Back to Shopping at

Help RE: lagers

Hello all,
I am new to making lagers, so I have no idea how to work with lagers. I wanted to know when I make a lager starter do I allow it to ferment in room temp or do i have to keep it in the fridge to maintain the recommended temperature. Also I plan to make NB Bavarian Helles OG 1049 using Saflager W-34/70 Lager Yeast. Is this a type of yeast I can just rehydrate and dump it in, if not how big of a starter do i need to make? I do have a dedicated fridge for the 2 stage cold fermentation and for lagering. All advice is appreciated and will be taken into consideration.

With a dry yeast like 34/70, you don’t need to make a starter. If you were making a starter, it’s always better to ferment it at room temp. You’re growing yest, not making beer, and yeast grows better at room temp.

making a starter with a fresh pack of dry yeast is kind of missing the point.

If you are worrying about underpitching just pitch another pack of yeast.

For a 1.049 lager, you really ought to pitch two (rehydrated) packs.

A writeup by someone that has brewed a lot of lagers.

I did the Helles with 34/70 and just rehydrated and pitched.
Remember that before fermentation is complete, you’ll want to take a sample to detect diacetyl, which tastes buttery, or like butterscotch. If you detect it, bring the lager up to 65*F for a few days to let the yeast get rid of it. When you’re done with the diacetyl rest, or D-rest, drop the temp down to lagering temp. Some people say to drop the temp quickly or gradually. I’ve not done any experiments regarding this procedure but I dropped my Helles quickly and it came out tasting good. It was also my first lager so I attribute any off flavors, lack of head, and low carbonation to my own inexperience. Good luck. The Helles is a good lager kit.


One properly rehydrated pack into five gallons is about 12 million cells/ml. Wyeast recommends that much for cold pitching up to 1.060. Most every book I’ve read says 10 million/ml is fine for 1.048. I’ve done a lot with one pack. Fermentation is done in about a week. You might shave a day off with two.

Here is a typical 12P fermentation pitched 10^6/ml. I don’t recall the O2 level (probably 20 or higher.)

Pitch 48, let it rise a degree a day, maybe more by day five. Days five to seven are maturation/diacetyl rest.

They also recommend 6 million/mL for ales. :roll:

That’s what Noonan said is commonly used in many British ales. :wink: It probably makes for a nice estery low gravity ale. That’s something I’ve never been able to make. I’ve never used that little of yeast. I have used one pack of s-w34/70 in 5.5 gallons of 12.5P wort and gotten excellent fermentations.

Diacetyl Rest? Who’s afraid of a little Vicinal Dikeytones.

This is from Dr. Charles Bamforth (Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science) from the book Tap Into the Art and Science of Brewing. He’s more in line with Noonan and Wyeast than Fix (where JZ credits his numbers.)

That chart is from Handbook of Brewing from a chapter by James H. Munroe of Anheuser-Busch.

Back to Shopping at