Author Topic: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?  (Read 2019 times)

Offline Philbrew

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How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« on: March 10, 2015, 11:15:18 PM »
I want to brew two 6 gal. lagers.  A pils and a schwarzbier.  I made up 6 L. of DME starter and pitched 2 nicely puffy smacks of WY 2124 Boh Lager around noon today.  Yeast and wort at 60 F.  Split it up between 6 one gal. jugs and shook the hell out of them.  They are in the temp controlled fridge at 60* +-2* (caps loose). 
When can I expect to brew the beers?  When should I start reducing temp to 48-50 F ?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 12:41:59 PM »
as I understand it you should pitch when they are at or near high krausen so sometime around midnight tonight.
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Offline narcout

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 04:49:20 PM »
I don't know that I would pitch 3 liters of starter wort into a 6 gallon batch of beer.

Personally, I'd crash them in the fridge when they hit high krausen (if I happened to be around at the time), let the yeast settle out of suspension, decant the liquid, and pitch just the yeast.

If I was asleep or at work when they hit high krausen, I'd just crash them in the fridge as soon thereafter as I was able.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 05:07:13 PM »
I don't know that I would pitch 3 liters of starter wort into a 6 gallon batch of beer.

Personally, I'd crash them in the fridge when they hit high krausen (if I happened to be around at the time), let the yeast settle out of suspension, decant the liquid, and pitch just the yeast.

If I was asleep or at work when they hit high krausen, I'd just crash them in the fridge as soon thereafter as I was able.

I had 2 lager starters for a Helles, and put them in the fridge at high Krausen. Guess what, when I opened the fridge they were still going strong! I didn't want 4 liters of unhopped weaker wort in my Helles, so I put them back out warm till they finished, crashed, and chilled the Helles wort to 39F for 2 days. Pitched the crashed yeast and all seemed to work well.
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Offline narcout

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 06:19:09 PM »
I didn't want 4 liters of unhopped weaker wort in my Helles, so I put them back out warm till they finished, crashed, and chilled the Helles wort to 39F for 2 days. Pitched the crashed yeast and all seemed to work well.

Yeah, I've been letting my starters ferment to completion and then crashing and decanting for years, and it has always worked very, very well for me.  Crashing at high krausen is something I just started experimenting with.   
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 07:47:56 PM »
Another question:  What should high krausen look like on a lager starter at 60*?   Also, how long might it last?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 12:07:19 AM »
I didn't want 4 liters of unhopped weaker wort in my Helles, so I put them back out warm till they finished, crashed, and chilled the Helles wort to 39F for 2 days. Pitched the crashed yeast and all seemed to work well.

Yeah, I've been letting my starters ferment to completion and then crashing and decanting for years, and it has always worked very, very well for me.  Crashing at high krausen is something I just started experimenting with.
It should work great for ale yeast, my experience with a lager stain the fridge was not so good. Maybe a chest freezer at 30F would be better.
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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 01:19:54 AM »
I do not crash shaken starters.  However, then again, I never go beyond a liter for a 5 to 6-gallon batch of ale or lager.  Growth is exponential, not linear.  The difference between a 1L starter and a 2L starter is one replication period.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 01:41:59 AM »
I do not crash shaken starters.  However, then again, I never go beyond a liter for a 5 to 6-gallon batch of ale or lager.  Growth is exponential, not linear.  The difference between a 1L starter and a 2L starter is one replication period.
I pitched the yeast to the starter 30 hrs ago and it doesn't look like it's near high krausen yet.  What would likely be the time of a replication period for a lager yeast at 60*F ? 
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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 03:33:09 AM »
I pitched the yeast to the starter 30 hrs ago and it doesn't look like it's near high krausen yet.  What would likely be the time of a replication period for a lager yeast at 60*F ?

No, the replication period is the amount of time that it takes for a yeast culture to double cell count-wise.  Under ideal conditions, the cell count doubles every 90 minutes after the lag phase has been exited.   Doubling time increases as temperature decreases.

Sixty degrees  Fahrenheit is way too cold for a starter.  That's why your starters are taking forever to reach high krausen.   Starters should be incubated at 25C/77F (i.e., room temperature), regardless of yeast species (ale and lager yeast strains are different yeast species).  The goal of a starter is to increase yeast biomass, not make beer.



Offline Philbrew

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 04:03:33 AM »
I pitched the yeast to the starter 30 hrs ago and it doesn't look like it's near high krausen yet.  What would likely be the time of a replication period for a lager yeast at 60*F ?

No, the replication period is the amount of time that it takes for a yeast culture to double cell count-wise.  Under ideal conditions, the cell count doubles every 90 minutes after the lag phase has been exited.   Doubling time increases as temperature decreases.

Sixty degrees  Fahrenheit is way too cold for a starter.  That's why your starters are taking forever to reach high krausen.   Starters should be incubated at 25C/77F (i.e., room temperature), regardless of yeast species (ale and lager yeast strains are different yeast species).  The goal of a starter is to increase yeast biomass, not make beer.
Thanks, I very much appreciate your input.  So, I should get those jugs of starter out of the fridge and let them warm up to 72+ to reach high krausen.  Then cool to 48-50 to pitch in the main wort.  Correct?
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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2015, 02:34:38 PM »
Thanks, I very much appreciate your input.  So, I should get those jugs of starter out of the fridge and let them warm up to 72+ to reach high krausen.  Then cool to 48-50 to pitch in the main wort.  Correct?

I would try dropping the temperature down to just above freezing from 77F.  The yeast cells should sediment if the temperature drops quickly enough and the culture is a Frohberg strain such as W-34/70 (Saaz-type strains may not settle due to their improved cold tolerance).  The culture should be left at this temperature until you are ready to decant the supernatant (the clear liquid that lies above the solids).  The supernatant should be decanted immediately upon removing the culture from the refrigerator; otherwise, the yeast cells will go back into suspension.

Most brewing yeast cultures are NewFlo flocculation strains (FLO is the name for the family of genes that control flocculation).  NewFlo flocculation is inhibited by the presence mannose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, and maltotriose.   Hence, most brewing strains will not remain sedimented until all of these sugars have been consumed or have reached a genetically encoded level.

All of the sugars encountered in brewing are multiples of CH2O (carbon hydrate or carbohydrate). Mannose and glucose are monosaccharides that belong to a family of sugars known as hexoses because they contain six carbon atoms.  All of the hexoses have the same chemical formula; namely, C6H12O6

Maltose and sucrose are disaccharides that consist of two hexoses bound by what is known as a glycosidic bond.  We lose one water molecule for every glycosidic bond; hence, the chemical formula for maltose and sucrose is C12H22O11, not C12H24O12. Maltose consists of two glucose molecules bound by a glycosidic bond.  Sucrose consists of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule bound by a glycosidic bond.

Maltrotriose belongs to a class of sugars known as trisaccharides.  Trisaccharides consist of three monosaccharide molecules bound by two glycosidic bonds.  In the case of maltotriose, it is made up of three glucose molecules bound by two glycosidic bounds.  The chemical formula for maltotriose is C18H32O16.

By the way, there are non-NewFlo brewing strains, but they are outnumbered by the NewFlo strains by a large margin.  The non-NewFlo strains belong to the Flo1 family.   These strains are inhibited by the presence of mannose.  As Martin covered in his recent article, flocculation is dependent on calcium (Ca2+) ions.  That's because the substance on the surface of yeast cells that causes them to stick together is a lectin-like protein that is encoded to recognize sugars. Lectins require Ca2+ for binding activity.





« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 08:11:30 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline Philbrew

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2015, 05:01:20 AM »
I don't know that I would pitch 3 liters of starter wort into a 6 gallon batch of beer.
I don't want to sound snarky but that's what the silly yeast calculators call for.  In fact they want 4 L !
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2015, 05:21:50 AM »
Thanks, I very much appreciate your input.  So, I should get those jugs of starter out of the fridge and let them warm up to 72+ to reach high krausen.  Then cool to 48-50 to pitch in the main wort.  Correct?

I would try dropping the temperature down to just above freezing from 77F.  The yeast cells should sediment if the temperature drops quickly enough and the culture is a Frohberg strain such as W-34/70 (Saaz-type strains may not settle due to their improved cold tolerance).  The culture should be left at this temperature until you are ready to decant the supernatant (the clear liquid that lies above the solids).  The supernatant should be decanted immediately upon removing the culture from the refrigerator; otherwise, the yeast cells will go back into suspension.
Well...here's what I did.
I took the 6 jugs of starter out of the fridge and let them warm up overnight.  In the morning they looked like they had reached high krausen earlier but were still cooking along.  I did a taste test and the beer tasted quite good, albeit un-hopped.
Since it's against my religion to throw out perfectly good beer, I brewed up my worts as planned, swirled the jugs and pitched the whole shebang. :)
I'll report back on how they turn out.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 05:27:21 AM by Philbrew »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: How long for a Shaken-not-Stirred lager starter?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2015, 03:45:04 PM »
I am interested to hear your results. I think one of the big reasons that so many brewers are hesitant to pitch the full volume of a rather large starter is because for a fully-attenuated/finished/flocculated stirplate starter there is a large risk for oxidation in the starter beer. I have to believe that the risk for oxidation is minimal for a shaken-not-stirred starter pitched at high krausen, because the yeast are still working and there is not a continuous introduction of O2.

You said that the starter beer tasted good, so right there that tells me that you are in good shape. Keep us posted!
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