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Lager season 2016

So, I will start the lager season next W/E with a 2.5 to build up the yeast. I am reaching out to those of you that do a lot of lagers about yer preferred yeast. Mostly, why do you prefer what you use. I have 2 sacks of barley, one pilsner and one munich dark. I have half a sack of pale malt and some specially to use also. Hops, German magnum Challenger, and mittelfrau. I think of starting with half and half of pilsner and munich… I suppose the first round will be in 4%ABV. Any opinions to offer? Sneezles61

Wyeast 2124, which is the liquid equivalent of 34/70. I like it because it produces a wide range of beers, behaves well, and can handle higher fermentation temps.

I use WY2206 for all my lagers except my Ofest in which I use 2633 and some of my pilsners where I use 2278 czech pils yeast.

2206 is consistent, malt focused, minimal ester production and flocs very clear. I’ve used it for 5-6 generations with no issue. It produces a very malty lavored pils more along the lines of a helles for me really but very good.

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34/70 produces (as loopie said) a nice lager and very versatile. Did a German pils, Bock and Maibock and they were some of my best efforts to date. Nice clean flavor profile. Repitched the last two with successively larger amounts of slurry.

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I use S-34/70 and S-189 for all my lagers, except when I fake it with Pacman yeast (which isn’t very often as I don’t want to get banned from any more discussion groups).

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First let me thank you for starting a lager post it is always a favorites. I use 34/70 for the ease of it and it makes a nice clean lager. The first pitch of this yeast is a slow starter but subsequent pitches are quits vigorous. I have to bang out two more ales for my Ofest party. My Ofest was my last lager brewed in April and been aging. Do if you want an octoberfest god this year you better get if going maybe on your second pitch. My first lager will be my “I’ll be bock” which is a helles I don’t think I’ll get to my pills this summer😹

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I like 34/70. The lag on the first pitch doesn’t bother me because I generally have four beers on tap and I’m retired.

I know it’ll start sooner or later and it’s usually sooner. I haven’t seen much delay with 34/70. I add some water to the bottom of my fermenter and sprinkle the dry yeast on top about 30 minutes before the wort reaches my pitching temp (45F). Then, drain the cool wort into the fermenter and oxygenate.

Slurry may be a little faster, but I don’t check for activity regularly and I get what I think is good beer.

I’m fermenting in swamp coolers so I get to “check” on it twice a day. I’m pretty chill about fermentation lag too, but I lost a batch when I thought I way overpitched with 34/70. Interesting thatyou pitch it at 45 because I think I was told quite emphatically that I hadn’t treated the yeast properly when I pitched it too cool at 48-50 degrees. That education was delivered most condescendingly to me by someone from another forum I believe @rookie_l_a aludes to above.

There’s a local micro brewer here who’s selling a wet yeast that he claims ferments very clean at 60-64. I don’t know anything about the origins of the yeast but they call it bavarian lager yeast.

2206 range is 46-58. I generally start it at 48-50 and keep it below 54 for a week or so until the krauesen starts to fall. Then I let it rise naturally in the swamp cooler to room temp.

It’s entirely possible I’m mistreating my yeast. I’ve read that when they are stressed, yeast begin producing spores (sort of an almost-sexual reproduction mode). That makes it possible for genes to recombine and introduce different characteristics in the off-spring. It isn’t actually mutation, but I suspect that’s what’s actually happening when people refer to “yeast mutation”.

Well, that wandered off-topic pretty thoroughly, didn’t it?

So, after I’ve mistreated the yeast by pitching at 45F and leaving it in a freezer set to 50F, and once I suspect they’ve been fermenting for two or three days, I start moving the temperature up. I usually end the fermentation at about two weeks near the manufacturer’s highest recommended temp. I guess that’s a diacetyl rest or clean-up or fermentation completion or some such technical term. Seems to work OK.

So now I have a couple of different yeasts to try. I’ll do a 5-er and split so I can try these 2. I did the 838 bock last year. I can make a lager, and now its time to start honing in my skills. I enjoy these discussions about the fermenting temps, as there are as many ideas as there are brewers! Great conversations… I think it would be a hoot to gather at a table, some pints and discuss brewing, of any sorts. So now, I haven’t had my water tested, but, I use RO to dilute my water at a rate of 5 to 1. I use lactic acid, sometimes citric and I get my mashes down to 5.3 pH. What do you do for yer water? Sneezles61

I had it tested by Ward Labs and use Brunwater to dial in to the specific profile for each beer. Usually involves using Lactic acid, Gypsum and calcium chloride.

I have a RO unit so I build water using Bru’n water.

I use my own water plugged into Bru’n water for everything so far except for pilsener(used grocery store RO water and built it up). My water is pretty good except the sodium is 69, a little high. Obviously I also had Ward’s lab test mine in 2014. Water chemistry improved my beer modestly; fermentation temperature control was the main leap forward…It would be impossible to brew lagers where I live (and most places) without it.

Odd, the LHBS does not carry Wyeast any more… I got the 34/70, but then settled on Whites’ southern german lager… I make a big leap and think its a bavarian strain? Sneezles61

I may be wrong but lager yeast should should be pretty tasteless so the only difference would be how quick it starts and how well it clears. That said I just keep repitching my 34/70. Would have to look up how many generations it is but it keeps getting better so I’m not changing it until I notice something. I’m not worried about it mutating with wild yeast since I ferment 49 - 50 and I don’t think wild yeast will tolerate those temps.

dannyboy58
“That education was delivered most condescendingly to me by someone from another forum I believe @rookie_l_a aludes to above.”

That is definitely their style.
And one reason that their little forum will remain just that: a little forum.

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That makes sense BC, I’ll be looking closely at the 2 lagers I have. I’ll get my starter going for whites after work today. Sneezles61

I like 34/70 as stated, but am going to give 2124 from Wyeast a try for a Festbier version of an Oktoberfest, to likely be Repitched into a Bohemian Pils and a Vienna Lager. Will need a 3 liter starter, for a 1.056 OG per Mr Malty.

Sneezles, our LHBS carries only Wyeast liquid yeast…I wonder if smaller LHBS’s have a hard time with stock expiring, especially with some strains that overlap between the Big Two, Wyeast and White labs.

That would be a big driving point for a business. I will save my 34/70 yeast for a later date as a brew friend wants to brew with his revamped set up. I just couldn’t turn that down! chillin’ down my starter right now…. This first run may end up as an O-fest. Sneezles61

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