a dumb question, but my brain isn't connection the dots....

If I make a starter with 2 vials of liquid yeast instead of just one, do I still want my starter OG to be around 1.036?  It would seem twice the yeast would need more food.

Reason I ask is I have a 5000ml flask with stir plate.  Using the brewers friend starter tool (with White stir plate chosen), it says I need a 6.75L starter--too big.  Lager, 1.051 OG, 5.5gal, yeast date 4-7-14.
If I pitch 2 vials into the starter, it says I can meet the pitching rate with 2L.
I just don't want the yeast to be stressed not having enough sugar if I pitch 2 vials in 2L volume at 1.036.
I don't have time to do step ups.

Thanks

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Lager starter question
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 11:02:23 PM »
The way to give the yeast more food is make a larger starter, not make it stronger.  Do two vials in 2L, or even 3L if you can control the foam.  Or you can just do one vial in the starter and direct pitch the second vial.  But for best yeast health, keep the starter around 1.036.
Tom Schmidlin