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Old 04-22-2010, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default WLP400 takes forever - you have been warned!

Used WLP410 last year for a Ginger Wit beer and it turned out great & fermented like most yeasts (done in a week). The local homebrew store didn't have any WLP410, so I decided to try the WLP400 without reading up on it. My first wit is still fermenting after 3 weeks, and is only down from 1.050 to 1.018 and still fermenting. My mistake was starting the ferment at around 63F - too cool for this yeast apparently. But even after getting it up to 70F, it's still crawling. This yeast will have to produce something truly special for me to ever use it again.

end of rant

dan

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Old 04-22-2010, 06:22 PM   #2
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how old is the culture, maybe it was mishandled or something. I have used it a few times with great success and gone grain to glass in 3 weeks with a wit using it.

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Old 04-22-2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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That has not been my experience with WLP-400. Each time, for me, it's started quickly, kicked like a MO FO, and finished in less than a week. The ambient temp was < 65 F on all of those batches, though ferment temp was most likely higher. YMMV

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Old 04-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Interesting - yeah, I even used a starter on a stir plate for mine. My only thought is that it started a little too cool and just never really got going, and after reading the comments on the White Labs site regarding it I figured that it always acted this way. I have a dubbel going with the same yeast right now, so we'll see how long that one takes to finish. At least that one is cranking at around 69F.

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Old 04-22-2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Started mine at 65 with a 1L starter and hit with pure O2 before pitch. Took at 1 week, raised to 68, another to 70 and was finished in 3. Cold crashed 3 days and bottle with a little extra yeast.

I swirled mine every few days...seemed to keep things going well. Started at 1.050 finished at 1.005.

JZ an Tasty seem to think the first stages of fermentation matter the most with the beer flavor, after that you can raise the temp a little, especially on cooler ales and it moves things along without creating off flavors and finish the beer out nicely. Have to say this has worked for me pretty well. On a heffe and my WLP400 wit.

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Old 04-22-2010, 06:39 PM   #6
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BTW, you probably had a lot of the active yeast cells drop out, if it is still fermenting at 3 week it will still be ok, leave a 70 and it will get lower.

Is this an all-grain batch? what temp did you mash at? did you use O2 at all? you use a starter or dump the vial?

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Old 04-23-2010, 06:32 PM   #7
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Yeah - all-grain mash stepped at 122 & 154. Starter on a stir plate, so had a decent amt of yeast. Guess I'll just be patient.

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Old 04-23-2010, 06:57 PM   #8
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I've had it take forever before but that was because of honey and it being an extract batch. I have an AG witbier batch that finished fermenting about a week after pitching which I just need to bottle. I'm not feeling up to it right now.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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WLP400 exhibited some strange behavior for me as well, and I
just wanted add my experiences to this thread:


0.5 L starter, stirred
Mashed at 154
Pitched and began fermentation at 168
-12hr lag time, bubbled regularly for 5 days
-@ 5 days: fermentation activity increased dramatically and a very large krausen formed (from the 5 gallon mark on my bucket all the way to the very top). Very strange for it to take this long for high krausen.
-@ 1.5 weeks: still activity!, gradually raised temperature to 72F (for comparison, the other 5 gallons of this split batch, I pitched WLP029 Kolsch yeast and it finished promptly within several days at 65F)
-@ 3 weeks: attenuated properly (1.055 to 1.008 = 85%) and tastes great. HOWEVER there is STILL intermittent airlock ACTIVITY and the yeast has still not fallen from the top of the fermenter. Very strange. Plan on going ahead and kegging within a few days.

In the past I used WLP410, which finished promptly and turned out great.

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