Author Topic: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?  (Read 1452 times)

Offline dhacker

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« on: August 30, 2010, 10:49:57 AM »
Is that what you folks do?
Just brew it...

Offline dak0415

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 548
  • Winston-Salem, NC
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 10:53:33 AM »
Nah, just pitch about 65, O2 and throw it on the stir plate!
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2639
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 10:54:51 AM »
Is that what you folks do?

Haven't done lagers myself but, from reading from most others, nobody seems to worry about lager starters being at lager temps.  Since lager starters are so large, you'll be decanting off the spent "beer" and that's what higher temps would affect.
Joe

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 10:56:25 AM »
Not until I'm getting ready to pitch.  I normally put my yeast in whatever environment I'll use for fermentation the morning of my brew day.

I do all starters at room temperature, but I also pour off the spent starter wort and just pitch the yeast.  I like to make sure the starter is at the same temperature or slightly colder than the wort in the fermenter since a slight increase in temps will shock the yeast less than a slight decrease.

It's mostly a convenience thing for me; I don't want to set up a stir plate in my fridge.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline dhacker

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 11:02:38 AM »
Not until I'm getting ready to pitch.  I normally put my yeast in whatever environment I'll use for fermentation the morning of my brew day.

I do all starters at room temperature, but I also pour off the spent starter wort and just pitch the yeast.  I like to make sure the starter is at the same temperature or slightly colder than the wort in the fermenter since a slight increase in temps will shock the yeast less than a slight decrease.

It's mostly a convenience thing for me; I don't want to set up a stir plate in my fridge.

See . . that's the thing. I haven't done a lager since I've had my two stir plates and wasn't sure about rigging up something to use them in the ferment chamber . . I wanted to use the stir plates, but not in the ferment chamber. I've typically done my lager starters at the same temp I'd do my main ferment . . still decanting the liquid.

Always wondered if the lager yeast cell properties were different somehow after a warm ferment such as ambient room temp.
Just brew it...

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 11:06:13 AM »
I ferment my lager starters between 60 and 70 depending on the ambient temp of my cellar at that particular time.
There's no need to ferment the starter at lager temps as I decant the beer and only pitch the slurry.

I also cold crash the starter the day prior to brewing to allow everything to drop out.  I will then warm it as Gordon has indicated to slightly below pitching temps.  This allows the yeast to come into a slightly warmer environment and waking them in preparation for the battle that lies ahead.
Ron Price

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 11:07:27 AM »
Make a double batch and try it both ways.  See if you can detect a difference.

It's not like the lager yeast are going to morph into ale yeast in one generation. Cool them down before you pitch and they'll get happy quickly in their new home.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8197
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 11:15:44 AM »
Always wondered if the lager yeast cell properties were different somehow after a warm ferment such as ambient room temp.
Yes, the cell properties will be different in the ratios of the different fatty acids in the cell membrane.  The ratios vary with temperature to maintain the proper flexibility.

But I've never heard of it affecting the flavor of the beer, which is probably what you were asking about. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dhacker

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 11:34:39 AM »
But I've never heard of it affecting the flavor of the beer, which is probably what you were asking about. :)


Mind reader!  :D
Just brew it...

Offline dak0415

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 548
  • Winston-Salem, NC
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 12:43:16 PM »
Tom is to yeast as Kai is to mash chemistry :D
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!

Offline chezteth

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 07:09:36 PM »
Not until I'm getting ready to pitch.  I normally put my yeast in whatever environment I'll use for fermentation the morning of my brew day.

I do all starters at room temperature, but I also pour off the spent starter wort and just pitch the yeast.  I like to make sure the starter is at the same temperature or slightly colder than the wort in the fermenter since a slight increase in temps will shock the yeast less than a slight decrease.

It's mostly a convenience thing for me; I don't want to set up a stir plate in my fridge.

+1 to this method.  I like to do this as well.

Brandon

Offline hiroller173

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2010, 11:31:12 AM »
I try to do everything at fermentation temp.  Only problem is that I need to prepare a few days earlier so that the starter is ready by brewday.  I use my stirplate in my fermentation fridge with no problems.  I chill the starter down to refrigerator temperature and decant most of the liquid.

Does it matter?  No idea, but my lagers come out really clean.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8085
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2010, 04:21:13 PM »
Greg Noonan once told me to ferment my lager starters at fermentation temp. But, I have to admit, I have tried it both ways and don't seem to notice a difference. You are growing yeast, not making beer. Like Gordon said - it ain't gonna morph into ale yeast in one gen. Theoretically you are selecting the warmer fermenting yeast. But, OTOH, its not like the colder fermenting strains are sitting there doing nothing the whole time.
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2010, 06:10:44 PM »
That brings up a good point.  How many generations will it take to transform a lager yeast into thinking it's an ale yeast?
Not that yeast has a memory per say but over the generations will it climatize itself to growing in an ale temp environment and react negatively in a lager temp environment? 

Inquiring minds want to know?  :-\
Ron Price

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8085
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Lager Starters at Lager Temps?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2010, 06:54:11 PM »
Lots ;)
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.