FWIW, I’ve fermented several beers now with W34/70, S-189, and M54 dry lager yeast at 62 and 65*F. (Atmospheric pressure)
I did this because I wanted to pitch as soon as I cool and transfer to the fermenter. Previously I’d cool the wort as much as I could then wait until the fridge cooled it the rest of the way. For lagers, this took my 30+ yr old fermentation camber fridge overnight to get the wort into the 50(s)*F. I considered this overnight wait a risk.
I use dry yeast because my homebrew supply is a corner in a health food store. They don’t sell liquid yeast. Shipping liquid yeast to AL is a crap shoot and I’ve been the brunt of DOA liquid yeast one too many times. I’ve heard homebrewers say they keep dry yeast in reserve just in case of an emergency. Interestingly, I’ve never heard a dry yeast emergency. It’s more reliable. But I digress.
With the M54 I used 1/2 gram per liter and with S-189 I used 1 gram per liter. With W34/70 I used both 1/2g and 1g per liter in separate beers.
After cooling, I transfer half the wort to the fermenter, sprinkle the yeast on top, cover and wait ~15 min (clean something). Then, I fill the fermenter completely.
At 1/2 gram per liter the ferment had a sluggish start and seemed to struggle at the end. Same ole lager ferment.
At 1 g per liter, I experienced the fastest I’ve seen a ferment show airlock activity (regardless of yeast) and the fastest I’ve seen a lager completely finish. The 62*F vs 65*F didn’t seem to matter on start or finish.
I have improved my cooling technique so if I can get the wort cooled into the 50(s)*F, I will to see if I get the same performance at 1 g per liter.
Of course, none of this matters if the end product sux. But it doesn’t. It’s good beer with no weird esters or any other off flavor that would indicate these are anything short of a clean crisp lager.
However, if I can cool my wort into the 50(s)*F so I can pitch 1 g per liter, and if I get the same start and finish performance, I’ll probably do that. If I can’t cool it enough, or it’s sluggish, I’ll go with 62*F.
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