Lager starters

Do you make them your pitch temp…or not?

No, I make them at normal starter temps- ie mid 60-70. You’re growing yeast, not making beer, and it’s best to use conditions that will result in the highest, healthiest growth rate.

What if…say…you were using the denny/Loopie method and pitching at high krausen?

I could be wrong, but I think they just use that method for ales. A lager starter would be larger and you wouldn’t want to add all that liquid to your wort.

Since I’m pitching that way I do make them at ferm temp. I also give them about an additional 48-72 hours.

If you wanted to get fancy make a starter at ferm temps and let it ferment out. Cold crash and decant. Then do it another starter the exact same way and repitch. THEN, pitch that one at high krausen.

For the record I make starters using Pilsen or light DME so there’s not going to be a large flavor addition or coloring from it.

Are you doing that for lagers? I haven’t brewed a lager in years and it seems like some of the methods being used have gotten simpler.

I do. That method is unbelievably simple. Usually for a lager I’ll do 2L unless it’s a bigger beer. Then I’ll step it up.

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I just finished a 3 step 4L starter for vienna lager at room temp. I’ll cold crash and decant before pitching.

I’ve always done my lager starters are normal ale temps. A lager yeast wants to start fermentation closer to being in the 60’s. Once fermentation is started you can then cool the wort down into the 50’s… of course sticking with the temperature that your yeast says is the optimum temperature.

I brew with White Labs yeast, since I only live a few miles from their headquarters, I can get the yeast extremely fresh. Plus their tasting room doesn’t hurt either!

They usually have recommended to get the yeast fermentation started and then cooling the wort. But everyone had their own process and with some practice you will get yours. I find the majority of the lager conditioning comes from the secondary.

Sorry have to disagree @Eric. That’s an outdated approach. Current best practices suggest that you pitch and keep your lager in the optimum temerature range for best results.