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Lager yeast - pitch at which temp?

I’ll be brewing my 2nd partial mash tomorrow, a Vienna Amber Lager. Instructions say to pitch yeast
at room temp and then dial down fermenting refrigerator once fermentation has begun. They suggest bringing it down to 50 - 55F at 1 degree per hour.

Would I be better off cooling the wort to 55F (even if it takes overnight in the fridge) and then pitching the yeast ? The yeast I’ll be using is White Labs Oktoberfest WLP820. The instructions on the yeast container also say to pitch at 70 - 75F and to keep at this temp til fermentation begins.

Interesting that the instructions on the yeast say nothing about fermenting at lager temperatures.

The yeast cos. tell you to pitch at higher temps because they want yo to avoid problems. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always make the best beer. I’ve tried it both ways quite a few times and reached the conclusion that the lagers are better if I cool to a few degrees below my intended fermentation temp and let the heat created by fermentation pull it up to the correct temp. I generally aim for pitching no higher than 55 and shoot for 48-52. Be sure to pitch a large starter (probably a gal. or so) of healthy yeast.

And, if you wait for the temps to come down over night confirm that the wort is actually down to 50* before pitching. You might be surprised at how long it takes to cool that wort.

Agreed… try to pitch cool. This time of year, my immersion chiller will get my wort into the 50s and a short ice+water bath in the sink will get it down cooler than that in about 20-30 minutes. Do everything you can to get the wort at or near your desired fermentation temp, oxygenate if possible and then pitch. Cheers and good luck.

I’m gonna do just that. Glad I asked.

Thanks for quick response Denny !

…and others !

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