help with lager yeast starter

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help with lager yeast starter

Postby bredmakr » Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:33 am

I'm trying to venture into lagering and was wondering if there is any difference in the way that a starter should be prepared for an lager vs an ale. I plan on using WYEAST 2112 Cali Lager yeast. I assume that I should use the same amount of extract for the starter as I always do, but what about the fermentation temp? Should I raise the starter in the lager temp range or the ale temp range that I am used to using? If a lager temperature should be used to make the starter what should that temperature be. Should I pitch into wort at 68F then bring down to 55-60 or pitch in wort at 55-60 and how much of a lag time should I expect with the lager starter as opposed to an ale starter which for me usually hits pitching time within 2 days for 1/2 gallon starter on a stir plate.

Thanks! - Mike
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I usually

Postby fitz » Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:20 am

I ussually start my lager yeasts at ale temps, then when they get going in the primary, I move them to the more cool lager temps. Don't try to cool too quickly, just let it fall gradually. As for the ideal temp, there are different temps for different strains of yeast. Look on the instructions or specs of the yeast you are using. Seems to me there is a site that has info on most brewing yeasts. It may be called brewrats, but I'm not sure it has been a while since I looked. I've become comfortable with the yeasts I'm using, and haven't attempted any new strains lately. I think Williams Brewing has yeast info on their site, and in their catalog too.
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Belief

Postby Freon12 » Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:10 pm

I believe the lager starter should be treated exactly like an ale starter.

What you are after is more yeast and the tempreture would only effect the flavor of the starter which would not be an issue and slow the multipling process of the strain.

I have had no ill effects from this and starters are ready in four days.(you may wish to pour off the starter wort though).

Steve.
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Yeast Temp/Attenuation Info & Pitch Temps...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:50 am

Both Wyeast and White Labs have detailed online specs for all of their strains. This is the best source for the info when using their strains.

As far as propagating starters, ale temps are fine, but always pitch into lager worts that are around 5 degrees BELOW the target fermentation temperature.

Eric
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Really?

Postby fitz » Fri Apr 25, 2003 4:42 am

You really want to pitch below the fermenting temp, and then raise it to fermenting temps? Start the starter at ale temps first, then go to colder than the lager temps?
I thought such a change in temp would stall fermentation(cold shock).
I have always started my lager at the warmest lager temp and then cooled to the lowest temp gradually. I'll give it a try the other way, and naote any differences.
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Yep...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sat Apr 26, 2003 6:05 am

Pitch 5 degrees low, place the vessel in the fridge or what ever you use set at the target temperature and the yeast (not you) will raise the temperature of the wort.

The reason that you should always pitch lager yeast at 5 degrees below the intended fermentation temperature is because that the yeast activity can potentially raise the temperature of the wort by up to 11 degrees F.

So... if you pitched at 55 deg. your wort temperature could raise as high as 66 degrees ! The 5 degree recommendation allows for a saftey zone. If you pitched at 50, the highest it could go would be 61, but the average rise I've seen is around 6 degrees, so that would place your wort at 56, only 1 degree higher than your target.

With lager yeast, unless you are under pitching and/or under aerating, pitching on the low side (within reason) should not cause appreciable lag. This is a technique that is used by most of the commercial lager producers to preclude the formation of esters and to keep the yeast from mutating to prefer fermenting at warmer temperatures.

Remember to pitch 1.5 times the amount of lager yeast that you do for ales.

Just to cover all of the bases... when pitching ale yeasts, the rule is the same. If your target temp. is 72 deg. F, pitch into wort that is 67 deg. F. With ale yeasts the primary esters are desired unlike in lagers, but if you allow your fermentation to occur above 75 degrees F. you most likely will begin to produce fusal alcohols and other over the top esters which are undesired. The beer may also ferment too fast which is also bad. Too quick of a ferment can cause the yeast to floc out prematurely which will not give the yeast a chance to re-absorb the diacetyl that they produced leading to what I call ESB.... Extra Special Butter :)

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