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Old 09-26-2007, 03:15 AM   #1
Dannyc31
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Feb 2007
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Is anyone else having a slow start time with white labs yeast, i used a California 5, which i had to kick start with a champane yeast. Now i have a pumpkin ale going on day three and it is like watching grass grow for the ferm to start. that was a english ale yeast from white labs also. seems they have some bad stuff out there or it is just taking forever to get going.

I am thinking of stopping to use there yeast for everything.

Dan

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:17 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage
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Did you make a starter? If not, a 36+ hour lag time isn't unusual. 3 days seems excessive, though.

It's not bad yeast, it's bad procedures and bad advice. You should always make a starter with liquid yeast. "Pitchable" vials and smack packs really don't have the sort of viable cell count you need.

See www.mrmalty.com for a pretty thorough explanation and a calculator.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:25 AM   #3
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Might also look into your source of yeast as a possible problem. If it is not handled well between the lab and your home (example: hot weather and slow shipping) then the viability can suffer greatly.

FWIW, I have always had great success with their yeast.

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:27 AM   #4
paranode
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I use it exclusively and only once made a starter. Lag time varies but it's always been going by the 36-hr mark for me.

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:29 AM   #5
Dannyc31
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Feb 2007
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made starter every time, only have this problem with white labs

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:34 AM   #6
sudbuster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Did you make a starter? If not, a 36+ hour lag time isn't unusual. 3 days seems excessive, though.

It's not bad yeast, it's bad procedures and bad advice. You should always make a starter with liquid yeast. "Pitchable" vials and smack packs really don't have the sort of viable cell count you need.

See www.mrmalty.com for a pretty thorough explanation and a calculator.
I fully agree, please, don't take me wrong, i appreciate the yeast labs for making yeasts available to the homebrewer, but these pitifull little vials and packs are only a start to what is needed. I cut those things 6 ways and then boost a cut up to 3L in full kraeusen for lagers. Starters are VERY important....

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
TexLaw
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I've used California V a number of times. Even when I didn't use a starter, I got lag times far better than what OP describes. Make a starter, if you have time. No matter what, aeriate well, as that makes a huge difference in lag times. Pitch at proper temperatures.


TL

 
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:31 PM   #8
Buford
 
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I have also discovered that a stir plate makes a HUGE difference when making a starter. I get lag times of under 12 hours since I started using one.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:19 PM   #9
Austinhomebrew
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Whenever yeast is at warmer temperatures for a length of time, like when being shipped for several days, it will increase the lag time. If your batch doesn't start within 24 hours after pitching, a vigorous stir will help a lot. You can also add Yeast Fuel or another type of yeast nutrient to ensure a healthy fermentation. It is also very wise to have a couple packets of Nottingham dry yeast on hand for emergencies. Dry yeast will last several years and it never has a problem starting.

I am willing to give out free samples of our Yeast Fuel (1 per customer or address) simply email [email protected] and mention "Homebrewtalk"
Yeast fuel is a yeast nutrient that is very beneficial to the yeast when fermenting. Our customers have told us that it produces a very clean and fast fermentation. It can take as much as 48 hours off of your fermentation time.


 
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:59 AM   #10
thurvin
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Oct 2007
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Don't believe the hype. Unless you're brewer something like a imperial stout barley wine or other big beers, in my experience, you don't need a start with White Labs. It is just a extra step, and another place one can screw up. If it gets a bug in starter, the bug mutliples too. Also, no way, a quart or any thing less than a gallon starter will give you anything close to the cell count to matter.

Try simple aeroation, like shaking the fermentor for 5-10 minutes. Oxygen will allow the yeast to reproduce to required cell count.
Most of the time, I get a lag time of 12-18 hours with white lab. Pitch temp is probably more importart than a starter. (about 80 degree for ales 50 for lagers) If you are using a Ale pail type , check the seal on the container. I have had it happen that I didn't seal it correctly and the bugger didn't bubble until I close right.

 
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