Pub vs Omega 016

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DBhomebrew

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My very excellent LHBS didn't make the minimum order for this quarter's Imperial order. Damn, I was really hoping to get a fresh stock going.

I can still get on an Omega order for some British VIII (016), supposedly their Fuller's strain. I'm thinking it's probably more likely to be akin to 1968/002 rather than Pub's something extra.

Anyone with personal experience with Omega's Fuller's who can compare it to the usual suspects? Do I keep going with my stressed (possibly infected, 80+%AA!) colony of Pub, or do I give Omega a try?

ETA: I reread the last sentence above and shortly thereafter put my order in for the Omega. They're just down the road in Chicago, yeast should be here on Friday.
 
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MaxStout

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The owner of the small LHBS that was near me (before it went toes-up a few years ago) told me of a minimum order requirement for Imperial. He didn't state what the minimum amount was, just that it was more perishable stock than he was able to move--found out the hard way. The store owner had ordered a minimum lot of Imperial to try it out and only sold a fraction of it by the time it all expired. Said he'd never do it again.
 

kevin58

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That's weird. Imperial doesn't have an order minimum.

I was at my LHBS a week ago and asked where is the Imperial yeast. He said they are no longer stocking it because the demand does not meet the order requirements (I took that to mean minimums) they have put in place. I'm going back to see them today and I will ask. At any rate, I too will be switching to Omega.
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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My understanding is it's a minimum of 26 packs.

As far as Omega goes, orders were due to the LHBS on Wednesday at noon. I put mine in at ~10a. We received notice on Thursday at 11a that they were ready for pickup.
 

RufusBrewer

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I am going to believe for a LHBS that managing yeast inventory has got to be difficult.

Home brewers want so many different strains, they want it now and they want it very fresh.

There are what, 4-5 different brands/strains of Chico Ale Yeast? One customer loves Brand A, but refuses to use Brand B. I would not want the job of juggling all those SKUs.
 

kevin58

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Well crap. I got back home and completely forgot to ask at my LHBS about yeast. I can say for sure however that after using Omega twice and looking over their portfolio I am very exited about their Brett Blend series. I am now updating and formulating recipes especially for that yeast.
 

MaxStout

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My understanding is it's a minimum of 26 packs.

As far as Omega goes, orders were due to the LHBS on Wednesday at noon. I put mine in at ~10a. We received notice on Thursday at 11a that they were ready for pickup.

That minimum number sounds about right. I remember looking for some Pub when I went there 3 years ago (LHBS didn't have any), but there were a couple dozen or so other Imperial packs sitting in the cooler.

A minimum of 26 doesn't sound like much, but that's tough for a small LHBS to stock.
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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Yeah, he doesn't stock it. Just a quarterly group buy as long as it hits the minimum. I used to do my share of a couple packs per quarter. But, where I used to brew once every two or three weeks, I'm now down to once every couple months. Sounds like that's the case for many brewers.
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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As far as Omega goes, orders were due to the LHBS on Wednesday at noon. I put mine in at ~10a. We received notice on Thursday at 11a that they were ready for pickup.

Ordered Wednesday 2/23. Ready for pickup on Thursday 2/24. Picked up Friday, the 25th. Manufacture date 2/22.
 

Bobby_M

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Yeah, he doesn't stock it. Just a quarterly group buy as long as it hits the minimum. I used to do my share of a couple packs per quarter. But, where I used to brew once every two or three weeks, I'm now down to once every couple months. Sounds like that's the case for many brewers.

That makes more sense. Another thing is that the Fedex 2-day shipping doesn't change much between 20 packs and 80. We order 120 packs at a time through Wyeast simply because that's what the large box holds and it helps to dilute the shipping cost per pack. If we had to order less than 80 due to low demand, we'd stop doing it too and that has nothing to do with a vendor implemented minimum. It's just business.

Yes, managing liquid yeast sucks and it's a loss leader once you factor in refrigeration costs and age-out.
 

balrog

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Ah, figuring "the mix". You know you'll sell X, but what % is WY1007 vs Brett vs etc etc. It's a problem no matter the subject, be it ice cream or golf balls.
 

RufusBrewer

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Yes, managing liquid yeast sucks and it's a loss leader once you factor in refrigeration costs and age-out.

Certainly it is none of my business what you pay for the products you sell, or your mark up. But doing the mental math, at $8 per, hard for me imagine that yeast is a money maker for a Typical LHBS.

My LHBS, I am amazed at the amount of yeast he keeps on inventory. I would be impressed if he maintained 1/2 of what he has available.
 

bwible

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The owner of the small LHBS that was near me (before it went toes-up a few years ago) told me of a minimum order requirement for Imperial. He didn't state what the minimum amount was, just that it was more perishable stock than he was able to move--found out the hard way. The store owner had ordered a minimum lot of Imperial to try it out and only sold a fraction of it by the time it all expired. Said he'd never do it again.

Yes, managing liquid yeast sucks and it's a loss leader once you factor in refrigeration costs and age-out.

And what is a store expected to do with expired yeast? I guess you could advertise a sale at the end of each month on packs that are getting close to expiration.

Our local guy brought a bunch of expired ones to our homebrew club meeting in Dec and gave them out to whoever wanted them. Smart I guess because I made a point to go in and buy some stuff from him right after that I might not have otherwise.
 

bwible

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Ah, figuring "the mix". You know you'll sell X, but what % is WY1007 vs Brett vs etc etc.
That’s the thing - you never know. You can only guess. Certain strains like American Ale yeast or Chico Ale yeast you always want more of because its one of the most popular. Others you stock more of by the time of year. Around now you’d want some 1084 since everybody has been making red ales and stouts leading up to St. Patty’s day, etc. Then knowing your customers and talking to your customers. If you have one guy who always brews the same thing. If somebody asks you can you put x on your next order. I found it was always a guess
 

Miraculix

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I am going to believe for a LHBS that managing yeast inventory has got to be difficult.

Home brewers want so many different strains, they want it now and they want it very fresh.

There are what, 4-5 different brands/strains of Chico Ale Yeast? One customer loves Brand A, but refuses to use Brand B. I would not want the job of juggling all those SKUs.
Yep, solution is simple, just all into imperial yeast :D

Seriously, every single strain I had (AND I HAD 3!!!!! :D SO TAKE ME SERIOUS!!!) from them was far superior to the equivalents from other yeast labs. Either cheracter-wise or just pitch-wise. Cannot really beat the direct pitch thing......
 

bwible

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Yep, solution is simple, just all into imperial yeast :D

Seriously, every single strain I had (AND I HAD 3!!!!! :D SO TAKE ME SERIOUS!!!) from them was far superior to the equivalents from other yeast labs. Either cheracter-wise or just pitch-wise. Cannot really beat the direct pitch thing......
When I had my store (closed up in 2004) there were pretty much 2 major liquid yeast companies. Wyeast and White Labs. And yes, as RufusBrewer said, you had different people who would only use one or the other.

Now there are a few more companies besides those and a small store is only going to sell so much yeast. And as Bobby said, shipping is a big cost on everything a store buys, so you try to minimize that where you can. However, a small store is not going to buy 25 packs from every company.

Some stores do make the decision to carry only brand A or only brand B or a combination of strains from brand A and brand B but nothing from brand C. If some people have brand loyalties this could hurt you. Because competition is fierce from not only other stores but from the big online places offering free shipping. If a guy wants brand C and you don’t have it, he could just end up placing his whole order online to get the brand he wants and free shipping.

So yeah its a headache.
 

Bobby_M

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And what is a store expected to do with expired yeast? I guess you could advertise a sale at the end of each month on packs that are getting close to expiration.

I pull yeast out of the active bins when they turn 4 months old and sell them as a "grab bag" yeast pack at $1.99 for those that don't mind building them back up. Once they age out at 6 months, they go in the garbage.
 

bwible

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I pull yeast out of the active bins when they turn 4 months old and sell them as a "grab bag" yeast pack at $1.99 for those that don't mind building them back up. Once they age out at 6 months, they go in the garbage.
I used to brew with them myself at first. But then I got to thinking, you know I got my ingredients at cost and it was really one of the few “benefits” of owning the store. Because God knows, I sure wasn’t making any money. So why not brew with the freshest ingredients myself?
 

Bobby_M

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I used to brew with them myself at first. But then I got to thinking, you know I got my ingredients at cost and it was really one of the few “benefits” of owning the store. Because God knows, I sure wasn’t making any money. So why not brew with the freshest ingredients myself?

That's very true and many times I've been faced with either pitching two brand new packs or trying to salvage a couple 5 month old packs and the economy just doesn't work out. I'll spend an hour dealing with a starter and spend a couple bucks in DME.
 

MaxStout

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That's very true and many times I've been faced with either pitching two brand new packs or trying to salvage a couple 5 month old packs and the economy just doesn't work out. I'll spend an hour dealing with a starter and spend a couple bucks in DME.

CSB: I was in a brew store (not my usual LHBS) and asked for a pack of Imperial Pub. Before the kid rang it up I noticed it was 8 months old. I asked if he had any newer. He said no, but then launched into a spiel about doing stepped starters. I replied that if I have to go through all that trouble, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of a yeast pack that normally has 200B cells, and why should I pay $12 for it?

I ended up getting a fresh tube of WLP002 instead.
/CSB
 

Bobby_M

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CSB: I was in a brew store (not my usual LHBS) and asked for a pack of Imperial Pub. Before the kid rang it up I noticed it was 8 months old. I asked if he had any newer. He said no, but then launched into a spiel about doing stepped starters. I replied that if I have to go through all that trouble, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of a yeast pack that normally has 200B cells, and why should I pay $12 for it?

It's just a bad business decision to look at every product as if it MUST make profit on its own, in every transaction. I am happy to lose money on yeast if it means all of my customers have a great fermentation experience. They come back loyally and I can make up for it with normal markups on everything that doesn't have a 4 month shelf life.

The other angle perishable products to consider. They sit around going bad because you're not selling enough. You're not selling enough because you're always trying to pass off old garbage as if it doesn't matter. Keep the product super fresh at YOUR cost and then you'll sell it all faster when people finally realize it.

This only goes so far though before I will pull the plug on a product. I was stocking all the Omega Brett options (4 varieties) for the past 4 years, keeping them fresh, tossing old ones. After a full analysis of all yeast sales over time, I found that I sold one Brett pack for every 7 thrown in the garbage.
 

RufusBrewer

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My local homebrew shop is a guy that has some shelf space somewhere. You order on line and twice a week he drives around and delivers to your front door.

Not a bad model. It allows the guy a chance to sell product, compete with online and avoids the problems of having a front door store front.

Downside, I cannot did through his cooler and cherry pick the freshest yeast. But he knows to call me with reasonable substitutions when I order something getting old.
 
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