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The Wyeast website seems to strongly suggest a diacetyl as fermentation completes with their Bavarian Lager strain, 2206. I prefer to chill my wort to below fermentation temps prior to pitching the yeast. For my current Oktoberfest, I chilled overnight to 50F, then I pitched the yeast and it was fermenting within 12 hours at 52F. I plan to hold it there for 3 weeks.

Does anyone have experience with WY2206 and doing a cold start to fermentation? Will diacetyl be produced at detectable levels to warrant a warmer rest?

I think ultimately, I'll be tasting the beer prior to the lagering phase (32F) and make the call that way. But any experienced help would be appreciated to help plan.

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WY2206 is my go to lager yeast and I've used it many times. It almost never throws diacetyl if you do a long enough fermentation. I never pitch a lager at temps higher than 45F, and then keep the fermentation temp around 50ish. I give it 3-4 weeks in primary, then take a gravity reading and taste the beer. If I taste diacetyl, I raise the temp for a rest. If not, I go right to the lagering phase. I think your plan is a good one.

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I just want to understand your process. SO you cool the wort to 45F and then pitch. Do you then just set your temp controller to 50F and let the beer free rise to there with the controller holding it from going over? I love that you use the same yeast I chose. Very helpful and exactly what I am looking for. –  brewchez Jun 10 '11 at 16:46
    
Yep, you've got it! –  Denny Conn Jun 10 '11 at 18:00
    
For those of us who are unsure of our ability to taste diacetyl, do you think there's any harm in doing a D-rest on a beer without any diacetyl in it? I would assume not, but you never know... –  Graham Jun 10 '11 at 18:16
    
Great. Thanks Denny. –  brewchez Jun 11 '11 at 0:36
    
@Graham If you can't taste it then I wouldn't worry about it. I'd rethink that plan if other people drinking the beer, with a beer palette started telling me I had some diacetyl. Some people are more sensitive than others to the taste. –  brewchez Jun 11 '11 at 0:38
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There's a science behind these suggestions (explained by eg Noonan in "New Brewing Lager"). I prefer to perform forced diacetyl test before i decide to warm up fermenting beer. For my past German lagers this was enough (fermented with Bohemian Lager, Munich Lager and Bavarian Lager yeast). And i always pitch cold, at 8-9*C.

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Cool info with the diacetyl test. I haven't picked up that book yet, so thanks for passing the info along. –  brewchez Jun 10 '11 at 16:49
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