I pitched the yeast slurry from my stepped up (3L) starter of Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager yeast Sunday night into my fermenter full of wort. Carboy was in the mid 50s, but I then put it in the fridge to cool down a bit. Fridge was going to be too cold, so Monday morning I pulled the carboy out and left it on the cold cement floor of my basement. It’s been holding steady a52-53° F. I saw no airlock activity at all on Monday.
Tuesday morning before leaving for work, I checked the airlock and again saw NOTHING. I pulled the black t-shirt protecting the beer from sunlight and was shocked to see a good inch of krausen at the top. I clearly know nothing about lager ferments! Seems that bottom fermenting yeasts (like this lager yeast) behave quite differently than the yeasts I have experience with. Not seeing much airlock bubbling is not a bad sign. The krausen is a clear indication the yeast it working. Glad I took the two weeks to step up the yeast starter. The yeast packet was months old, and the starter took days to get going. Decanting and adding fresh wort (made from dried malt extract, DME) twice ofver the two weeks gave me the equivalent of a 3 liter starter. According to those who know, lagers tend to need twice the amount of yeast cells than a typical ale. Seems to be paying off.