Liquid Yeast Question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

C2H6O

Primary
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
I just brewed my second batch, but first time using the White Labs WLP004. My question is - you just have to shake and add directly to your fermentor?

I am coming up on 48hrs this afternoon with no activity and I am trying to figure out if I needed to something for prep or my yeast was damaged during the hot shipping from Midwest.

Thanks in advance!!:mug:
 

Pharmguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
253
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
Lots of brewers in this forum use starters for liquid yeast so they take off faster. I use a starter for bigger gravity beers, otherwise I just warm to room temp, shake, and dump it in. I bet your brew will take off today.:)
 

EuBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
607
Reaction score
33
Location
Columbus, OH
If you're in a carboy make sure you have a blow off tube in, mine didn't start until sometime last tuesday and I pitched the sunday evening before. When I got home from the SWMBO's house wednesday morning I had parts missing from my airlock and a painted ceiling :rockin:
 

Arkador

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
1,700
Reaction score
20
Location
Fort Worth, TX
if my OG is below 1.05 I don't bother with a starter, just bring it to room temp, swirl it so there is no sludge settled in the vial, and pitch it.

Above 1.05 I do the same thing, but pitch it into a starter (1L water 100G DME) 18-24 hours before i plan to pitch.
 

Schnitzengiggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,560
Reaction score
40
Location
Tucson
I always recommend a starter with liquid, even with lower OG's it will reduce you lag time significantly, and IMHO slightly overpitching is better than underpitching, with the case of WLP400 it might be okay to have some ester production from underpitching.

I have used that yeast before, and the fermentation can be very active, and then slow down, and then kick up again, and slow down, it is a great yeast, but once it does get going you might have a lingering doo-doo odor, it is quite funky.

Good luck!
 
OP
C2H6O

C2H6O

Primary
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
Thanks for the feedback. The OG was 1.054 and I didnt use a starter. I allowed the yeast to come to room temp and pitched it. I had ordered this from Midwest and it took a little over a week to come. I am wondering if the high temp experienced during the shipping process could have killed a significant portion of the yeast?? Thoughts on that? If not - what additional time is added by not using a starter with this OG??

Again all thanks in advance!!
 

Schnitzengiggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,560
Reaction score
40
Location
Tucson
Extended times with higher temps definitely will reduce the amount of viable yeast leading to a longer lag time, and possibly some off flavors such as esters from under-pitching.

One more great reason to make a starter especially when having your liquid cultures shipped to you. I am lucky enough to have a LHBS about 20 m inutes away and they carry a great variety of WL yeast, so I know that my yeast is usually viable, but the owner did explain to me that the yeast comes from the San Diego area, and it takes about 2 days to get to him.

As long as your yeast waSN't in the 100 degree heat for a few days you should be okay, give it about 3 days to start fermenting, if after that there is no activity, then you might want to start thinking about an alternative.
 

WindRiverGuy

Active Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Location
Barron, Wisconsin
+1 to Snitzengiggle. Keep in mind the temp in the back of a delivery truck can get REALLY hot. I had a driver tell me it was over 120F in the back of his truck on a hot day! Always a good idea to do at least a quick culture to make sure the yeast is active BEFORE brewing. Main reason I quick shipping WL yeast and have gone exclusively with Wyeast. At least with the smack packs you can tell if it is still active before brewing up a batch. Any store should be happy to replace it if it got cooked during shipping. Hopefully it will be bubbling along soon! Cheers!
 
OP
C2H6O

C2H6O

Primary
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
Well I think that batch of yeast is shot!! I saw no activity this morning before leaving for work. So now my question is this: I have an in-state brew shop but it is not open today. Is my batch still usable if I get new yeast tomorrow and pitch it?? or did I lose the entire batch cause its been sitting idle since Sunday.....all thanks again for the input.....
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,923
Reaction score
12,807
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Well I think that batch of yeast is shot!! I saw no activity this morning before leaving for work. So now my question is this: I have an in-state brew shop but it is not open today. Is my batch still usable if I get new yeast tomorrow and pitch it?? or did I lose the entire batch cause its been sitting idle since Sunday.....all thanks again for the input.....
Yes, it should be fine. I'd recommend dry yeast at this point, so that it gets going. With liquid yeast, you'd be back to where you started from- no starter so a long lag time, etc.
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,296
Reaction score
3,727
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
Well I think that batch of yeast is shot!! I saw no activity this morning before leaving for work. So now my question is this: I have an in-state brew shop but it is not open today. Is my batch still usable if I get new yeast tomorrow and pitch it?? or did I lose the entire batch cause its been sitting idle since Sunday.....all thanks again for the input.....
Have you taken another HYDRO reading????

Until you use the one diagnostic tool we have, you don't know what's going on. The only "activity" that matters is a decrease in the numbers of your hydrometer.

Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in.....

Thinking about pitching more yeast before taking a hydrometer reading after waiting an intial 72 hours, is the same thing....thinking about a "cure" before we even know if the beer is even "sick."

And so is declaring a fermentation dead.


With Liquid, If you've underpitched or not made a starter which the yeast has come out of a dormant period, then when it find it self surrounded by 5 gallons of food, before it starts truly diving in the yeastit has start growing an army to best eat it, so they have a wild orgy and then make a bunch of yeast babies. Then they get to work.

So that is why it can take a few days before the really get going..the first part of it is called lag time, the waking up part, lag time, then the sex part is obviously called the reproductive phase....

So before you progress, get a reading.....
 
OP
C2H6O

C2H6O

Primary
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
Point well taken!!! I will take a reading tonight to see if the SG has dropped. If I do see a reduction is it best to leave it alone for the two weeks or should I be taking periodic measurements? If I dont see a reduction should I give additional time or should a pitch a new batch of yeast?
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,296
Reaction score
3,727
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
Point well taken!!! I will take a reading tonight to see if the SG has dropped. If I do see a reduction is it best to leave it alone for the two weeks or should I be taking periodic measurements? If I dont see a reduction should I give additional time or should a pitch a new batch of yeast?
If it has dropped even a few degrees you don't need to do anything thing, just leave them to their job..

One thing to realize, especially when you use the word "activity;"

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that anything's wrong, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working dilligantly away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years....

airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlcok bubbling, heavy metal airlcok bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your beer. It is NOT a fermentation gauge, it is a valve to release excess pressure, excess CO2...NOT AN ACCURATE INSTRUMENT....

I have 9 different fermenters and have been brewing for a few years, and OVER HALF OF MY BEERS NEVER HAVE ANY BUBBLING IN THE AIRLOCK AND THEY ALL TURN OUT FINE!

If you've oxygentated, and pitched plenty of yeast, then you SHOULD reach your yeast attenuation, and get close to the final gravity.....that is all that is important...NOT whether or not you airlock goes "blip" or "Rattattattatta!!!!"

An airlock is a vent for excess co2, nothing more, it's to keep your beer off the ceiling, and is designed to vent and still keep stuff out of your beer....that's really it...

In fact many no longer use airlocks at all, just cover the hole with a piece of tinfoil, or use a piece of plexiglass instead of a lid.

The airlock is not a precision instrument...Your hydrometer is not your LAST resort in your mind after the thought of pitching more yeast...It should be the first thing you grab, if you are worried about your beer...even before posting an "is my beer ruined thread, or asking if something is wrong on here.

Most people end up having piece of mind when the actually use it and NOT bubbling airlocks.

:mug:
 
OP
C2H6O

C2H6O

Primary
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
Unfortunately there is no activity in my fermenter. The SG is still 1.054.....I am going to make the trek to the instate brew shop after work....So the recommendation is a dry yeast at this point? I am brewing a dry vanilla stout....any recommendations on which yeast would be best or should I use a liquid yeast? The wort has been in the fermenter for 4 days now with no activity.......:(

Thanks for the help
 
Top