Lager yeast activity ?

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Lager yeast activity ?

Postby fcsmike » Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:25 pm

Hello again brain trust. Reciently (monday)I tried to make a lager; I sanitized properly, boiled the wort (extract), cooled it to 24c and pitched the yeast(wyeast). The date of packageing was november 18 for the yeast. The OG was 1.049 and I used 1 package of yeast.

It has been 3 days and there has been no activity...I mean none at all. This is my first lager so i'mnot sure how much activity to expect.

Is it normal to have no kraeusen or should I assume my yeast is dead and try again.

Thanks...Mike
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liquid solutions

Postby Fraoch » Fri Feb 21, 2003 2:52 am

Did you make a starter??>? when it comes to Wyeast, starters are IMPERATIVE! the lag time is around 1 day per month past production day.You say Nov, hopefully Nov 2002.Believe me , ive been sold yeast 2 years old by not checking properly.So that now gives us 3 days lag time, minimum.
Did you smack the pack prior and get it nice and swollen? If you havent dont worry, i did the same the first time i used Wyeast, chalk it up as experience.you have a choice, if your wort does not already smell slightly lactic, you are lucky indeed! If it does and you are determined to drink it no matter what( been there also) then pitch the MOST robust yeast you know.For this i reccomend Coopers,goes off like a rocket without hydration,not the best yeast. but time is now not on your side, you need to get fermenting quickly.You are not going to win comps, but it could still be made drinkable.
Pitch another yeast and follow all the prerequisits for liquids next time.
From experience, i reccomend;
1, always smack the pack and ensure it has swollen sufficiently,if not, move brew date or use another yeast.
2,From swollen, put into starter and pitch at high krausen.
3, ensure good aeration of wort prior to pitching
4, 24c is high temp for ale yeast let alone lager.
depending on the yeast strain, the temp should be around say 10c, see http://www.best.com/~smurman/zymurgy/wyeast.html

Liquid yeasts are a bit tricky but are well worth the effort, i made some stupid mistakes at first including pitching 2 yeasts when i was in your position but after 24hrs, the result was 2 yeasts going at once!!! yeast everywhere!!! In your case, pitch another, and try to redeem the brew.if your sanitisation was good then you may be fortunate.
What ever happens, dont be put off the Wyeast, not as easy as dried but the rewards are evident.

Best of luck fcsmike

faoch
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Lager yeast

Postby fitz » Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:46 am

Lager yeast start slower than ale yeasts. If you have no activity at all, and don't think the yeast is working, get a packet of dry Superior lager yeast. It works well, and there won't be a lag time of 3 days to allow the liquid pouch to swell. This will save this batch, and keep it a lager. Superior has a nice lager finnish. This yeast comes in a 7 gr packet, so if you can get two packets, go for it. Time is not on your side on this one. Yeast starters are a plus when dealing with lager yeast. The quicker you can get the fermentation started and get it to lage temps the better. Remember to start the wort at an ale temp, then slowly cool to lager temps.
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Wadaya Know !

Postby fcsmike » Sun Feb 23, 2003 1:12 pm

So, I took the fermenter up-stairs to warm up and gave it another shake...Voila...thare she blows. It's bubbling away in my basement again (about 12c) I hope it's not too warm down there. Oh well, I'm sure i'll be able to drink it.

Thanks for the advice and words of encourgement.

Mike
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Bet your glad

Postby Fraoch » Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:54 am

Nearly had you in my position, which was with a yeast bomb!!!!! As i said, i repitched, the top worker came good and threw a healthy head and then the bottom started working and pushed the first yeast out of solution!!!I was cleaning up yeast for days.
Glad it worked out

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