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Second pitch of Urquell Yeast lagging bigtime!

I brewed my pilsner Friday and racked my earlier brewed lager to kegs so I could use the urquell yeast for the pils. Didn’t remove any of the yeast from either bucket just pumped well aerated wort into them. They’ve been at mid 50sF ever since with no sign of fermentation starting.

I was a little surprised how small the yeast cake looked but didn’t think much about it. Now after 3 days, I’m getting a little concerned about getting it going. I thought I’d pitch a fast starting dry yeast but the LHBS is closed until Wednesday. I have a few lager yeast slurries saved so maybe I’ll make a starter and pitch it at high K?

Any other suggestions or ideas?

Thats odd, you would expect wort pitched to a cake would take right off. Mid 50 sounds perfect but maybe warm up to 60 and be prepared to drop the temperature when it starts

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It’s very odd…literally never happened with that yeast before and I’ve used it many many times. The LHBS owner emailed me back and said he already sold out of the once a year urquell yeast. So…I’ll make a starter tonight and try the warmup over night and if that doesn’t so signs by noon I’ll repitch with baravian lager yeast which has never failed me.

Went down to the fridge to see what slurry I have and looked in the buckets again. There are some new little clusters of yeasty looking bubbles on the surface. 57F right now so i’ll let it ride overnight and have a look in the AM. I can always have a starter at high K by tomorrow evening if I need to.

I tasted the lager I racked off these cakes and it had a fairly yeasty aroma but not much on the tongue. It had been 19 days fermenting. Not as long as I usually let them sit but close.

This yeast was really fresh. I got it the day the LHBS did and I didn’t record the date for some reason but I think it was only about a week old. I made a 1L starter and it was slow to get going but fermented out pretty quick at 70ish. I stepped it up to 2L and really aerated the heck out of it and the second step took off in hours and practically blew out a 1 gal jug. I split the starter and pitched it to the 1.050ish lager at high K. It had a thin but solid layer of krauesen 10 hours later and fermented down to 1.011. Usually drops to .010 if I let it sit another week and I feel like it does so in the keg lagering anyway.

Only thing I can think of is the pilsner wort may not have been aerated all that well. I it usually splashes into the buckets as i pump it in. This time because it was so cold I pumped faster and I don’t think it was quite as foamy when filled but there was definitely some foam. Maybe I racked it off the cake too soon and left some active young yeast behind. I just hope I get some slurry to save from this to play with again.

4-5 days in…time for a hydrometer check?

Got about 1/4" krauesen on one and lighter layer on the other…

At mid 50’s… it probably took just a bit longer to set its self up for budding… Sucking O2 out of the wort… Building up its nutrients…
I think about what few lagers I’ve done… Mine comes up to room temp for a few days for DA rest… Its gotta be the temp…
Sneezles61

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Never used the Urquell yeast but i believe i heard it was temperamental.

I’ve used it lots. This is a first for me.

@sneezles61 Yea I believe it’s due to less oxygen than usual…and…maybe…because I racked sooner I took some still active yeast that hadn’t fallen out yet…??

I had hoped to keep this slurry until it’s out again next year but we’ll see…

As I recall reading about saving yeast… You DO NOT want to save the yeast from a kicked keg… Why, you ask? That yeast is the slowest to settle out, low flocculation… hence its still in the brew… slowly settling out… albeit very clean…
How close to Urquell has your recipe come?
Sneezles61

Thats bull. Ive built up bottle dregs no problems cant see a keg being nothing but a big bottle

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Now I’ve got yer fur ruffled!
I have fermented onto the yeast left behind in a keg in the past… BUT… I didn’t make any notes of the finished product… And, I didn’t say it wouldn’t ferment… it just doesn’t want clear up…
How do we see if its correct or a misnomer?
Sneezles61

Maybe using the cake but we used to build up yeast from dregs all the time

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This yeast is killing me…

One fermenter has a decent little head of krauesen on it…the other…meh…mostly large bubbles…very weird…I’m going to build up a starter of bavarian lager yeast and pitch it at high K to both fermenters. See if I can save this batch…

I have a suspicion that the mash pH was a bit low…wonder if that’s an issue for the yeast if it finished low…there’s justification for a new pH meter…

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We always tell the after Christmas (brewing kit)noobs, to get and check a hydrometer reading, humor me and see what it is…I’m dying to know if there is a big difference between the 2 fermenters and why?

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pH for yeast needs to be above 4.0…
Sneezles61

Thanks I hadn’t looked it up yet. Was no where near that I’m sure. Just a couple cc s of acid that should’ve gone in the hot for sparge leaped out of the syringe and into the MT/BK. Brunwater says it put me at about 5.1 with the acidukated malt that was in my grist.

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You’re kind of a PITA with your gravity check demands you know…hahaha…Interesting results though…

My fermenters are buckets in blue igloo cube coolers with water up to about the 4 gal level using combinations of frozen 1.1L, 1 L and 16oz water bottles to chill to 50s.

Fermenter 1 now back at 54 degrees after being raised to 60 is the one that has had the more lackadaisical appearance with not much in the way of K and mostly big bubbles on the surface weighs in at 1.034.

Fermenter 2 at 55 degrees and generally 1-2 degrees warmer than ferm1 is at 1.030 with a very light krauesen cap.

So it’s fermenting…like the tortoise…slow and steady…steady and slow…

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Didn’t the tortoise win tho? :smirk:
Sneezles61

The tortoise is a BIG LOSER!

Decided to keg the pilsner this morning. Opened the fermenter and was greeted with the lovely aroma of vinegar and this attractive young pellicle.

UGH. Well, at least the decision on whether or not to save any of the yeast became easier to make!

Time to brew more pils. Luckily I have a brand new slurry of trusty bavarian lager yeast to rely on!

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