Author Topic: Wyeast 2042 (Danish Lager)  (Read 4845 times)

Offline eddiewould

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Wyeast 2042 (Danish Lager)
« on: May 31, 2012, 06:31:22 PM »
Hey Guys,

I've been brewing ales (all grain) for a while now and they've mostly been very successful. Usually fermentation was steady for the first couple of days (e.g. airlock bubbling once every 10 seconds or so), then slowing down.

I've done my first proper lager using WYeast 2042 smack pack. I didn't make a starter (I know, I know...) but pitched at about 18c (64.4 Fahrenheit). Once I heard airlock activity, I brought the temperature down to about 13.5c (56.3 F) where it has been since.

I've noticed the airlock activity to be a lot more bursty/erratic than with ales - e.g. I'll get a short burst of bubbling, then nothing for 40 seconds, then another short burst of bubbling etc. Is this normal for lagers? Or is it because I've under pitched?

Also probably worth mentioning (it was my first time using smack packs, previously I've always used dry yeast and made a small starter a few hours before) is that when I smacked the smack pack I managed to make a small hole in it (!) and I lost some of the yeast. I shook it up (as per the directions) however the bag didn't swell up (I can't say I'm surprised by that, given it had a hole in it).

The OG was 1.048 on Sunday afternoon, I measured the gravity last night (Thursday) and the gravity was around 1.040 - so something is eating the sugar. It does seem very slow though.

I tasted the sample and it tastes fine although it did have a very slight sour smell. Should I pitch new yeast? (If I do, it will just be a cheapo dry yeast pack).


« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 07:08:02 PM by eddiewould »

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wyeast 2042 (Danish Lager)
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 07:12:13 PM »
I got into lagers this past winter when my basement was cold enough to provide the right temps. 

I did observe that the primary fermentation takes a while.  Colder temps mean slower yeast.

As far as your air lock activity goes, don't worry about it.  It just means it's working slow, taking time to build enough pressure to pass through the airlock, then escaping all at once.  Perfectly normal.

Lagers take time.  I checked my notes and no lager was racked in less than three weeks, a couple were racked at four.  After that they cleared in the secondary (with some aroma hops for most of a month) before lagering in a keg (again for most of a month)  and finally being served.

Patience my friend. Patience. It will be worth the wait.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Wyeast 2042 (Danish Lager)
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 09:24:43 AM »
I'd pitch some dry yeast.  Mr. Malty's calculator said a 1.048 lager (5.25 gals) would need 354 billion cells, and a smack-pack would have 100, less any losses from the hole. 

If you pitched it ASAP, it probably would not suffer from the alcohol present since the SG has changed so little so far. 

Maybe two packs if you have them.