Author Topic: starter for dry lager yeast?  (Read 1396 times)

Offline goschman

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starter for dry lager yeast?
« on: November 10, 2014, 08:12:45 PM »
Planning to brew my first lager with Saflager W-34/70 soon. Should I make a starter using one packet or just pitch multiple packets?
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 08:21:59 PM »
It's up to you.  Personally I'd just pitch about 2 packs per 5 gallons and call it good.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 09:13:40 PM »
I am currently pouring (not like right this moment, but at home, when I'm pouring a beer) a marzen brewed with two packs per 5 gallons of this yeast and it's excellent. making a starter large enough for a lager batch has always seemed like a PITA to me so I either get slurry from the local brewery or use dry.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 09:29:22 PM »
When you rehydrate the dry yeast for your lagers do you allow it chill down to your lager pitching temps (48-50F) or do you just pitch warm into your chilled wort?  I have always thought that pitching warm yeast into your chilled wort would shock them a bit.  Just curious what your methods are....

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 10:00:10 PM »
When you rehydrate the dry yeast for your lagers do you allow it chill down to your lager pitching temps (48-50F) or do you just pitch warm into your chilled wort?  I have always thought that pitching warm yeast into your chilled wort would shock them a bit.  Just curious what your methods are....

I'm sure it's a bit of a shock but I'm not sure it matters in the long run. you could also temper the yeast by adding small amounts of cooled wort to the rehydrated yeast to bring them to equilibrium faster if you are concerned.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 01:16:44 AM »
If you make a a starter with dry yeast you could be doing more harm than good unless you make a really big starter. Dry yeast is supposed to be dried with the yeast glycogen reserves stored up, and if the starter is too small you may cause the yeast to use their glycogen reserves and there may not be enough wort/nutrients for the yeast to build them back up again. So the best bet is to just pitch multiple packets. I'm in the rehydration camp finally. And I recommend chilling the rehydrated yeast down close to your pitching temp to avoid shock.

Offline erockrph

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 04:06:26 AM »
A few minutes ago I just tapped a keg of doppelbock brewed with 34/70 and it is one of the best beers I've ever brewed. I used one packet (rehydrated) in 3 gallons of 1.073 wort. No starter needed.
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Offline mblanks2

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 10:29:33 AM »
I use 34/70 quite allot. 2 packs per 5 gallons rehydrated and chilled to fermentation temp of 50*F - 52*F with wort at same or slightly lower temp. Have had no issues with this process.

Offline goschman

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 02:43:51 PM »
A few minutes ago I just tapped a keg of doppelbock brewed with 34/70 and it is one of the best beers I've ever brewed. I used one packet (rehydrated) in 3 gallons of 1.073 wort. No starter needed.

I leaning toward a Schwarzbier or something similar. Do you think I can get away with 1 rehydrated packet for 5 gallons around 1.050 or so? I guess I just need to run the numbers. I will have to order another packet because my LHBS overcharges... EDIT- Mr Malty calls for 1.8 packets so I suppose I should pitch 2 and not worry about it like everyone has said.

Now I just need a decent Schwarzbier recipe...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 02:57:54 PM by goschman »
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 04:31:53 PM »
I would rather slightly overpitch than underpitch in a lager. If you reuse that yeast a few times you'll get the cost on those packets so low the cost of the second packet won't matter.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 12:04:25 AM »
So are people rehydrating dry lager yeast in warm water (as usual), letting it sit for 15 min or so, then cooling to 50F (maybe tempering with chilled wort) before pitching into chilled wort?  Or just rehydrating with cool water around 50F pitching temps?

Offline erockrph

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 02:04:09 AM »
So are people rehydrating dry lager yeast in warm water (as usual), letting it sit for 15 min or so, then cooling to 50F (maybe tempering with chilled wort) before pitching into chilled wort?  Or just rehydrating with cool water around 50F pitching temps?
I'm just rehydrating, then pitching into cooled wort. By the time it's ready to pitch it's close enough to room temp that I'm not worried about the temperature difference with the cooled wort.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 02:06:20 AM »
I would rather slightly overpitch than underpitch in a lager. If you reuse that yeast a few times you'll get the cost on those packets so low the cost of the second packet won't matter.

+1 - the only reason I only pitched 1 pack into my dopplebock was because that's all I had on hand. That's why I rehydrated, too - I knew I was on the low end of my cell count range. If everything was planned out better, I would have sprinkled 2 packets without hydrating.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: starter for dry lager yeast?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 02:41:27 AM »
In my experience one sachet of rehydrated, then chilled 34/70 is fine with a five gallon batch of small lager (1.044 or so), which I tend to make a lot.  All yeasts seem to prefer starting below the fermentation temperature then allow them to rise into the zone.  I brew 10 gallon batches and have great results with 2 sachets at low OG.  The second gen, I use Mr Malty and find that it is recommending typically to pitch about 340 ml per 10 gallon batch - it is typically a little less than half of the collected slurry from a prior ten gallon batch.

When making a starter from liquid yeast, I tend to make a 1500 ml starter, run it out then chill and decant and add another 1500 ml of cooled starter wort and spin it up again. YMMV, of course!
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