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Help needed - first lager brew.

Aussie Home Brewer

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Mickyd

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Long time member, but first post. I have a BIAB setup and have made plenty of nice ales over the last 12 months. I put down my first lager (Bohemian Pilsener) a week ago. OG was 1.050 which was on plan. I chilled the wort overnight to 10 degrees, and pitched 2 vials of Whitelabs Pilsner/lager yeast directly. I didn’t check the temperature of the yeast but it would have been close to the wort temperature.

It has been a week now at fermentation temperature of 10 degrees and gravity still 1.050.

Advice needed please. Have I killed the yeast pitching at low temperature? Do I need to raise temperature to give it a kick? Any ideas?
Cheers
 

Mickyd

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I know most of you out there make mainly ales, but there must be someone with some advice. I am really just after some ideas on how to get the fermentation going. I know lagers are slow, but this is ridiculous.
 

Hangover68

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Fairly new to BIAB myself but i would think you'd need to pitch at a higher temp, just did my first lager on saturday and i pitched at 23c and its currently fermenting at 12c.
 

Chappo666

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Long time member, but first post. I have a BIAB setup and have made plenty of nice ales over the last 12 months. I put down my first lager (Bohemian Pilsener) a week ago. OG was 1.050 which was on plan. I chilled the wort overnight to 10 degrees, and pitched 2 vials of Whitelabs Pilsner/lager yeast directly. I didn’t check the temperature of the yeast but it would have been close to the wort temperature.

It has been a week now at fermentation temperature of 10 degrees and gravity still 1.050.

Advice needed please. Have I killed the yeast pitching at low temperature? Do I need to raise temperature to give it a kick? Any ideas?
Cheers
Okay... firstly you have NOT killed the beer fairies so stop panicking... you have however given them a really crappy brain freeze headache. So you will now need to be a nice Brew Bitch to your yeasty friends. Gradually raise the temp of your fermentation to 18C to 20C and give it a stir with a well cleaned and sterile spoon. REMEMEBER GRADUALLY... Let it go for a day or two. Yeast dependent you should get no tangible off flavors from 20C fermentation temps but taste and test as needed and adjust temps as required. Then slowly drop your temp to 10C to 12C. Say over a 24 to 48 hr period once you have fermentation started again. I would shoot for 12C first and let it ferment out to 1012 and them let it dry out to 1010 at 10C. Well that's the way I do mine and as far as I know... so do sausage eating monks wearing spiked helmets. It's a beer that needs a dry finish so you'll need it to ferment out completely to be on style BTW.

Enjoy the Great Heist

Chappo666
 

DJR

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If the yeast was a bit old then two packs for a cold pitch might not have been enough.

This is a good calculator to work out how much yeast you need: https://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/ - use something like Pro Brewer 1.5 as the setting. E.g. with that setting at 21L / 12.5P for a 1050 batch and the yeast produced 1st jan 2020, it recommends a pretty high 400billion ish cells.

Often it is easier to just make a huge starter, like 3 or 4L, or pitch warmer and cool down.

Also aeration / oxygenation helps a lot.

personally i just pitch lagers warm, re-use slurry from a previous known good batch, or make a big starter.

for now, you could raise the temperature and swirl the fermenter gently, hopefully it wakes up.
 

Mickyd

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Fairly new to BIAB myself but i would think you'd need to pitch at a higher temp, just did my first lager on saturday and i pitched at 23c and its currently fermenting at 12c.
Thanks Hangover,
I'll be doing that next time.
 

Mickyd

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Okay... firstly you have NOT killed the beer fairies so stop panicking... you have however given them a really crappy brain freeze headache. So you will now need to be a nice Brew Bitch to your yeasty friends. Gradually raise the temp of your fermentation to 18C to 20C and give it a stir with a well cleaned and sterile spoon. REMEMEBER GRADUALLY... Let it go for a day or two. Yeast dependent you should get no tangible off flavors from 20C fermentation temps but taste and test as needed and adjust temps as required. Then slowly drop your temp to 10C to 12C. Say over a 24 to 48 hr period once you have fermentation started again. I would shoot for 12C first and let it ferment out to 1012 and them let it dry out to 1010 at 10C. Well that's the way I do mine and as far as I know... so do sausage eating monks wearing spiked helmets. It's a beer that needs a dry finish so you'll need it to ferment out completely to be on style BTW.

Enjoy the Great Heist

Chappo666
Thanks Chappo,
I've started upping the temp. so will see how it goes. I use glad wrap on the fermenter (long story) so not always easy to gauge activity, but it has started to wake up.
Cheers
 

Mickyd

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If the yeast was a bit old then two packs for a cold pitch might not have been enough.

This is a good calculator to work out how much yeast you need: https://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/ - use something like Pro Brewer 1.5 as the setting. E.g. with that setting at 21L / 12.5P for a 1050 batch and the yeast produced 1st jan 2020, it recommends a pretty high 400billion ish cells.

Often it is easier to just make a huge starter, like 3 or 4L, or pitch warmer and cool down.

Also aeration / oxygenation helps a lot.

personally i just pitch lagers warm, re-use slurry from a previous known good batch, or make a big starter.

for now, you could raise the temperature and swirl the fermenter gently, hopefully it wakes up.
Thanks DJR,
The yeast was fairly fresh, and I know 2 was on the limit, but I havent had much experience (or luck) with a starter. I've started upping the temp to give it a kick before turning it down. Might be a long ferment.

Cheers
 

Chappo666

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Thanks Chappo,
I've started upping the temp. so will see how it goes. I use glad wrap on the fermenter (long story) so not always easy to gauge activity, but it has started to wake up.
Cheers
Well that is some really good news my friend. fingers crossed its now on track and turns out a nice brew for you. Lager would be my absolute favorite style to brew, Very simple recipe (usually) but the devil is in the detail... and lets not forget lagers have a flavour profile that leaves the brewer nowhere to hide his mistakes. Not in the hops and not in the grain bill...

I see Dead People

Chappo666 OUT
 
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