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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through October 28, 2004 * Lager Yeast Starting Temp ??? < Previous Next >

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Sean Gallagher
New Member
Username: S_f_g

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 05:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi all,

I'm new to the Digest but I have been brewing for three years now. My brother and I were brewing a Munich Dunkel last night and we were both questioning the temperature at which to start
the fermentation process.

I think White Labs says to bring the wort to around 70-75 degrees F and then to pitch your yeast which is also around 70-75 degrees F.

This is my first lager and I am under the impression that I want to get ferentation going while the temp. of the wort is around 70-75 and then move it to the fridge and lower the temp to around 55 based on the individual lager yeast.

Is this the correct procedure? Or, should I have just put the fermentor in the fridge straight away?

Thanks for you help.

Sean
 

Geoff Buschur
Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 190
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 05:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Read John Palmer's info here: http://howtobrew.com/section1/chapter10-4.html

Here is a snip:
...In other words, you will need to chill the wort down to 45 - 55 F before pitching the yeast. The yeast starter should also have been brought down to this temperature range while it was fermenting. A good way to do this is to pitch the yeast packet into a pint of wort at 60 F, let that ferment for a day, cool it 5 degrees to 55F and add another pint of aerated, cool wort. Let this also ferment for a day, and cool and pitch a third and even fourth time until you have built up 2 quarts or more of yeast starter that is comfortable at 45 -55 F. I recommend that you pour off the excess liquid and only pitch the slurry to avoid some off-flavors from that much starter beer."


(Message edited by avmech on October 18, 2004)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 849
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 05:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's a lot of disputed information about this. Some people recommend pitching lager yeast when the wort is at room temperature while others pitch at fermentation temperature (45-55 F).

My thinking is that ideally it's best to pitch at fermentation temperature, but this requires a larger population of yeast than most homebrewers can grow. You want to have activity within 24 hours of pitching but you don't want to produce the esters and fusels that can result from too high a fermentation temperature. The important temperature is that of the wort when fermentation begins.

My compromise is to chill the wort to about 60 F, aerate it very well, pitch a generous but not excessively large starter and set the fermenter in the fermentation area, usually a temperature-controlled 'fridge. By the time the liquid has cooled to the proper temperature, it has been about 12 hours and there are signs of activity. I do not notice any fusels or esters in my lagers.

As for the temperature at which to ferment the starter, I do so at room temperature. The object of a starter is to grow yeast, not make beer. There will be more reproduction at room temperature and you can pour off most of the liquid and pitch primarily the yeast sediment.

That's what works for me. You are free to experiment and find what suits you.

(Message edited by BillPierce on October 18, 2004)
 

Sean Gallagher
New Member
Username: S_f_g

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 05:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks guys.

I think I'm going to go home for lunch and move my fermentor.

Sean
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3689
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 05:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've done it both ways, and FAR prefer the results when I cool to fermentation temp before pitching.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Wykowski
Senior Member
Username: Bigearl

Post Number: 1163
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My last pils, was a fruity disaster....(after 9 months of lagering its still dumpenbrau)

letting starter ferment at 70F is the only thing I can think of that I could have done wrong (but now that i think about it I may have pitched the yeast at 70ish, then crashed it)

any thories as to avoiding such a fruity disaster ?
You remember that foul evening when you heard the banshees howl
There was lousy drunken bastards singing 'Billy is in the bowl'
They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch
So you dropped a button in the plate and spewed up in the church

 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2370
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 08:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Wykowski, switch yeasts. I recall reading in Fix's Ofest book that their are two schools of lager yeasts, one is fruity the other is sulfury. I like the sulfury. Which strain did you use? (so I can avoid it)
 

Wykowski
Senior Member
Username: Bigearl

Post Number: 1164
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 08:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

it was WLP 830 German Lager,

come to think of it, I've had better luck with Czech lager strains over German strains (does Fix relate origin to sulfer vs fruity ?)
You remember that foul evening when you heard the banshees howl
There was lousy drunken bastards singing 'Billy is in the bowl'
They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch
So you dropped a button in the plate and spewed up in the church

 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2371
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, he does say that a certain German strain (he never correlates it to any commercial strain) is the fruity one, while the Czech pils strains are the sulfury ones.

I haven't ever used WLP830. I have used WLP838 Southern German with good results. I see that the White Labs website notes it is a sulfur producer.

Sulfur good, fruit bad.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 853
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 09:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are two basic categories of lager yeast, sometimes called the Carlsberg and Tuborg strains from two of the breweries (since merged) that originally used them. The former tends to produce more sulfur (that dissipates during lagering) and finishes with more malty flavor, while the latter is slightly more fruity (usually apple) and finishes more dry. All lager strains fall into one of these two categories, with the Carlsberg strains (sulfury, malty) being more popular.