Lesson learned??

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by sbaclimber, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    So..........after many years of just chucking 2 packets of US-05 into the primary and having activity within ~24hrs, I think I may have just been schooled in the use of bottom fermenting yeast...
    I have only fermented 3 brews w/ W-34/70 so far and they have all been with a starter. Figuring, "others seem to get away with it", for the 4th brew I got 2 sachets of "fresh" dried W-34/70, and after checking it was still active w/ some sugar + water, just dumped it in. 24hrs later.......nothing! Airlock hasn't even started to move :(
    Thankfully I still have (had) a jar full of harvested yeast from the last brew...
    Is it pretty much always a "must" to use a starter with bottom fermenting yeast and/or "normal" to have to wait well over 24 hrs for activity, or have I missed something!?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Patience, Grasshopper... Lagers often take longer than 24 hours to start. I get concerned at 48 hours, start to worry at 72. They're less active when cool, hence the longer time to start.
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    It can take over 24 hours, but I don’t like seeing it go that long. 30 hours is the absolute limit.

    The problem with dry yeast is that it can take longer to “fire up” straight from the packet. When you make a starter with dry yeast it is already active by the time you pitch it. Dry yeast takes longer to become active. With lagers I never use dry yeast from the packet to pitch, I always use a starter. Typical lager pitch with 34/70 is a 4 liter starter with a single packet for a 7 gallon 1.050 lager. I brewed a 1.070, 4.5 gallon lager last night, lag time was @ 12 hours at 46F. I used the same 4 liter starter I would for a 7 gallon pilsner.
     
  4. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I will definitely be making a starter from now on, no matter what! Even after adding some very active slurry things are looking better, but still aren't going gangbusters. I don't normally worry too much and am happy waiting, but I guess I have gotten used to fermentation really taking off quick by using a fresh active starter...
     
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  5. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Even a really healthy lager fermentation is pretty tame, nothing like a robust ale fermentation. Typicality at 48-52F it takes 6-8 days to hit FG.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Depending on your batch size, gravity and temperature, 2 packets wasn't a big enough pitch. Use the calculator and see what your pitch should have been. If you're actually needing 2 packets of US-05 for your beers, you would have needed 4 packets of 34/70. Also, just sprinkling it in dry will result in a lower cell count. I always re-hydrate. I've had reasonable results with 2 packets of rehydrated 34/70 with 5.5 gallons of <1.050 beer fermented at 60 degrees, usually pitched at 64 degrees and dropped to 60. Those batches are "starters" for building up really big pitches for batches up to 1/2 barrel.
     
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  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    If you're at 10C or so it will take longer to get going. A pack of 34/70 directly in will be fine, it just won't go gang busters right away.
     
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  8. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    One thing to consider (And you can read this in various places), 34/70 is generally regarded as an effective warm temp lager yeast. I tend to use a Keep It Simple Stupid approach to ferm temp. I do ales at 65(f) and lagers at 55 (f). I have done my own test with 34/70 at the midway point of 60 with no I'll effects whatsoever.
    The warmer temp may give a faster start.
     
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  9. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I've also fermented on the warm side with 34/70. I did a couple batches at 68f after seeing some exbeeriments on the brulosophy site.
     
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  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Same just pitched 1 pack 34/70 today into around 1.045 wort I've pitched it at 16c I've set spunding valve at 12psi itll be free rised to 18c over the next few days.
    I prefer a starter with all my beers but this is the first run with this yeast so it went in dry.
     
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