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Pitched WLP800 but zero activity

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snarf7

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First time trying this yeast, WLP800 is their (Pilsner Lager Yeast). I pitched two full bags of it into 5gal of well aerated wort at 68F, then put it in the basement (62F). It recommends waiting for activity (they say 5-15 hrs) and then drop it to target temp (55F). But it's 24 hrs and not even a bubble. Never had this happen before, anyone else worked with this strain, is it a slow starter?
 

dmtaylor

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All you need is patience. You've only waited 24 hours. I'd be surprised if it doesn't take off within 36 hours, and very surprised if not within 48 hours. What is the MFG date on the packages? Perhaps your yeast was old and tired. Did you make a starter? It wouldn't be a bad idea.
 

kh54s10

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Even 2 packages of yeast is probably underpitching for a lager. So a longer lag time is to be expected. Do you see any krausen? Airlock bubbles don't mean that the wort is not fermenting. In a bucket? They are notorious for leaking - so no bubbles.

With liquid yeast I always make a starter, if not to build up cell count it is to energize the yeast. You are never sure how well the yeast was handled before you get it. Mine have mostly started quickly, but a couple have taken a little more than 24 hours to show activity.
 
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snarf7

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All you need is patience. You've only waited 24 hours. I'd be surprised if it doesn't take off within 36 hours, and very surprised if not within 48 hours. What is the MFG date on the packages? Perhaps your yeast was old and tired. Did you make a starter? It wouldn't be a bad idea.
It's been 48 hrs now. No airlock activity, no krausen, nothing. Yeast was freshly purchased and well within its best by date. I did not make a starter but I've never had to and the directions said to just direct pitch. The 2 packets I pitched were also as recommended by White Labs.

I brought it back upstairs to room temp to see if that does anything but assuming it does not is there any reason I can't open it up and repitch? I don't have anymore of the WLP800 but I have some 3470 and S-23 I could toss in...any reason not to do that if I still zero activity?
 

kh54s10

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I would wait another 12 hours after warming it up. Then take a gravity reading to see what is happening. If no change then I would pitch one or the other yeasts or both.

This is one reason that I always make a starter. You will know if the yeast are viable before pitching in your wort.
 

Lefou

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All the more reason to do an active starter with yeast before pitching.
I almost exclusively use liquid yeast for brewing beer and do starters to gauge yeast viability in weak wort. I look for foaming at room temps before mixing everything together. Visually, if your WL yeast had a dull grayish discoloration as opposed to a creamy whitish-yellow texture, I would suspect a weak or mishandled pack.
 

dmtaylor

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Bummer. Not healthy yeast. Who knows how well it was cared for between shipping and the shop.

W-34/70 will do the trick. Toss it in there. I'd do it right now. No need to rehydrate or anything.
 
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snarf7

snarf7

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Bummer. Not healthy yeast. Who knows how well it was cared for between shipping and the shop.

W-34/70 will do the trick. Toss it in there. I'd do it right now. No need to rehydrate or anything.
I cracked it open, there was a VERY thin layer of foam on top and a slightest smell of fermentation, tasted the wort, still very sweet so it would seem that the yeast was probably not 100% DOA but mostly so. I gave it a good whisk to make sure it was well aerated and then pitched the 34/70 (which is as reliable as they come). Should see some activity in the next 12-24 hrs and get this show back on the road
 

Silver_Is_Money

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I cracked it open, there was a VERY thin layer of foam on top and a slightest smell of fermentation, tasted the wort, still very sweet so it would seem that the yeast was probably not 100% DOA but mostly so. I gave it a good whisk to make sure it was well aerated and then pitched the 34/70 (which is as reliable as they come). Should see some activity in the next 12-24 hrs and get this show back on the road
W-34/70 does not require aeration. That said, I hope your beer turns out great.
 
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snarf7

snarf7

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W-34/70 does not require aeration. That said, I hope your beer turns out great.
Really? I thought all yeast required a good supply of O2 to get going?
In any event it can't hurt.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Really? I thought all yeast required a good supply of O2 to get going?
In any event it can't hurt.
Dry yeasts do not require aeration. Lallemand states this explicitly, and Fermentis has announced that they will be changing their instruction guidelines soon also.
 

IslandLizard

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WLP800 is a very notorious slow starter. Give it some time, I have seen it lag up to 3 days with a starter.
t-t-t-too late... but definitely helpful.
I cracked it open, there was a VERY thin layer of foam on top and a slightest smell of fermentation
Wasn't that's the sign you were waiting for? Not sure why you pitched another yeast. But it won't hurt, it will be just a bit different.

You really should use a yeast calculator and make yeast starters with all liquid yeast. It a) proves viability, b) ramps up cell count to appropriate pitch rates, c) can save money. Or stick with dry yeast instead.
 

dmtaylor

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Wasn't that's the sign you were waiting for? Not sure why you pitched another yeast. But it won't hurt, it will be just a bit different.
I agree with this. When you saw a little foam on top, well personally I would have just left it alone. I think your main yeast now will be the WLP800, with the W-34/70 playing somewhat of a supporting role. Or perhaps they'll both contribute equally, maybe.
 

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