From the HBD Archive
From: dw <Wegeng.Henr@Xerox.COM>
Subject: Lager Yeast Problems
Date: 1988-11-30 15:43:24 GMT

My brewing partner and I have been having a lot of bad luck with dry lager
yeast, and need some advice. It seems like no matter what we do, it doesn't
want to start. We recently had to dump a batch of pilsner due to a bad
bacteria infection, probably related to the fact that the yeast still
hadn't started after three days! Using the exact same procedures we've had
no problems with dry ale yeast. I appriciate that lager yeast isn't suppose
to start as quickly as ale yeast, but this is getting ridiculas. Here's
what we've tried so far:

o Different brands of yeast. We've tried every brand that is locally
available (from three different stores) except Red Star, with little
difference.

o Proofing. We've tried proofing the yeast in a malt extract solution 1/2
hour before pitching. With Edme ale yeast we get a tremendous start, but
little if anything seems to happen when we use lager yeast.

o Temperature control. We now use a wort chiller to cool the wort to about
80 degrees before we pitch the yeast. This hasn't helped.

o Better sanitation procedures.

Things that we're thinking about trying:

1) Chilling the wort even further before pitching the yeast.

2) Trying Red Star lager yeast.

3) Trying a liquid yeast.

4) Using a glass carboy for primary fermentation (I just obtained a couple
used 6.5 gallon carboys).

5) Ordering some dry yeast from a mailorder supplier.

Beer making season is upon us, and I'm very interested in experimenting
with yeast culturing. It's obvious, though, that we need to solve this
basic problem before we try anything more elaborate. Any ideas?

Thanks,
/Don

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