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Is 34/70 normally this slow to start?

So I brewed a German pilsner Sunday morning and had it in the fermenter and down to 50* by 4:00pm. I boiled about 1.5 cups of water and cooled it down to around 75*. I put two packets of 34/70 and the boiled water into a sanitized mason jar. I swirled it around to get all the clumps dissolved and let it sit about 15 minutes. I hit the wort with oxygen through my diffusion stone for about 75 seconds. I was at the bottom of the oxygen tank because it was a pretty weak stream of oxygen coming out. I then pitched the yeast into the wort.

Fast forward 40 hours and there is no signs of fermentation. No krausen at all just 50* wort doing nothing. At what point should I consider pitching a couple more packs of yeast? And if/when I do, would adding more oxygen be a bad idea?

36 hours is my cutoff point. Add more yeast immediately. More oxygen is a good idea as well.

This is unfortunate. You might never know why this happened. It looks like you did everything right. Maybe just poor storage of the yeast by wherever you got it from? Who knows.

Yeah, huge bummer. I’ll grab some on my way home from work.

This has been a very slow starting yeast the few times I have used it while pitching at 50. Between 2 and 3 days before I see activity. Not saying this is normal. Mine did finish out fine. Not sure if I use this yeast again for that reason. Its nerve racking.

yeah, its a slow starter I have seen 48 hours before seeing activity. 34/70 always seems to attenuate well just seems to take time to get going.

I’ll wait it out. If I don’t see anything by tomorrow ill throw some more yeast in.

If you look at the yeast specs, I think the pitch rate for fermentation at 50f dramatically increases. You will see a big lag time with that temp, and current pitch rate.

He is pitching 23 grams of yeast, that should be good.

He is pitching 23 grams of yeast, that should be good.[/quote]

So you guess this based on what values?

We don’t know how many gallons, and what the Sg is… to name a few.

This famous yeast strain from Weihenstephan in Germany is used world-wide within the brewing industry. Saflager W-34/70 allows to brew beers
with a good balance of floral and fruity aromas and gives clean flavors and high drinkable beers.
fermentation
temperature
:
9-22°C (48.2-71.6°F) ideally 12-15°C (53.6-59°F)
dosage
instructions
:
80 to 120 g/hl for pitching at 12C – 15°C (53-59°F).
increase dosage for pitching below 12°C (53°F), up to 200 to 300 g/hl at 9°C (48°F)

So for 5 gallons using the 200g/hl, pitching rate is 37.85 and the 300g/hl,pitching rate that is 56.78 grams.

2 packs will get it done eventually, but I am with rabeb on this one. If you are going under the yeasts ideal temp range pitch a shit ton of yeast. I would have pitched three packs at least, and if I had harvested yeast on hand I would have pitched even more. Every time our local brew pub is giving out fresh lager yeast I am the first in line, because it’s a pain to get a good pitch of lager yeast. Mattnaik don’t dump that yeast down the drain, try and use it while you have a ton of it. :cheers:

Sorry forgot to include the OG and volume. This was a 5gal 1.049 OG Pilsner.

So this morning i finally started to see little specs of yeast forming at the top. That’s over 60 hours after pitch.This is definitely the longest lag time I’ve experienced. I will definitely save this yeast to re-pitch cause at $7 a pack I’m not pitching 3+ packs.

Wow, 60 hours is bad. I hope it turns out for you. Unfortunately I’d say chances are almost 50/50 of some problem, but hopefully you’ll be lucky and have great sanitation practices.

Yeah crossing my fingers on this one. Not out of the woods yet. Does anyone think there is any benefit to throwing another packet of yeast in there if I’m not at high krausen by the time I get home?

It’s not out-of-the-ordinary for 34/70 to take 72+ hours to show signs of krausen.

I’ve had it happen several times, though most of the time it usually fires up a little faster.

Without hemocytometer readings you don’t really know how fast the yeast is multiplying, nor would you be able to predict when critical mass was reached.

Perhaps the pitch rate was low or the yeast was “old”.

If there are no signs of activity, pitching another packet would help, but only if the yeast in the other two packets was actually multiplying (and not dead).

Expect another 24-48hr delay if you do pitch another packet.

As long as the yeast is multiplying and is the dominant organism you should be ok sanitation wise.

[quote=“jd14t”]
As long as the yeast is multiplying and is the dominant organism you should be ok sanitation wise.[/quote]

I’m was more concerned about under-attenuation and off flavors from under-pitching (if it was in-fact and under-pitch and not just a really slow lag time for some other reason).

we underpitched with a bo pils with that yeast (3 packs into 14 gallons) due to not rehydrating. Definitely post back and let us know if you perceive any off-flavors, particularly an apple-juice ester that I posted about on here ad nauseum. I want to say we pitched at 52*.

Having tasted your beer, I would bet that this will be fine. Not sure what your planned ferment schedule is, but if it were me, I would bump this temperature up to 58* or so after a week, then 65* or so after another 3-4 days.

I was planning on bumping it up to around 60 after a week for a D-rest and to help it finish off well. I didn’t want to go any higher than that to avoid any excessive ester production.

I’ve experienced several days’ lag every time I’ve used 34/70 (which was twice, to be fair). I’m currently in the middle of batch #3 with that yeast, and it’s in that white-knuckle phase:

–Pitched two packs of 34/70 into 5 gallons of 1.057 wort on Monday.
–Yesterday evening, noticed a fist-sized skim of yeast cells floating on top, along with airlock activity every few seconds.
–Today, the yeast colony looked to have grown to about softball size, and airlock activity has increased in frequency to one burp per second. Still no krausen to speak of, which is unnerving.

All this is the same as I’ve observed previously, but it really does try my nerves. This batch is for a friend’s wedding and I don’t want to have to do an emergency re-brew if something goes wrong.

One question for the hive mind: I’ve noticed that the airlock isn’t doing much until I’ve had the fridge door open for a few seconds. I’ve chalked this up to the fridge being a closed environment, which I think is making the pressure build slightly outside the fermenter, slowing the airlock down. If anyone has an alternative explanation, I’d love to hear it…

Doesn’t the majority of the krausen with lager (aka bottom-fermenting) yeasts form…you know, on the bottom? Or do you guys ferment in carboys and see the krausen on the bottom?

Yes, I’m fermenting in a carboy, and yes, I get krausen on top. Not usually like a vigorous ale strain, but it’s present. Maybe I don’t know what to look for, but the stuff at the bottom usually looks like undifferentiated trub to me…

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