After a few years of ale-only brewing, the wife wanted us to brew our first lager. We did an Oktoberfest, into which we pitched a packet of WLP820. I probably should have done a starter, but it was only a 3-gallon batch, so I fugured I could be lazy. Maybe not.
All I can say is, DANG this was slow to take off. Almost 72 hours before any sign of fermentation. I haven’t had the “Did I kill my yeast” worries so bad since, well, I’ve never had it that bad.
From what I’ve been reading, this yeast is a slow starter, so I’m not clear if a starter would have helped.