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I brewed an American lager, Jamil's "what most folks call beer" on Saturday 1/9. My Gravity was on target at 1.046 and I added a smack pack of Wyeast Pilsen Lager. I added it to 68 degree wort and then placed in fridge to ferment at 50 degrees. I am seeing very little action from the airlock, not sure how much I should see as this is my first lager. My volume in fermenter is about 6 gallons. I will take a gravity reading on 1/13. If the gravity has not dropped much, would you recommend waiting a week and taking another reading, that would be 10 days into fermentation? Pitching an additional smack pack now because I did not pitch enough to start? Thanks for the help.

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Generally you pitch twice as much lager yeast as you do ales.

The 18° drop could have shocked the yeast a bit

All is not lost bring the fermentaion temp up to the recommended high limit of your yeast strain (check wyeast site) to get the yeast woke up. Then you can nurse it to the lower primary temp range.

The under pitch may make more esters than desired, so secondary may take longer to clean it up.

Do all temp changes at 1° per hour.

Also in the future, check the use by date on the yeast. Most manufactures claim 50% viability at experation time. This effects your pitch rate greatly.

  • That being said, would you recommend additional yeast be added at this stage. Is there a point of no return to add additional yeast to a lager? – MLAS Jan 13 '16 at 20:10
  • @MLAS did you check your FG yet? Repitching at this point may not do much, generally the yeast you pitched would grow to do what it needs, but in the process generate a lot of esters, and that's what a proper pitch tries to prevent. – Evil Zymurgist Jan 13 '16 at 20:18
  • I will admit I do not have the necessary equipment to drop the temp one degree per hour. What I did do is set the fermenter in the garage its maintained about 60 for the last few hours. I'll let Momma Nature bring it down slowly this evening into tonight then re deposit in fridge at 46-50 constant temp. – MLAS Jan 13 '16 at 21:14
  • Yeast are active at this point so I will wait to check the G. – MLAS Jan 13 '16 at 21:15
  • @MLAS Sounds fine. Let us know how it turns out. – Evil Zymurgist Jan 13 '16 at 21:16

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