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My First Lager

I do not have any dedicated cold area for lagering so I am only able to brew this time of year. My room runs about 52-56 degrees.
Anyways, I did a yeast starter with WLP800 and pitched it into 5 gallons of 65 degree wort and after I saw activity in less than 8 hours I moved it to a 54 degree room. The temp didn’t drop very fast so I moved it to the garage at 44 degrees for a while…anyway the thermometer on the fermenter wasn’t reading correctly and the wort did get to 45 degrees, which is a little cold for the 50-55 degree range of the yeast stated by White labs. After moving it back into the 54 degree room, it has only has about 8 air bubbles a minute through the airlock after 4 days. Should I let the wort warm up to 65 degrees again to enhance activity or is my current activity good enough?

no, i think you will be ok. lager yeast is not as active as ale so don’t expect it to bubble alot or very rapidly.

You don’t get the same type of airlock activity as you do an ale. And no I wouldn’t raise the temp to 65 until you are going to do your d rest.

To clarify the issue, the lager yeast will need a lot longer to work. Give it at least 2 weeks, but a month is fine. You can raise the temperature after it approaches the terminal gravity (FG) that you expect to reach (within a couple points), but you don’t have to do it. Then after the D-rest of 3-4 days or after verifying that FG has been reached and is stable for at least 3 days, you can then drop the temperature down a little bit each day (you may have some trouble regulating that with your set up, but don’t go right back to the garage from the warmer temperature). Then lager as close to freezing as you can get it (but if 40’s is all you have, it will work) for at least 2 but more like 4 more weeks. If you are bottling, you can bottle after the d-rest (check for gravity being terminal) and then chill after a couple weeks in warm area to carbonate, resuming the lagering schedule.


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