Author Topic: Lager not fermenting  (Read 6034 times)

Offline punkingmonkey

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Lager not fermenting
« on: August 11, 2014, 11:02:35 AM »
Hi all, I was wondering if I could have some advice. I brewed a beer recently, split the batch into 2 and fermented one with an ale yeast and the other with 2 lots of lager yeast. ale was kept at 22 degrees C and lager was at 12 degrees C. The ale finished fermenting after 5 days, as expected. However the lager has not changed in 10 days. Should I bring up the temp and hope it starts? Bring up the temp and pitch ale yeast? Or should I through away?
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Offline prj28

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 11:41:16 AM »
What kind of lager yeast did you use and what was your pitching rate?
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Offline punkingmonkey

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 11:53:01 AM »
I used 11.5g of saflager s-23 and 5g of youngs lager yeast (both in date and used different ones as this was all I had at the time!). I pitched all at 19 degrees C airated well then brought down to 12 degrees C. OG was 55, and still is after 10 days. Any suggestions?

Offline prj28

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 01:12:55 PM »
You may have under pitched your yeast. Did you look at the Starter Tab in Beersmith to see how many billions of yeast cells you needed? Here's the formula for pitching rate for lager: (1.5 million) X (milliliters of wort) X (degrees Plato of the wort) this will tell you how many cells you need. You can use the Starter Tab to calculate how many cells you pitched with your yeast. Also did you re-hydrate your yeast before pitching. When I use dry yeast I alway include some yeast nutrient in the re-hydration. The Starter tab will tell you how much water you need for re-hydration. You might try adding 5 grams of yeast energizer to your wort.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 02:42:12 PM by prj28 »
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Offline haerbob3

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 03:35:19 PM »
remember too that an ale may finish in a couple of days a lager is just getting going.  You can not take the fermentation time of an ale yeast and use that time to judge a lager. A good lager is going to take time, not a brew for the inpatient. 

Offline punkingmonkey

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 09:34:14 AM »
I appreciate all the feedback guys. In terms of being patient as it's not an ale- I am aware of this , thought 10 days was quite patient- should I wate longer even though the gravity is unchanged?

Offline haerbob3

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 12:03:58 PM »
pitching at 19C = 66.2F is too warm.  I like to pitch at 48.2F or 9C and let the yeast bring it up to 50 - 55F or 10 - 13C.  Your ferment temp of 12C = 53.6F is good.  It often takes a month to reach FG.  I gave the Fahrenheit for those not familiar with Celsius.  What are the volumes for these batches?

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2014, 03:46:16 PM »
you didn't mention if you rehydrated or not.  if you did, what temp was it performed at.  10 days is a really long time for no change in OG, considering you started warm.  what was the yeast package date?

Offline twhitaker

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2014, 07:51:24 PM »
Pretty sure if you havent seen any signs of fermentation after 10 days,  your yeast expired somehow before you used them. Happened to me once. Even though the date was still good, must have gotten warm or something somewhere along the line.
I would repitch with some of your proven active ale yeast. Its a good idea to "proof" yeast by rehydrating, look for foam, if you are not sure its 100% FRESH yeast that hasnt been stored improperly.
I have made many lagers, always added yeast (saflager s-23) at 80-90F, they come alive  within hours, and brewed nicely. Fermented at 45F.
A touch of warmth at the beginning activates them, as long as its continuing to cool to 45 F or so, in a day.
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Offline ihikeut

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Re: Lager not fermenting
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2014, 06:43:42 AM »
Lager yeast is always slow at fermenting, useally 4 to 8 weeks to ferment and clean up after it's self. I would make sure you have a tight seal on your fermenter (bucket, carboy, etc.) Take a gravity reading to see if any change from when the yeast was pitched. Make sure anything touching the wort is sanitizes.