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Old 11-07-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default White Labs WLP001

I brewed a batch of beer two days ago and it's my first time using california ale yeast. The fermentation took longer to start than I've ever experienced and although the trub is swilling around the whole carboy, there's only about half an inch or so of krausen on top. Is this normal for this yeast? I plan on just waiting and seeing what happens, but this brew is for a friends wedding reception.

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:09 AM   #2
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Did you only pitch the tube? Make a starter? What's the original gravity of the beer and did you aerate?

If you just pitched the tube it will definitely take longer, and if its got a moderate gravity I worry that it will stall out.

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:46 AM   #3
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I use WLP001 as often as possible. Have always had great results with it but I also always make a 1250ml starter just to insure a faster start and cleaner fermentation. Start times vary but I have seen visual fermentation begin anywhere from 3 to 5 hours and it has never taken more than 8 hours. As far as aeration, I rack about half the wort from my kettle to my fermenter, add the yeast, and then rack the balance allowing the wort to splash as it goes in and the result is about 3" of aerated foam. I'm sure there are better ways, but this works well for me. Regarding your krausen, I've had some with 1/2" and some needed a blow-off, depends on the type of beer and amount of fermentables. If you have krausen, it's probably fine, just let it work.

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
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What was the expiration date on the vial? I use White Labs exclusively and I never do a starter. Just pitch the vial straight into the fermenter. For the most part with well aerated wort i've seen visible activity in my airlock within about 8 hours or less. I've never had a problem. though I live in San Diego and buy it locally so I always have it when its really fresh. In some cases it was cultured the day before i bought and used it

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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When I started brewing I used Wyeast smacked packs directly into cooled wort. I never had a problem with the beer even with minimal aeration. Proper pitching will lead to better beer faster. Typically, a beer that is under pitched will ferment out given enough time. The caveat to this are high OG beers that really need the cell count. My 1.08 stout died at 1.035 even with a pack of US-05, so just be careful.

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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What was the OG and volume of your brew? I never pitch just the tube....always a nice starter. I try to pitch at 60 and my lag times are usually around 4-8 hours...

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:34 PM   #7
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Every ferment is different, RDWHAHB

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Old 11-09-2010, 12:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. I pitched the tube into 5 gallons of 1.055 wort. I do starters for bigger beers, but never for something this "average" of a gravity. It's been chugging right along and smells pretty great. At first I wasn't sure if white labs just had more lag time than wyeast or safale.

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Old 11-09-2010, 12:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerstudent View Post
Thanks for the info. I pitched the tube into 5 gallons of 1.055 wort. I do starters for bigger beers, but never for something this "average" of a gravity. It's been chugging right along and smells pretty great. At first I wasn't sure if white labs just had more lag time than wyeast or safale.
That's a little lower than the ~1 million cells per ml per degree plato recommended in the literature, but not bad. I think a starter would be better for this beer but, perhaps more importantly, I think 65-69 is where that strain is going to do best (I have a lot of experience with it). Pitching at 60 would be fine but letting (or forcing) the temperature up to the mid-high 60s would be better. I pitch at 64 and let it rise to 67, for the record.

That strain also produces more modest krausen than a lot of ale strains, so I don't think that is disturbing. The temperature probably accounts for your slow start, with the pitch rate as a secondary factor.
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