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Old 10-06-2012, 09:05 AM   #11
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Sad to say, since I like many of White lab's products, but wlp090 has definitely not proven itself a good yeast in my experience. It actually turned me down on everything it promised. It has low attenuation, not high, it produces a **** load of diacetyl, so it's not neutral and it ferments slowly not quickly! It might be a suitable yeast for some low gravity beers but as far as its advertised properties go, it definitely let me down. I did two beers with it, one low and one high gravity. Both ended up in stuck fermentation stinking like a diacetyl bomb. I was able to clean them up a bit by adding many packages of Fermentis US-05 to both beers and they turned out ok, eventually. Wasn't easy though.
Have I just been very unlucky with this? Does it matter? That's up to you but I want you to know that I am an experienced brewer, I follow pitching rates, I use good sanitation and I don't have anything against White labs' products all in all.
Yeast tends to mutate along the way which is why you can't reuse your yeast too many times. - So developing yeast can only be based upon letting it mutate. Did white labs this time let the base strain mutate to far? Is it a very unstable strain so that some tubes are good, while some are bad? I don't know. But I'm staying away from wlp090 from now on.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jepp0174 View Post
Sad to say, since I like many of White lab's products, but wlp090 has definitely not proven itself a good yeast in my experience. It actually turned me down on everything it promised. It has low attenuation, not high, it produces a **** load of diacetyl, so it's not neutral and it ferments slowly not quickly! It might be a suitable yeast for some low gravity beers but as far as its advertised properties go, it definitely let me down. I did two beers with it, one low and one high gravity. Both ended up in stuck fermentation stinking like a diacetyl bomb. I was able to clean them up a bit by adding many packages of Fermentis US-05 to both beers and they turned out ok, eventually. Wasn't easy though.
Have I just been very unlucky with this? Does it matter? That's up to you but I want you to know that I am an experienced brewer, I follow pitching rates, I use good sanitation and I don't have anything against White labs' products all in all.
Yeast tends to mutate along the way which is why you can't reuse your yeast too many times. - So developing yeast can only be based upon letting it mutate. Did white labs this time let the base strain mutate to far? Is it a very unstable strain so that some tubes are good, while some are bad? I don't know. But I'm staying away from wlp090 from now on.
I've been brewing with WLP090 pretty much since it came out and haven't experienced anything like this. WLP090 is faster, more attenuative, and a better flocculator than chico-strain yeasts, in my experience. It is, however, a more finicky yeast to use.

Notice that the temperature optimal range is much narrower than most white labs products. Also: high flocculators tend to need a lot of oxygen (see: English yeasts like WLP002, 006 and 007), and this strain also likes a lot of oxygen- I've definitely gotten better performance out of it (faster ferments and flocs) since stepping up to pure O2 about a year ago, the only way to properly oxygenate your wort to the optimal 8ppm dO2.

If you have the ability to treat your yeast right, that is to say, pure O2, temperature control, and proper pitching rates, this yeast will outperform other clean american ale strains. I've never had anything like diacetyl come from any of the clean american yeasts, even with hot ferments that got away from me, low O2, and woefully inadequate pitch rates. I'm not sure what you'd have to do to those yeasts to get that result, but I wonder if it's not another flaw or ingredient throwing you off. Certain malts, in particular, can be a little off-putting to me, and I pick them up as a slight slickness or butter-nuttiness you might expect from diacetyl.

Not to shill for White Labs, but their QC is top notch- every batch gets multiple forced-ferment tests, which are subsequently analyzed on some pretty fancy-shmancy equipment before shipping and nothing goes out the door with high levels of any flaw compound. Having worked with yeast in the lab, I'd be willing to bet every strain is grown up from a single cell derived parent culture and is extremely stable generation to generation. Pro brewers typically take their yeast out as many as ten generations and can't typically pick up major differences on sensory panels.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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Does anyone have any idea how high of an OG this yeast is capable of? I put together a recipe for an IIPA and frankly, the results are terrifying. I planned on making a decent starter, but am definitely going to have to get an O2 tank and now it seems like I may also have to coax the yeast by doing multiple wort additions throughout the fermentation. By calculations (which of course are probably slightly flawed), the recipe I have is going to land the OG in the area of 1.174. The highest I've ever gone is 1.08, so this is completely new territory for me.

So I guess my questions are, can this yeast handle this level of ethanol? With a high-attenuating strain like this, I'd anticipate an ABV of 17-18%. I'm afraid I may have to go to the WLP099, and I really was looking for the profile that 90 offers. If it can handle this brew, am I forced into a position to do multiple fermentation wort additions, or can I skate away with a healthy starter directly into this high of a gravity?

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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Does anyone have any idea how high of an OG this yeast is capable of? I put together a recipe for an IIPA and frankly, the results are terrifying. I planned on making a decent starter, but am definitely going to have to get an O2 tank and now it seems like I may also have to coax the yeast by doing multiple wort additions throughout the fermentation. By calculations (which of course are probably slightly flawed), the recipe I have is going to land the OG in the area of 1.174. The highest I've ever gone is 1.08, so this is completely new territory for me.

So I guess my questions are, can this yeast handle this level of ethanol? With a high-attenuating strain like this, I'd anticipate an ABV of 17-18%. I'm afraid I may have to go to the WLP099, and I really was looking for the profile that 90 offers. If it can handle this brew, am I forced into a position to do multiple fermentation wort additions, or can I skate away with a healthy starter directly into this high of a gravity?
Let's see the recipe. I can't imagine you'll get enough efficiency to get anywhere near that OG, and if you do, I don't think you'll be able to hop it enough to make a decent IIPA. Remember, IBU perception tops out around 100-110 IBU, so if your OG gets much over 1.1, your beer is just getting sweeter and sweeter with no more IBUs to balance it out. I would imagine you'd have to use a ton of simple sugars and/or extracts to get an OG that high and that's not going to make for a tasty IIPA either.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #15
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that's well above even barleywine OG - you'll have a hard time finding any yeast that can chew through that unless you feed it sugar/yeast throughout the fermentation like people do with Utopia/120min clones and even then you're not likely going to end up with anything resembling a IIPA

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:19 PM   #16
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Well, to be fair, that OG was assuming 80% efficiency where we usually get 85+. I suppose it may end up closer to 75%, but even then, the OG will be huge. I've got enough hop additions to get it to 130 IBU so it will easily age for a year without losing too much bitterness. Obviously, a balanced traditional IPA is NOT what this recipe is about, as the Imperial should say on its own.
In total, there are 33 pounds of grain going into this recipe, no simple sugars as of yet. The WLP099 could handle it easily, but the real question is, can the WLP090, and if so, what will the fermentation wort additions look like?

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DonLiguori View Post
Well, to be fair, that OG was assuming 80% efficiency where we usually get 85+. I suppose it may end up closer to 75%, but even then, the OG will be huge. I've got enough hop additions to get it to 130 IBU so it will easily age for a year without losing too much bitterness. Obviously, a balanced traditional IPA is NOT what this recipe is about, as the Imperial should say on its own.
In total, there are 33 pounds of grain going into this recipe, no simple sugars as of yet. The WLP099 could handle it easily, but the real question is, can the WLP090, and if so, what will the fermentation wort additions look like?
I think you need to lower your expectations. I typically get 80% efficiency on my system, and my most recent barleywine ended up at less than 60% efficiency (OG ended up being right around 1.1). Still, seeing the recipe would help.

Even if you know that your system is capable of higher efficiency with bigger beers, it will still probably end up being too sweet. Like I said, it doesn't matter if the beer is calculated to be 130 IBUs, human beings can only taste about a hundred. An OG 1.15+ beer is going to taste enormously sweet regardless of the IBU for that reason, particularly because your FG is going to end up north of 1.035 likely as not.

Also, why would you age an IIPA? That's basically wasting your late hops, which drop off noticeably in weeks, almost entirely more than a few months out.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #18
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Hey all,

I pitched a batch of Imperial Red Ale with 2 vials of WLP 090 roughly 2 weeks ago. OG was 1.072 and the fermentation took a good 24hrs to get going. After 10 days of continuous airlock activity the krausen finally dropped out and the gravity was only at 1.020, for an attenuation of 71%. I mashed at 151, and also used a yeast advertised as a bigger wlp001 so I was expecting much more out of it....I had heard stories of huge attenuation after only 3 days of fermentation, yet the result I got was pale in comparison to s-05. Have other people seen tremendous results from this super yeast? Im curious to know if something went wrong with mine or if this has been common place. Thanks!
Figuring about 5.5 gallons of wort 1.072 you need close to 300 billion cells, even at 100% viability you pitched around 2/3 of the suggested cell count. Under pitching coupled with sub-optimal oxygenation could explain the lack of attenuation. I've only used this yeast once but was satisfied with the results.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #19
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I brewed a smoked cranberry belgian dubbel with it this fall with two tubes Super San Diego and two packets S04 mixed, OG 1.082, FG: 1.017. 100% tap water, 1 teaspoon generic LHBS yeast nutes and no O2. I made it before getting an O2 kit this Christmas. Had i'd used the O2, i'm sure it would've eclipsed 1.010. The alcohol level is already off the chart for a dubbel at 8.6% but it's well masked.

People love it. It took in a 42 and a 46 at the Best Florida Beer Championships last month, made it to the second round but failed to medal. I entered it in as a specialty beer/winter warmer and should've probably entered it as a true Belgian Dubbel. Might've medaled then.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:53 PM   #20
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I brewed a smoked cranberry belgian dubbel with it this fall with two tubes Super San Diego and two packets S04 mixed, OG 1.082, FG: 1.017. 100% tap water, 1 teaspoon generic LHBS yeast nutes and no O2. I made it before getting an O2 kit this Christmas. Had i'd used the O2, i'm sure it would've eclipsed 1.010. The alcohol level is already off the chart for a dubbel at 8.6% but it's well masked.

People love it. It took in a 42 and a 46 at the Best Florida Beer Championships last month, made it to the second round but failed to medal. I entered it in as a specialty beer/winter warmer and should've probably entered it as a true Belgian Dubbel. Might've medaled then.
There's nothing belgian about that beer if you used S-04 and WLP090.
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