Brown Ale with WLP005

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Fender230

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As the title says I am brewing a brown ale with some British Ale yeast from white labs. I was doing a bit of poking around to see how it is. I discovered something shocking... it is bottom fermenting. I also read that it can be very risky to put it in a secondary fermenter because a lot of yeast may be lost and the process may take much longer.

I am curious to see if anyone else has used this yeast with secondary fermentation. I just bought a glass carboy for that purpose and am kind of itching to use it.

Thanks in advance.
Matt
 

david_42

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Ale yeasts are almost all bottom fermenters. Leave the brew in the fermenter until the gravity has stayed the same for 3 days, then transfer to the clearing carboy.
 
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Fender230

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I was under the impression that Ale yeast is top fermenting and lager yeast is bottom fermenting.
 

Joker

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Ale yeasts top ferment.

Where did you see that it bottom ferments?

Also most fermentation is complete before you transfer to secondary. The secondary is for clearing not fermenting.
 
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Fender230

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From the White Labs website.

about the WLP005
"You don't see that much activity because it doesn't rise to the top at all. It ferments from the bottom, unusual for ale yeast but becoming more common as many UK ale brewers have switched to conical fermentors."

It is somewhat rare but this yeast does in fact ferment from the bottom.
 

Mike C

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Fender230 said:
From the White Labs website.

about the WLP005
"You don't see that much activity because it doesn't rise to the top at all. It ferments from the bottom, unusual for ale yeast but becoming more common as many UK ale brewers have switched to conical fermentors."

It is somewhat rare but this yeast does in fact ferment from the bottom.
Interesting! I wonder how it compares taste-wize to WLP002 English ale yeast? I've done two brown ales with that one and it flocculates quite a bit (as well as top-ferments). Very fun to watch.
 

Bob

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Um. Er. Don't quite understand this. I was under the impression that fermentation occurred when the yeast was suspended in solution - i.e., evenly distributed in the fluid - not foaming at the top or sedimented at the bottom, thus "top-fermenting" and "bottom-fermenting" were archaic monikers with no real meaning.

Once the yeast drops out of solution it doesn't do anything. In order to ferment, it must be in contact with the wort, and that happens when it's in suspension.

I wonder if I'm wrong, or if the yeast providers are simplifying the descriptions.

Someone tell me!

Bob
 
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Fender230

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That is true I have read that the yeast works when in the solution. Maybe some are more concentrated towards the bottom and some towards the top. It is possible that it is somewhat of an oversimplification.

As far as the difference between the 002 and 005. I read that the 005 produces more maltyness without as many esters. It really sounds like an ale/lager hybrid. That is pretty awesome in my book since I do not have the space or equipment for lagering.
 

HOOTER

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I decided to resurrect this thread because I brewed a brown ale last night with WLP005. When I got home from work tonight I was disappointed to see that there was absolutely no sign of fermentation at all, which is a first for me. Of course, this was the first time I've used this yeast so I am not sure what to expect. Apparently it's normal to have minimal activity with this yeast. Anyone else here have experience with WLP005?
 

Austin_

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I decided to resurrect this thread because I brewed a brown ale last night with WLP005. When I got home from work tonight I was disappointed to see that there was absolutely no sign of fermentation at all, which is a first for me. Of course, this was the first time I've used this yeast so I am not sure what to expect. Apparently it's normal to have minimal activity with this yeast. Anyone else here have experience with WLP005?
Ha, this thread came at the right time. I too just made a brown ale (http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_452_42_170&products_id=349) and used the WLP005. I made it Saturday evening and I have seen pretty much no action so far (no bubbling from the airlock or action on top of the wort). I was starting to worry that it was starting a little slow. I even tried to move the carboy a little to maybe kick-start the fermentation. Nice to know that I'm not supposed to be seeing much action.

Any others with the same experience as Hooter and I?
 

GreenwoodRover

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My first brew was a Brewerd Best brown ale kit. I substituted the White Labs british ale yeast. I had the same concerns. The high flocculation made me nervous. I just made sure to swirl the primary carboy every 2-3 days. I left it in primary for 2 weeks and secondaried for 3 weeks. I was within .01 of the FG stated in the recipe. After bottling and aging for 3 weeks the beer was awesome. Moral of the story RDHAHB (in my case it was my first batch so I just tried to empty bottles for bottling day) :D
 

HOOTER

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I'm now about two and a half days from pitching and fermentation is clearly occurring, but not nearly as vigorous as it has been with all of my other brews. I'm just going to make sure to keep it at the right temp and let the yeast do it's thing. I've heard some good things about this yeast so I can't wait to try the finished product.
 

GreenwoodRover

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I pitched without a starter and I had about a 27 hour lag time. My ferm was never real vigorous that's why I did the swirl every few days to re-suspend the yeast, I don't know if it needed it or helped, but the brew was good.
 

Bob

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Mr GreenwoodRover, flocculation was never your problem. Your problem was an insufficient amount of yeast - that's what gives an insipid, relatively inactive ferment with little krauesen. Your yeasties were overwhelmed and tired.

That's the trouble with White Labs: it's great yeast, but those little vials simply don't have enough active cells to properly inoculate a 5-gallon batch of beer.

For example, the optimum cell count to properly ferment a wort of 1.050 is 184 billion active cells. White Labs, according to their FAQ, contains between 70 and 140 billion cells. Thus, you need to either buy two vials of WL yeast or make a starter. (Note: WL makes no claim how many active cells can be found in a vial; that number is too dependent on storage and handling between their lab and your brewery.)

Simply put, if using liquid yeast, it is always best to pitch a vigourously active starter or fresh slurry from a previous batch. If you don't get activity in four or five hours, you're not pitching optimally.

Mr Malty's Yeast Pitching Calculator is an invaluable resource. Bookmark it! :)

All that said, countless brewers have made good beer without worrying about pitching technique. All I'm saying is, the only cure for worry is education. If you're going to worry about it, educate yourself with the proper methodology. That will at least give you enough information to make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to change anything in order to remove the worry. You dig?

Cheers,

Bob
 

Austin_

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I came home from work today to find some evidence of fermentation occuring. There is about an 1/8th inch layer of krausen and the airlock is bubbling every once in a while. I'm going to blame the slow start on the lack of a starter. Next time I will make one.
 

Brew-boy

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I have made Brown ales with this yeast and never had any problems. They one thing I dont do is secondaries I dont think there is any need for them.
 

HOOTER

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I came home from work today to find some evidence of fermentation occuring. There is about an 1/8th inch layer of krausen and the airlock is bubbling every once in a while. I'm going to blame the slow start on the lack of a starter. Next time I will make one.
I came home tonight to find very active fermentation and a blow out tube full of foam. Fermentation was slow to start but is fairly vigorous now. I didn't make a starter either but all is well.
 

HOOTER

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This yeast is a trip. Exactly six days from pitching and fermentation is still quite vigorous and the airlock is going nuts. Pretty much all of the brews I've done before were significantly less active by this point. I'm thinking two weeks in primary minimum.
 
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