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Old 06-04-2010, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default White Labs yeast question?

I am now on my 10th homebrew, just my second all grain. I have always used wyeast but i brewed a recipe of a strong dark ale that called for white labs 500 Trappist yeast. I have never used any white labs products. I pitched it at about 75 degrees 24 hours ago and have no sign of action. Is this normal. When i use wyeast, they have a smack pack, the white labs just says shake well and pitch. Was there something else i was supposed to do. I opened up the fermenter and nothing was going on, it looked like it did before i pitched. Not even a bubble. I am fermenting at a temperature around seventy degrees. Could it just be really slow?

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Old 06-04-2010, 03:05 AM   #2
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There's really little difference between Wyeast and WL other than the little smack pack that comes with Wyeast. All that does is help the yeast produce some CO2 to puff up the pack so you know it's viable and it isn't really enhancing or otherwise improving the yeast over White Labs. There was nothing else you should have done differently with this yeast (other than make a starter)

The problem is likely just the fact you didn't make a starter and it sounds like it's a higher gravity beer so if you're underpitching there's going to be a definite lag time before fermentation starts.

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Old 06-04-2010, 03:08 AM   #3
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What was your recipe? And post your OG. If you were making a high gravity beer you should build a yeast starter. Also you should aerate your wort well, this will get your little budies working faster. It's possible your yeast are just building up for a big job ahead of them.

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Old 06-04-2010, 04:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
The problem is likely just the fact you didn't make a starter...
I second this. Regardless of what WL says, a single tube (or smack pack for that matter) very rarely contains enough yeast for a quick, explosive fermentation. Depends on initial gravity.

Typically I use a stepped up 1L starter (single colony from a streak plate into 1ml into 10mls into 100 mls into 1L) for all brews at or below 1.060. Alternatively I would recommend pitching at least 1/3 of a vial into 1L of low OG wort a day or two prior to pitching.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:13 AM   #5
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Did you make a starter or just pitch the liquid yeast straight from the vial? What is the OG of your recipe?

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Old 06-04-2010, 05:54 AM   #6
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I used WLP500 for the first time recently. I had a nearly-expired tube that took about 36 hours to show any activity in an O2-enriched 1L starter, so I went out and bought another, fresher tube. That one took about 12 hours to show activity in a 1.5L starter. Both starters tasted wonderful, so I pitched them both into my Tripel; they were off to the races after just FOUR HOURS @70ºF!

Not that lagtime is a hugely important indicator, but it tells me that this is a pretty hibernation-prone strain and needs to be revitalized to really get going.

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Old 06-04-2010, 06:17 AM   #7
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Wow, I've used WL yeasts in both of my first brews and they both were pretty happy within about 16 hours.... (with no starters). Maybe I've been lucky?

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Old 06-04-2010, 12:23 PM   #8
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First it has now been almost 36 hours and nothing. I am in a homebrew club and we just had a rep from wl and she was stressing the fact that unless you have a starting gravity of 1.09 or higher there is no need for a starter or pitching two vials. Now with that said, I only made 3 gAllons and my gravity was 1.07. I am afraid to pitch another vial, don't want to over pitch, again it's only 3 gallons.

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Old 06-04-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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STEP AWAY FROM THE BEER!!! It will start unless you pitched to hot and killed your yeast. Leave it alone, and let the yeast do their thing. If you've got no fermentation after 72 hours (use your hydrometer), then you can re-pitch.

+1 on a large healthy starter! I don't worry too much about overpitching, autolysis is almost unheard of these days.

Edit: According to MrMalty.com you need 2.2 vials of yeast for this beer if you're not making a starter, so I wouldn't worry about overpitching at all.

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Old 06-04-2010, 01:13 PM   #10
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ALWAYS make a starter! Especially with a H.G. wort!! The only other thing you can try to do right now is aerate the fermenter to get a little more oxygen in there. If you're using a bucket, just shake it up...and wait.

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