Author Topic: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity  (Read 2049 times)

Offline Schnitzengiggle

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« on: July 23, 2015, 01:16:52 PM »
This is my first attempt at a lager.  I now know that I under pitched my 5 gal batch.  OG was sitting at 1.058 and I pitched one vile of WLP820 Oktoberfest/Märzen Lager Yeast.  I did not use a starter, and it was added to the wort at 75F.  After adding the yeast it went into my frig at 58F.  So I am 4 days into fermenting, and there is no visible krausen, or airlock activity.  I do not have a thief at this point so I can't take a reading.  Might pick one up this weekend.  I'm wondering if I should add another vile, or just wait it out?  Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
There’s some sort of weird chemical reaction that happens when you combine cat food, beer, and glue. It makes you feel like extemely sick and tired and you’re able to fall asleep.
— Charlie Kelly

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3224
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 01:23:13 PM »
WLP820 is a crap yeast that should not be sold.  There, I said it.

Seriously, WLP820 is known to have a very very very long lag time, and it doesn't produce a better beer than any other of the lager yeasts on the market, so.... yeah.

Pitching just one vial without a starter just made matters much much worse.  This beer might take 4-5 days to start fermenting, and by then, it might be wild yeast that does the job, not the WLP820.

My best recommendation is to immediately purchase two packets of the dry yeast called W-34/70 and throw that in.  You'll then get good fermentation within about 36 hours, and the final beer will taste great.  I guarantee it.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Butchhelm

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 01:29:07 PM »
Lagers are tough to start on..I don't think you need the thief.. you will see activity if it is happening.  If you have good sanitation, you could also run a starter and pitch that in about 15 hours time.  Look up Diy stirplate.. they are kind of fun to make.  Good luck!

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 02:01:54 PM »
WLP820 is a crap yeast that should not be sold.  There, I said it.

Seriously, WLP820 is known to have a very very very long lag time, and it doesn't produce a better beer than any other of the lager yeasts on the market, so.... yeah.

Pitching just one vial without a starter just made matters much much worse.  This beer might take 4-5 days to start fermenting, and by then, it might be wild yeast that does the job, not the WLP820.

My best recommendation is to immediately purchase two packets of the dry yeast called W-34/70 and throw that in.  You'll then get good fermentation within about 36 hours, and the final beer will taste great.  I guarantee it.

+1 on this. go get the dry yeast.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Schnitzengiggle

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2015, 02:05:02 PM »
WLP820 is a crap yeast that should not be sold.  There, I said it.

Seriously, WLP820 is known to have a very very very long lag time, and it doesn't produce a better beer than any other of the lager yeasts on the market, so.... yeah.

Pitching just one vial without a starter just made matters much much worse.  This beer might take 4-5 days to start fermenting, and by then, it might be wild yeast that does the job, not the WLP820.

My best recommendation is to immediately purchase two packets of the dry yeast called W-34/70 and throw that in.  You'll then get good fermentation within about 36 hours, and the final beer will taste great.  I guarantee it.

Thanks for the info!  My local brew store does't have the W-34/70.  They have a Brewferm Lager 12g yeast.  I'll try pitching two of them and see what happens.  I can get Saflager S-23 Lager Yeast from another brew shop if that is a better performer, but its a bit of a drive.
There’s some sort of weird chemical reaction that happens when you combine cat food, beer, and glue. It makes you feel like extemely sick and tired and you’re able to fall asleep.
— Charlie Kelly

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3224
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 02:29:34 PM »
I have never used either one of those.  However I've seen them around and read some reviews...

If I recall correctly, the S-23 is actually like a steam beer yeast, which might be okay but fruity and not very lager-like.  However I have seen some good reviews of the Brewferm Lager yeast.  Try the Brewferm and you should be in good shape, hopefully.

Let us know how she turns out!
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19379
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 03:27:37 PM »
I would advise you to run the opposite direction from S-23.  The worst beers I've ever made were with that yeast.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2015, 03:35:04 PM »
My friend uses S23 all of the time and his beers are well received. I have never used it because I like what 34/70 does for me...
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2015, 03:40:15 PM »
Look up Diy stirplate.. they are kind of fun to make.  Good luck!

OP, a stir plate is not necessary to build a healthy starter, nor does it do what most home brewers assume.  If you want a low-tech, low cost method that produces a healthy starter every time, search this forum using the term "shaken, not stirred."  The critical things that a yeast culture needs when making a starter are carbon (sugar is carbon bound to water) and oxygen.  My method meets both requirements without the shear stress that a stir plate places on the cells.

Offline Butchhelm

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 04:42:47 PM »
Oops looks like I stepped on someone's raison d'être. 

Offline Schnitzengiggle

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 05:24:38 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice!  My Wife ran down to the brew shop and they ended up having the W-34/70.  I'm going to give it s shot tonight when I get home.  When I put the yeast in should I give it a shake, or just dump and let it do its thing?
There’s some sort of weird chemical reaction that happens when you combine cat food, beer, and glue. It makes you feel like extemely sick and tired and you’re able to fall asleep.
— Charlie Kelly

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3224
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 05:38:39 PM »
Great, glad you got W-34/70.  It's a great yeast, you'll be happy with the results.

Just sprinkle it in and leave it alone.  No fancy process required with pitching dry yeast.  You can get fancy if you want, but I doubt it would add any value at all.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Schnitzengiggle

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2015, 01:11:34 AM »
Look up Diy stirplate.. they are kind of fun to make.  Good luck!

OP, a stir plate is not necessary to build a healthy starter, nor does it do what most home brewers assume.  If you want a low-tech, low cost method that produces a healthy starter every time, search this forum using the term "shaken, not stirred."  The critical things that a yeast culture needs when making a starter are carbon (sugar is carbon bound to water) and oxygen.  My method meets both requirements without the shear stress that a stir plate places on the cells.

Awesome reading!  I was starting to go the route of the DIY stir plate... I got my magnets and my fan, but I'm going to give this a shot.  This seems almost too easy...  I have a small batch kit that should work out good.  I'm guessing an airlock would work the same as leaving the cap loose?
There’s some sort of weird chemical reaction that happens when you combine cat food, beer, and glue. It makes you feel like extemely sick and tired and you’re able to fall asleep.
— Charlie Kelly

Offline Schnitzengiggle

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 12:53:38 AM »
Great, glad you got W-34/70.  It's a great yeast, you'll be happy with the results.

Just sprinkle it in and leave it alone.  No fancy process required with pitching dry yeast.  You can get fancy if you want, but I doubt it would add any value at all.

I am happy to report that I had visible fermentation with in 24 hours of adding the 34/70 yeast.  I'm around 3 to 4 days into active fermentation, and its looking and smelling good.  Especially in my first glass carboy! ;D  The diacetyl rest is new another new thing for me, and it seems like everyone has their own way of doing this.  I'm thinking by this weekend the krausen should start crashing.  Should I raise the temp at that point, or let it sit on the yeast for another week and then raise the temp?  I plan on crashing to 34 degrees for a few days and then transfer to a keg for lagering.  I'm making an Oktoberfest btw... 
There’s some sort of weird chemical reaction that happens when you combine cat food, beer, and glue. It makes you feel like extemely sick and tired and you’re able to fall asleep.
— Charlie Kelly

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Lager - No Krausen, or airlock activity
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2015, 02:15:25 AM »
Oops looks like I stepped on someone's raison d'être.

I looks like you stepped in or on something else with that comment.