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Old 03-11-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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Default Who runs my LHBS?!

This story is a little long, but there isn't a doubt in my mind that you won't find humor in it. Cheers!

I havent brewed in a while and rather than making a starter from the yeast that I've had laying around in a sanitized mason for a year+ I decided to take a trip to my LHBS. When I got there a girl in the office came to help me. I asked for a vial of whitelabs cali ale 5. The initial confusion started bc when i say "ale" it sounds more like "L". Secondly, they only had wyeast, and since I was doing a clone I wanted the specific wyeast strain the recipe called for. The girl immediately suggested the cali lager (uh, I cam in for an ale yeast..and youre now trying to sell me a lager yeast??). I immediately started calling roommate to have em get recipe off my desk. While doing so, the woman helping me asked some kid in the back (although I couldnt tell exactly what he was doing, he was definitely working on a brew tank--I pray just cleaning or something) what strain they had similar to whitelabs cali ale 5, and he told her, "tell him to get the cali lager. its the closest thing we have. its the only thing w cali in the name.'' I then closed my eyes, hung my head and shook it. As I waited for my roommate the woman returned and told me multiple times to get the cali lager and that it was the same thing. All American Ale 1272 was what i needed.

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Old 03-11-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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yes, because everything with the same name is the same. especially if its a lager and your making an ale. my question is ... did they have the American Ale yeast? or did they try to sell you American Lager yeast?

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Old 03-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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My guess is the owner's kids/relatives are running the shop while he was away on vacation. Usually hobby shop owners are well invested in the hobby and know far more than the average customer. This same interaction happens in every other job where somebody makes recommendations or answers questions by pulling answers out of their rear-end. That is horrible service because if you didn't know any better you would potentially ruin a batch of beer.

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Old 03-11-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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No they didnt have the cali ale 5 but they did have the wyeast all american. they def tried to sell me the lager yeast..which would be fine if i was going for a steam style beer. and norcal, i agree w what youre saying, but honestly, this is the only local micro thats carried in bars and restaurants in my city. i wont recommend and often suggest other beers when ppl ask for it (im in food and bev). this breweries been open a little while and im honestly not impressed w any of their beers..except their dopple bock. this is also a reason ive tried to get investors to back and help me open a micro here. i havent made a 5gal batch yet i wouldnt prefer to any of their beers, and i know enough local homebrewers that would want to be a part of something great. not to mention how well it would thrive in my area. and im totally not trying to bash my lhbs, but man..

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Old 03-11-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ρ®ïMσ View Post
im totally not trying to bash my lhbs, but man..
Sounds like they're doing a pretty good job of bashing themselves...
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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I think we've all had experiences like this at one time or another at some kind of store.

With a LHBS store where there's not a ton of local competition for you to vote with your feet you're best bet is to probably gently help them out. If you're feeling charitable, next time you go in print out this sheet: http://www.mrmalty.com/yeast.htm

Then explain to them that you thought it might be helpful for them to hang it up somewhere as a quick reference for customers that aren't sure what yeast they need. The next time someone goes in there and asks for a specific strain they don't have you don't want it to be a first time homebrewer who might not know the difference between lager and ale yeast.

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Old 03-11-2010, 05:48 PM   #7
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Well, your problem was that White labs California Ale yeast is WLP001, not 5. If you had got WLP005, you'd have British Ale yeast

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Old 03-11-2010, 05:57 PM   #8
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I thought Wyeast 1056 was the closest to WLP001.

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:03 PM   #9
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I've got two shops near me, one is full of idiots, the other has very informative individuals. It detracts from my experience to go to the first one so i stopped going there.

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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The bigger question of course is, was she hot?

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