Author Topic: Lagers stress me out!  (Read 1065 times)

Offline gmac

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Lagers stress me out!
« on: October 26, 2011, 09:28:33 AM »
I don't know why I do this to myself but I made a bock on Monday.  I used a vial of WLP833 that I had although it was old.  I added it to a 250 ml starter for several days, decanted and added 1L of wort for several days, decanted and added 4L of wort for a week, all at room temp.  I crashed this, decanted and added what appeared to be a very respectable slurry to the carboy yesterday after the beer had reached lager temp.  The thermometer in the cold room is bang on 10C (50F) so that should be fine.
But, here we are a day later and absolutely no activity apparent.  I know lagers aren't that active as compared to ales but does this seem right.

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm working from home this week so I'm checking it every hour...

Offline tygo

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 09:30:12 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn't worry yet.  Sounds like you did everything right.
Clint
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 10:14:23 AM »
I often get a 24 hour lag with ales, I wouldn't worry until 48 hours have past with a lager.
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Offline aviking427

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 10:17:53 AM »
Did you oxygenate the wort enough? If not, you might be seeing some lag there. Also,  cold wort holds more CO2 so you might not get any major activity until the beer is saturated enough with CO2, so gurgling will happen a bit later.  

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Offline weithman5

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 10:21:25 AM »
i brew lagers. often i don't ever notice any activity, then a few weeks in check the gravity and well, the yeast are munching just fine.
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Offline seajellie

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 12:33:20 PM »
To ease the stress, my lager "starter" is typically a two or three gallon starter batch of a light gravity style. If I'm really concerned about the yeast (as with WLP820, always) I'll lighten the gravity even a bit more, and allow it to start fermentation a few degrees warmer. The result may not win any competitions, but I get a couple gallons of great thirst-quenching beer, it's hardly more work than making a real starter, and I get a very healthy cake out of it.

Edit: oh right, I'm working from home too.

Offline gmac

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 02:46:26 PM »
As usual, I worried too soon.  There's a good head of krausen on the beer now and it's bubbling away.  Not near what I'm used to with ales but it's working.  Assuming this beer is good, I'll wash this yeast for the next lager so I should have an even larger pitch for the next time.
Thanks

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 04:30:43 PM »
I no longer stress when doing lagers.  If you pitch a big amount of healthy yeast, with O2, and control the temps, no worries.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 04:44:49 PM »
I think you'll gain more confidence as you get more batches under your belt. I also stressed my lager fermentations in the beginning but became more confident as I gained more experience with them.

Colder fermentations = slower fermentations.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 08:01:16 AM »
I think you'll gain more confidence as you get more batches under your belt. I also stressed my lager fermentations in the beginning but became more confident as I gained more experience with them.

Colder fermentations = slower fermentations.

And less Krausen as well.  The CO2 comes out of solution at a slower rate at lower temps.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Lagers stress me out!
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 07:05:12 AM »
If you time your batches, you could get into a cycle of pitching slurry each time (or if you are lucky enough to have a conical to harvest the slurry).  I always have plenty of yeast to pitch this way - I go up to 5 re-pitches and haven't had any problems.  Add some yeast nutrient after the second batch just to be sure.

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