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Pitching yeast slurry in a lager

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O-beer-wan-kenobi

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I have some yeast slurry that I have washed from a recent lager. I have checked with Mr Malty on the amount required after adjusting for yeast thickness and non-yeast percentage it looks like I have the correct amount.

My question is; is it recommended to pitch this directly into the wort in the fermenter or make a starter?
If I make a starter I don't want to pitch the starter wort and get off flavors, I would rather chill the starter and pitch the slurry, but doing this seems to be the same as pitching the slurry in the first place.

So my preference is to pitch directly into the fermenter, but I want to make sure the yeast can get off to the best start without a long lag time.

Thanks
 

DUANNE

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how long has the slurry been in the fridge? if its been more than a week or two i would do a starter just to get the yeasties up and running on fresh legs. over time sitting in they fridge they will be using up all theyre reserves and vitality will be diminishing.
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Its been in the fridge a couple of weeks. I have 2L of wort left over from a porter which I could use. Do you think this could add some unwanted flavours?
 

DUANNE

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that depends on the beer youre trying to brew. if its a dark lager it should be fine if its a pale lager there may be a bit of colour that carries through. do you have a big w or something close by where you could get some ldme? that would be what i would do if youre determined to do it today.
 

Nick JD

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Making starters from large amounts of yeast has a few issues. Most likely what will happen will be the yeast will just start eating all the sugar in the starter instantly, and not do any multiplying.

If you're going to make a starter, just pitch a few mls of the yeast, this way it'll grow up to the correct population you require.

But I reckon 2 weeks at 4C you've got enough yeast to pitch (an ale no worries, a lager pitched in the low 20s). Probably not enough for a cold pitch lager.
 

Online Brewing Supplies

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Can only tell if you do a yeast count, still as a guess I think you will achieve fermentation just with unpredictable results.
Nev
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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When I used mr malty calculator I have put in the harvest date and after the thickness and non-yeast percentage taken into account, the amount of yeast slurry required is just below the amount I have, so according to the calculator I should be fine. But like nev said I can't be sure of the yeast without counting them.

I have also read that adding a large amount of yeast to a starter may have an adverse effect.

So I suppose my options would be to make a starter from a small amount of slurry or bite the bullit and pitch the lot in the fermenter.

I have had under pitching issues and long lag times with lagers before and wanted to get this one right.

The beer is a bohemian pilsner with wyeast bohemian yeast
 

Nick JD

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If Mr. Malty takes into account of the 2 weeks since harvest then you will be fine.
 

Wolfy

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The 'Yeast' book suggests storing yeast slurry for a maximum of about 1 (maybe 2) week(s) if pitching it directly - as with most things yeast-related there are many variables but it's best to use it as possible, since a fair bit of it dies off fairly quickly.
 

Screwtop

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Pitch a starter or pitch yeast, your choice!

For a lager I would add the yeast to 6L of starter wort at around 20c. As Nick said you probably won't achieve much in the way of cell multiplication (not that you need to according to the calculator). When it takes off after 12 - 24 hrs and you can see that you have an active starter (lots of Co2 bubbles running up the inside wall of the vessel) pitch it to your wort at 20c. Pitching an active starter is a great way to kick of any fermentation especially lagers. Slowly drop temp once fermentation begins to your preferred lager fermentation temp (for me 12c).

Screwy
 

The Village Idiot

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Trying a liquid yeast/starter for the first time and was wondering if the starter is @23C and you pitch the whole starter is there any problem with the starter wort having fermented at higher temp than recommended for the lager yeast??? Off flavours etc. Wouldn't it be better to chill and decant the excess wort???
 

Bada Bing Brewery

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The Village Idiot said:
Trying a liquid yeast/starter for the first time and was wondering if the starter is @23C and you pitch the whole starter is there any problem with the starter wort having fermented at higher temp than recommended for the lager yeast??? Off flavours etc. Wouldn't it be better to chill and decant the excess wort???
I get the starter cranking for about 24 hrs on stir plate at 20-23C. My wort for a lager is already at 10-12C and I put the starter in the same fridge and give it 6-12 hrs to drop to same temp as the wort then pitch. My 2c
cheers
BBB
 

DUANNE

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yes. if you pitch the whole lot into youre beer you will be bringing over overly estery and oxidised beer into youre wort. fridging it and decanting is the best way to avoid the off flavours in youre finished beer. think about a five litre starter in a 20 litre beer you want to pitch cold, that would be a quarter of youre total beer being manky starter wort. all you want from the starter is to propogate enough yeast for a a good pitch.a lager is supposed to be clean and all the off flavours from the yeast sex have no place in the finished product.
 

Amber Fluid

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O-beer-wan-kenobi said:
I have some yeast slurry that I have washed from a recent lager. I have checked with Mr Malty on the amount required after adjusting for yeast thickness and non-yeast percentage it looks like I have the correct amount.

My question is; is it recommended to pitch this directly into the wort in the fermenter or make a starter?
If I make a starter I don't want to pitch the starter wort and get off flavors, I would rather chill the starter and pitch the slurry, but doing this seems to be the same as pitching the slurry in the first place.

So my preference is to pitch directly into the fermenter, but I want to make sure the yeast can get off to the best start without a long lag time.

Thanks
I am curious as to why you need to make a starter if you have the correct amount of yeast anyway..... :huh:
I guess as a safe guard checking the yeast viability but that's about it... am I missing something here?
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Amber Fluid said:
I am curious as to why you need to make a starter if you have the correct amount of yeast anyway..... :huh:
I guess as a safe guard checking the yeast viability but that's about it... am I missing something here?
I have had problems with fermenting lagers and under pitching in the past, and I have not pitched a lager yeast slurry before, so I just wanted to get some comments on what has worked for others when pitching from slurry in a lager. The slurry had been in the fridge for a couple of weeks so I thought it may need waking up?


I went ahead and pitched the slurry in 20C wort and cooled it to fermenting temp of 11C. It took off after a few hours and is still going along nicely. I had a lot of slurry to use and I was conservative when calculating the number of yeast cells with MrMalty.
 

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