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Old 04-11-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
dshay
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Default Wyeast or White Labs? New to liquid yeast

So I only have 5 extract brews under my belt so far, and have decided to give liquid yeast a try. I have only being using the dry yeast that comes with most of the extract kits so far. I was wondering what is the difference between White Labs and Wyeast?

I plan on making a hoppy pale ale next, but would appreciate some input from you more experienced brewers which liquid yeast to use? What do you guys prefer and any tips for using them?

Again with the pale ale I was not going to make a starter unless I really should, figured with a SG of 1.045 thought I would be ok?

Cheers

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Old 04-11-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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Most yeast strains come from common sources. The retailers just give trhem their own names. I buy the strains that my LHBW carries. Try this link for a cross reference: http://www.mrmalty.com/yeast.htm

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Old 04-11-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Differences, if any, are subtle. Many are the same strain, though some have reported differences. Use whichever is fresher & in stock.

The link above is extremely handy.

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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The main difference between White Labs and Wyeast (for the most part) is the "Activator Pack" or "Smack Pack" technology that Wyeast uses to boost cell count - but if you're making a starter like you should be anyway, it doesn't matter too, too much.

White Labs also has a tendency to fizz up in people's faces when they open the vial.

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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I know many brewers prefer one brand over the other. I have made fantastic beers with both brands and have no problem switching back and forth between either. White Labs comes in a vial that you would simply shake a bit before opening and pouring into your cooled wort. Wyeast comes in a foil pouch containing an inner pouch of liquid nutrient. The inner pouch is "smacked" and the package allowed to swell for a few hours at room temp. before pitching into cooled wort.

If brewing is something that you enjoy and intend to continue as a hobby, then I would recommend buying the necessary items to make yeast starters and possibly even a stir plate. Yeast starters just get the yeast up to par and ready and healthy enough to make you some good, clean beer. I always make a starter and use a stir plate a day or two in advance of pitching the yeast into my wort. My lag times, or the time it takes from pitching yeast to active fermentation has greatly decreased.

For a hoppy ale, I would recommend White Labs WLP001- California Ale. It clears from the beer very well. Also, Wyeast 1968 London ESB is one of my favorite yeasts for light hoppy ales, like IPAs and bitters.

Cheers!

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ao125 View Post
...that Wyeast uses to boost cell count...
Doesn't boost cell count. Just gets 'em warmed up:

From the Wyeast website:

"...plus an internal nutrient packet. This Wyeast Smack-pack™ system allows yeast metabolism to begin prior to inoculation as well as providing proof of yeast health..."
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link really does help to show that they are mostly the same yeast, but is there much a benefit of one vs the other? I read that the smack pack has roughly 100 billion cells while the WL has roughly 30 to 60 billion cells per vial benefit for the smack pack there?

Also, do you guys have any tips for a first time user of liquid yeast? Or is it simply okay for me to pitch the yeast simply start in the fermenter due to I'm only making a 1.044.

If I'm dry hopping the pale ale, want some good citrus notes in there, would you recommend 1056, WL001, or others?

Thanks again for the help,


Cheers

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:28 PM   #8
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Because that is what my LHBS carries.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #9
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Go to the Mr. Malty website linked above and read his articles about starters. Those will answer most of your questions about why you need a starter, how big of a starter you need, and what variables are in play when determining how big of a starter to make. Then use the calculator to determine if you need a starter, and how big of a starter you need.

For a regular American pale ale with strong hop notes, 1056 or WLP001 would be ideal.

My LHBS carries both, but Wyeast is about 25 cents less expensive. I suppose I should check dates, but having some Scottish ancestry, that extra 25 cents is usually the determining factor for me.

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshay
Or is it simply okay for me to pitch the yeast simply start in the fermenter
As long as the yeast you plan to use has not expired then you could just go ahead and pitch it without making a starter. It may take a bit longer for fermentation to begin.

Are you buying the yeast from a LHBS or are you ordering it? I would make a starter if the yeast is being shipped unless it was shipped with an ice pack. Then again, how did your LHBS get the yeast?

A tip I use when using Wyeast is to soak the whole pouch in sanitizer before cutting the package open with scissors that have also been sanitized. I like to do the same with my White Labs vial before opening. Also, White Labs mentions to shake the vial before opening but I would wait a few minutes after shaking before opening. I have made this mistake before and ended up with a mess!
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