Pilsner not Fermenting

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Mendenhall Brewing, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    About 24 hours ago, I pitched some Saflager S-23 into a Pilsner I made and I'm still not seeing any activity. I picked this yeast up when I was down in Seattle in the fall but have had it in my fridge since. It was properly rehydrated and I used about 2.5 packets along with about 90 seconds of pure O2. It's in my temperature controlled freezer at about 47 degrees right now (I'm doing the lager fermentation recommended in brewing classic styles - pitch at 45 and rise to 50 over a couple days to reduce the formation of diacetyl).

    I'm going to wait another 24 hours but after that, I'm unsure of what action to take. I live in Alaska and do not have easy access to more lager yeast. My dry yeast options at the LHBS are US-05, Danstar Nottingham, and Danstar Windsor.

    Should I plan on fermenting with some Nottingham or US-05 at the lower end of their temperature ranges or go through the trouble and time of ordering lager yeast (probably another 4 days minimum) and possibly having to wait for a starter?
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I recommend a 2 day drinking binge. After that's over, check to see if you have activity. I use non-rehydrated dry lager yeast. Sometimes it's 2 or 3 days before I see activity.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes at that temp its going to be slow, I wouldn't worry about airlock bubbles as much a yeast foam or krausen, if you can see it. as long as you have some krausen your fine
     
  4. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    At the moment, I've got nothing. Just a few bubbles on the surface that have been there since yeast pitch. I'll keep an eye on it however. Hopefully once it gets to 50 things will pick up. I've not used S-23 yet so could be yeast specific. I'll update in a few days.
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I just checked a few of my favorite lager recipes. They all use S-23. I've never had a problem with it not fermenting. Packet specific? I'd buy that. But not yeast specific. They couldn't sell it if it didn't work.

    I chill my wort to about 70° and pitch the yeast, shake wort to aerate. I set my ferm chamber to 55° usually. I did a Munich Helles at 48° with S-23 once. It came out fine. My primary fermentation stage is 3 weeks.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I think S-23 likes a little warmer pitch and ferment temp, but I've never used it.
    Let it warm to 52. It may be just lagging and it's probably going to take off and go like crazy.
     
  7. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    My comment about this being yeast specific was more about S-23 possibly not liking the lower temperature. I'm going to keep raising the temperature to 52 instead of 50 to see what happens. I figure I'll have to go even higher to pitch an ale/hybrid yeast if that's the route I eventually go. Trying to be optimistic that it'll take off soon.

    Still, no signs after 36 hours now however.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I misremembered my low end fermentation temperature. That was a Kölsch where I did at at the minimum temperature at the suggestion of a friend. The minimum temperature for S-23 as stated by the manufacturer is 53.6°F.
     
  9. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    Finally! Activity! Krausen is forming and slow airlock bubbling.

    Thanks for the advice gentlemen. I'll be letting my freezer warm up to about 54 and hold till fermentation is over - per the advice here.
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Good news! Pour me a mug when it's done.
     

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