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First Lager--need advice on starter

After brewing ales for decades, I decided to do 2 lagers: a German Pilsner and a Munich Helles. I need some advice on the yeast starters.

I have a dual stir plate and two 2L Erlenmeyer flasks. I’m thinking of the following:

  1. make a 1L starter in each flask at room temperature
  2. wait a day or two and cold crash it
  3. pour off the spent beer
  4. add another 1L of wort
  5. let it go for another day or two and cold crash it
  6. pour off spent beer
  7. warm to fermentation temp (50F-52F)
  8. pitch slurry into carboys

Does this sound correct? I can’t really do a 4L starter for both lagers.

1 Like

Sounds good

You can do that. You won’t get much growth.

Or you can just buy a couple more packets of 34/70 and save yourself a bunch of money and time.

Or brew a 3gal batch, save the beer and yeast. Build 2L starter from the slurry.

2 Likes

Yep, 34/70, the dry yeast of Weihenstephaner brewery origin(nothing to sneeze at), is hard to beat for convenience and price(although creeping up over the years…was really cheap over 5 years ago.)
I am in camp rehydrate, although not all sources agree, I figure, can’t hurt.

Same yeast for both beers?

Absolutely, 34/70 should be a good choice for both

What few Lagers I did, all was well and did well with an active yeast being pitched…And on a couple, I pitched at 65* and let the freez-mentor drop it to 53*… Sneezles61

@devils4ever; Doing the process you outlined above was the conventional wisdom a few years back, and not “wrong” but now a number of Brewers espouse pitching the starter at high krauesen, during its active fermentation/growth phase, as @sneezles61 mentions above, which is much easier and possibly more effective than the traditional crash and decant and repeat 8 step process you outlined above. Google “shaken not stirred yeast starter” for this alternative technique, which I’ve used for a number of lagers, with gravities likely similar to your planned helles and Pilsner, and even somewhat bigger lagers such as a doppelbock(by scaling up).

Still not as easy as pitching a couple packets of dry 34/70 yeast, but… there still are a lot more options in liquid than dry yeast.

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