Lager yeast starter

I made two yeast starters(1.0 L) for my two lagers the other day. I decided to go by the White labs instructions and pitched into the starter at 70 degrees. I used WLP 800 and WLP 830. I pitched them into the wort two days later. To me it doesn’t make sense to pitch yeast starters at 70 for lagers that ferment at 50 degrees. The only thing I can think of is that at 70 maybe the yeast will propagate faster? I am concerned about esters, off flavors being produced. These are my first two lagers so this may be a learning curve for me. Any thoughts on this?

With lagers you need to plan ahead. With starters you are growing yeast, not making beer, so you are correct there. For my lagers I make my starter a couple weeks in adavance then cold crash it to get yeast to drop, decant, then pitch just yeast. If I don’t have time I will make my starter at ferm temp (50°). I don’t think you’ll notice the spent wort too much in a 5 gal batch, just not optimal.

When you say you make your starters two weeks in advance, are you making them at fermenting temps or the suggested temps by the manufacturer?

Room temp. The idea is to grow yeast. I then cold crash it for a week, decant, and pitch just the slurry.

Same here

Same here[/quote]

+1

Instead of wasting two weeks on a starter why not pitch the yeast into a two gallon batch . you get the yeast you need and 12 bottles of lager. Havnt done it myself yet but I plan on trying it. O course if I’m making beer I’ll pitch at 50.

If I need a large pitch (10gal batch) I will do a test batch and pitch the slurry. Win-win-win. I get to try my new recipe. I get beer to drink. I grew my yeast.

I’ve done this, works great. I’ve also brewed 5 gallons of a very low gravity lager as my step-up (off a 2 liter starter). In fact, once I’ve got a my first lager of the season going, I’ll just reharvest the yeast and use that for the next lager I brew. I’ll typically brew 4-6 batches from the same smack pack. Once you have a healthy strain going, it makes life easier to keep using it.

I’ve done this, works great. I’ve also brewed 5 gallons of a very low gravity lager as my step-up (off a 2 liter starter). In fact, once I’ve got a my first lager of the season going, I’ll just reharvest the yeast and use that for the next lager I brew. I’ll typically brew 4-6 batches from the same smack pack. Once you have a healthy strain going, it makes life easier to keep using it.[/quote]

I hear ya. I save all my yeasts so I always have a healthy supply. It’s nice not having to make starters all the time. I always freeze some third runnings and if I have time or think about it in time I warm it up and get the yeast going and pitch it at high krausen. Kind of a lazy mans attemp at top cropping.

+1 to freezing extra runnings!