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Old 09-20-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Wyeast 3191 Berliner Weisse no activity

I've searched the forums and there just isn't much info at all about this yeast yet so I've decided to start a thread.

I brewed a Berliner Weisse yesterday using Wyeast 3191 PC. I smacked the pack 5 hours before pitching but when it came time to pitch the pack hadn't swollen at all. I normally do a yeast starter with Wyeast but because this pack has Lactobacillus and Brett in it as well as a german ale yeast, I wasn't sure if that would be the correct thing to do or not so I decided to pitch directly into the carboy.

The wyeast website says that 3191 is slow to start and that I should give it 2-3 days to let it get started. This morning, 12+ hours after pitching the wort looked very inactive. I'm not too worried yet but I'm wondering what actions I should take if 48 hours after pitching I still see no activity. Should I buy another pack and repitch or is letting the wort sit in a carboy for 48 hours to hazardous in which case I'd have to start all over?

This is the first time I've ever had a smack pack not inflate within 5 hours. The manufacturing date on the package is July 18, 2010 so the yeast is quite fresh. Does anyone have any experience with this strain of yeast? I really didn't want to make another "is my yeast dead" thread but since there isn't much info about this yeast/bacteria anywhere, I felt this was my only option to develope a salvage plan. Thanks in advance.



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Old 09-20-2010, 04:24 PM   #2
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Wyeast 3191-PC Berliner-Weisse Blend
Beer Styles: Lambics, Geuze, Fruit Lambic, Flanders Red Ale
Profile: This blend includes a German ale strain with low ester formation and a dry, crisp finish. The Lactobacillus included produces moderate levels of acidity. The unique Brettanomyces strain imparts a critical earthy characteristic that is indicative of a true Berliner Weisse. When this blend is used, expect a slow start to fermentation as the yeast and bacteria in the blend is balanced to allow proper acid production. It generally requires 3-6 months of aging to fully develop flavor characteristics. Use this blend with worts containing extremely low hopping rates.



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Old 09-20-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509inc View Post
Wyeast 3191-PC Berliner-Weisse Blend
Beer Styles: Lambics, Geuze, Fruit Lambic, Flanders Red Ale
Profile: This blend includes a German ale strain with low ester formation and a dry, crisp finish. The Lactobacillus included produces moderate levels of acidity. The unique Brettanomyces strain imparts a critical earthy characteristic that is indicative of a true Berliner Weisse. When this blend is used, expect a slow start to fermentation as the yeast and bacteria in the blend is balanced to allow proper acid production. It generally requires 3-6 months of aging to fully develop flavor characteristics. Use this blend with worts containing extremely low hopping rates.
This is on the wyeast website. I've already read that thoroughly, it still doesn't answer any of my questions. I just wish Wyeast would give more info as to whether a starter should be made for this strain considering it has bacteria in it. Also, they don't say anything about the smackpack taking longer than usual to inflate which is the only reason I'm second guessing it's viability. I'm sure it will be bubbling away tomorrow after I worry about it for 2 days LOL
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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I believe on the smack pack itself says you can smack and pour or smack and inflate. I do not always let mine inflate. I tend to forget that part every few batches or so.

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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I know it's not necessary but you'd think a pack that is only 2 months old and allowed to inflate for 5 hours would show some sign of life.

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #6
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Yep I would have expected it to inflate. Someone else maybe able to provide some more info for you.

Good luck on the brew tho I hope it works out for you.

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Old 09-20-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
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Ok, so Wyeast answered the email I sent them this morning. This is what they said:

Thank you for the email. 3191 is designed to give the Lactobacillus time to sour the beer prior to alcoholic fermentation. The yeast count is purposefully low on this blend and mixed with a high quantity of Lacto. The package will not swell quickly (like the normal 4-6 hours), and CO2 production and alcoholic fermentation will take a couple days to start. I know it seems odd, but everything sounds fine. I hope that this helps. Cheers,

So hopefully all my fears are unwarranted as I thought was probably the case. I'll post back if/when fermentation starts.

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Old 09-21-2010, 12:10 AM   #8
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Checked it tonight after work. About 24 hours after pitching. A good 1 inch kreusen and airlock is furiously bubbling away. I guess this yeast just doesn't inflate the packs like most.

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Old 09-21-2010, 01:11 PM   #9
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There is very little yeast in that pack. Its almost all lacto with just a touch of brett.

I am surprised that you have activity now. I would have expected it to take another day or so.

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Old 09-21-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
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The same thing happened with me when I brewed the Kinderwiesse kit. Iwent ahead and dumped it in and it took 3 days to get started. I fermented it in the basement (68 degrees) and it took a long time. I never saw it bubble more than once every 5 seconds. It took 3 weeks till the readings remained the same. I.n letting it sit in the secondary for for a few weeks. I tasted a sample of the wort last night and it is very interesting. I'm really looking forward to this.



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