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Old 10-28-2011, 02:29 AM   #1
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Default WLP002 - What the heck?!

I brewed up a 3 gallon batch of Jamil's oatmeal stout (OG 1.055) and pitched a very fresh vial of WLP002 - a yeast I've never used before. I placed the fermentor (a plastic bucket) in my basement where it's 66-67 degrees and went to bed. 8 hours later - no activity in the airlock, nothing. 24 hours later, same thing...nothing. I opened up the bucket and see no sign of activity - no kraeusen, no ring around the bucket, etc.. I moved the bucket upstairs where it's warmer. 36 hours...still nothing. The wort looks exactly like it looked when I poured it in the bucket after brewing.

So, I figured there's a problem with the yeast. I decided to pitch a packet of US-05, but before I did, I decided to take an SG reading just to check but I dropped the stupid hydrometer...glass bits all over the floor. So, I figured what the heck, and I pitched the rehydrated US-05.

Later that day, I had an unexpected chance to go to my LHBS and buy another hydrometer. As soon as I got home, I took a SG reading (this is about 3 hours after pitching the US-05) and much to my surprise, the SG was down to 1.015...which seemed to indicate that the WLP002 worked after all.

SO...I'm wondering two things:

1) Anyone else have a similar experience with WLP002? I've read that it's a slow starter but once it gets going it's pretty active, but my experience was that it worked very quickly and quietly - so quickly and quietly that there was absolutely no sign that it had happened/was happening.

2) I assume that the US-05 I added will probably result in a lower FG than it would have from the US-05. Am I going to get a yeasty flavor or any other problems as a result of the additional yeast?

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Old 10-28-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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No idea on #1, but no on #2. You shouldn't taste any noticeable effects from overpitching.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:10 AM   #3
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I just had a recent batch of mild, brewed with wlp002/1968, that did the same thing. No krausen or visible fermentation for three days. It did attenuate after a week, but the yeast did not flocculate. I don't know what was up with the yeast to do that, as it was fresh, although I suspect I pitched too cold and/or did not oxygenate enough.

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Old 10-28-2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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My last batch was Jamil's Oatmeal Stout. I used a vial of WLP002 into a 1L starter on a stirplate. There was a very vigorous fermentation 8 hours after pitching. My FG was a couple points high at 1.018, so I might have mashed a little warmer than measured.

I'm using WLP002 again on a special bitter this weekend. We'll see what happens.

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Old 10-28-2011, 06:42 PM   #5
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002 is very very flocculant. You might want to stir/swirl your carboy during fermentation to keep the guys in suspension. Produces crystal-clear beer.

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Old 10-28-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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Second that. My October pumpkin took some babying with 002. Few rousings and a little temp bump, and all was well.
Really like this yeast!

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Old 10-28-2011, 06:49 PM   #7
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I routinely have 36-48 hour ferments with high flocculators such as 002/1968 and 028/1728. Not sure about the lack of krausen/visible activity, though.

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Old 10-29-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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Last batch I did with 002 was so vigorous that it blew out the airlock.
Im brewing an ESB with 1968 tomorrow, will see how that one does.

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Old 10-29-2011, 02:38 PM   #9
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I just finished a porter with that yeast. I've used it a few times. Activity seems to be temperature dependant. My porter wouldn't all fit in one vessel.. so, i ended up with the overflow is a 3g carbohydrate. I could only control term temp on the main batch at 68f. The side batch ended up at 75f. The main batch acted like yours, the side batch formed a kraussen and bubbles the airlock.

Both finished at the same gravity : 12 points.

That's my theory anyway.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Pitched a vial of WLP002 into a porter on Saturday (11/5). Airlock started bubbling every 15 seconds or so about 12 hours later. After 2 days, it's fermenting like crazy. I have pretty good temp control and like to keep this yeast right at 68F, as I prefer some of its more estery characteristics. As for kraeusen, I always get a good inch or so a few days into fermentation.

Either way, if your gravity reading indicates less sugar than before you pitched your yeast, you made beer... and if it's beer, you can drink it. One thing I'll be curious to see/hear about is whether you're able to get a good head on that puppy.

Cheers!

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