White Labs is horrible!!!... maybe.

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Nickhouse80

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Maybe I'm being impatient. This is the second time I've tried using White Labs yeast. The first time absolutely nothing happened and the beer just soured- had to throw it out. Last night I made an American Hefeweizen and used White Labs American Hefeweizen liquid yeast. It has been about 12 hours and I'm not seeing any activity. I know everyone says it can take a while to get started but I'm really nervous this will sour also. Expiration date is good, pitched at approx. 75 degrees and it was well aerated. Any thoughts?
 

Rick500

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I have to absolutely disagree that "White Labs is horrible."

I've never had any trouble with White Labs yeast that was White Labs' fault.

I had one tube of dead yeast due to having been in shipping for 5 days in the summer heat, but I've used WL yeast at least a half dozen times with no issues, and thousands of others have too.
 

BreckBastion

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Before saying the whole company sux I would consider that you are new to brewing. Did you check the date on the yeast packages? Did you properly care for the yeast pkg? Like Flyangler said, did you make a starter? I have pitched just a vial of WL and everything turned out ok everytime, but a starter is the best idea. There are many commercial and homebrewers using their yeast with great results. Have you considered that something is wrong in your personal process that may have detremental effects on the viability of your yeast? Pitching too hot or otherwise? Lots of factors could be at work here. what yeasts have not worked and what was your process.
 

WortMonger

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Not enough info on your specifics, but fly's right for the generic answer anyone should give. I use WL and love it, but unless I'm pitching on a cake I like a starter. Is this a 5 gallon batch? Also, are you using the airlock as a proof of fermenting device (cause... that's a whole nother' thread), or are you judging by surface bubbles? Either way isn't a good judge of fermentation. Wait and I am sure you are fine, but please let me know more. I'm betting your dandy though and have nothing to fear this time.

EDIT: Dang you guys are fast, lol I was thinking I was third post, lol. Fast bastids!;)
 

mew

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Sounds like you didn't make a starter. If you underpitch any brand of yeast your results will be mediocre at best.
 

Revvy

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Maybe I'm being impatient. ... It has been about 12 hours and I'm not seeing any activity. Any thoughts?
You're being impatient.....https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/fermentation-can-take-24-72-hrs-show-visible-signs-43635/ Before that, especially without making a starter you often get lag time....

And if you are going by airlock activity as a "gauge" don't,it's really faulty, the only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with 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.....

But until it's been 72 hours I wouldn't worry...and also if you don't make a starter with liquid yeast, I would encourage you to do so in the future.
 

Revvy

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Gang...he's going by airlock activity...that and impatience is his only problem....

The rate of airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling or airlock bubbling in general really means nothing except that co2 is being vented and the top of the fermentor will not explode spewing your beer all over the palce...It is NOT any type of a gauge.

Some bubble fast, some bubble slow, some never bubble, some people don't use airlocks....and yet the yeasties do their thing and beer is made, that's all that matters.

So, get out of the idea of using "airlock bubbling" as a sign of fermentation, you have to realize that airlock activity is not an accurate indication of fermentation...an airlock is a vent for excess co2, nothing more...and half of my beers never bubble.

Read this for why airlock analysing is useless, and what is the only gauge of ferementation...https://www.homebrewtalk.com/1217925-post3.html
 

viking999

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I always use a starter now for liquid yeasts, but I didn't used to. I have never had a problem pitching White Labs directly from the vial into the wort. I think the real problem here is you're impatient. 12 hours is nothing. It frequently takes longer than that for fermentation to start up if you didn't make a starter. I think the most common advice on these forums is to wait 72 hours before thinking about pitching a second vial of yeast.
 

Brocster

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Maybe I'm being impatient. This is the second time I've tried using White Labs yeast. The first time absolutely nothing happened and the beer just soured- had to throw it out. Last night I made an American Hefeweizen and used White Labs American Hefeweizen liquid yeast. It has been about 12 hours and I'm not seeing any activity. I know everyone says it can take a while to get started but I'm really nervous this will sour also. Expiration date is good, pitched at approx. 75 degrees and it was well aerated. Any thoughts?
12 hours is not enough time in most cases, unless a big starter was used. I use White Labs all the time and it is a very solid choice. Maybe the yeast was shipped bad in your first example. I just tapped a Hefe that I made with the White Labs yeast - tastes excellent.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I wouldn't say it is horrible, but the extra step of making a starter sure is a PITA...not to mention one more place you could pick up an infection. That's why I'm partial to dry yeast or wyeast smack packs. In the future, if you don't want to make a starter then just use two vials for a 5 gallon batch. It gets spendy real quick doing that, but you can always harvest the yeast later or pitch directly on the yeast cake.
 

bennychico11

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I just used a White Labs vial last Saturday. It was at least 48+ hours until the blow off tube was going crazy. Patience
 

EdWort

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White Labs makes some awesome yeast. I have only had one vial not work in a starter for me in the past few years and Austin Homebrew replaced it immediately.
 

zombie

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I haven't used a tube of White Labs that didn't take at least 24 hours to start showing signs of fermentation.
 

nebben

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I have no reason to suspect WL sends out bunk yeast. How your LHBS or favorite online HBS mis-treats the stuff seems like it will have a lot more effect on how it performs in your ale-pale. There are a lot of places between WL and your beer that the yeast can be nuked because of poor shipping or storage practices.

I've also received a few plants from various online garden suppliers, and while they take great care in packaging the things, it isn't their fault that my USPS delivery person just leaves it in the southern facing sun on my doorstep without putting it in the mailbox, so it cooks for hours before I get home to rescue them.
 

tetrylone

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Sound like operator error to me.

I use White Labs all of the time and my brews consistently show activity within 6 to 24 hours.

When using a highly viable starter I've seen activity in as short as three hours.

You really should get into the habit of using a starter when using any live yeast. This ensures that there are enough live and active cells to meet the task of fermenting your beer. Also, you may examine the following:

1) What was the temp when you pitched?
2) Where did you buy the yeast? Was it shipped? Was it stored and handled properly until you pitched?
3) Did you use a starter as the manufacturer and experienced brewers recommend?
4) Are you freaking out and really need to chill out and have a beer?
 
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Nickhouse80

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wow I think I really pushed a button there! I've never had so many replies so quickly! I added the "maybe" to my title just in case this happened. I did not use a starter and didn't realize I needed to with liquid yeast. I've always used the dry stuff and it always works. I'll take a reading in a day or so and go from there. If I see no change in gravity then apparently I can pitch a second vile? and I have no idea how to make a starter... but ironically I've just started

From one starter to another! no more bad-mouthing White Labs.
 

brian_g

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One thing I didn't see mentioned. If your pitching directly from the vile, you should take it out of the fridge and let it warm up before pitching. Going straight from the fridge to the fermentor can shock the yeast.
 

brewt00l

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The only time White Labs vials have failed me was with a couple dead ones I got online...otherwise, when I pitch the right cell count in a properly prep'd wort, they are fantastic (and I'll say the same about Wyeast right now too).
 

KayaBrew

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If you're not going to make a starter with liquid yeast, don't use it. It's as simple as that.
 

kaiser423

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whenever I pitch just a vial, it's usually right at 24 hours until fermentation shows. Sometimes a bit longer, possibly if I didn't aerate enough, or its colder, or whatever.

Worrying at 12 hours after pitching just a vial into a 5 gallon batch is veeeeery premature.

Starters are big around here, and they make a difference, but there's no reason why you would truly need one (other than flavors, etc). The vial has enough yeast to do what you need it to do just directly pitching it. It will ferment.

Also, never had a problem with White Labs. Do you think they'd still be in business if they sent out bad yeast? Come on man, it's quite simply a problem with how you're doing things. No maybe. Period. Don't put this on them, place the blame where it belongs.
 
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Nickhouse80

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I bought the refrigerated yeast from a store. Where it was before that I have no idea. I let it sit out for about 2.5 hours. I held it in my hand and it seemed to be room temp. The reason I'm so nervous about this brand/type of yeast is that I've used it once before and it/I did something wrong. I would really like to see this work out because apparently everyone LOVES White Labs. Plus it'll be a great beer!
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I buy WL from my LHBS and maybe I am a little paranoid, but I take my little personal cooler with a couple of "cool packs" when I buy yeast. Given my LHBS is only 20 minutes away. I also try and wash as much yeast as SWMBO will let me store in the fridge from bottling days. I have never had any problems with WL yeasts, and since I had begun making starters I have lag times as long as only 3 hours!!!

To the OP, no offense, but chalk it up to user error
 

carnevoodoo

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I buy WL from my LHBS and maybe I am a little paranoid, but I take my little personal cooler with a couple of "cool packs" when I buy yeast. Given my LHBS is only 20 minutes away. I also try and wash as much yeast as SWMBO will let me store in the fridge from bottling days. I have never had any problems with WL yeasts, and since I had begun making starters I have lag times as long as only 3 hours!!!

To the OP, no offense, but chalk it up to user error
I would call that paranoia. I've left yeast on the counter for two days and still had no problem with it.
 
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Nickhouse80

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Thank you everyone for all your help. As for kaiser and reno... I'm here to ask questions about brewing beer. I couldn't care less if my choice of words "bugs" you and I'm actually glad it did now. and if you can prove I did something wrong with that yeast then I'll put the blame on myself entirely. Otherwise its gonna be "the yeast/I" did something wrong. Enjoy your angry little lives guys. Thanks to everyone else.
 

WortMonger

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LOL, Nick. I hear ya brother, but some of these guys are funnin' with ya. Just don't want you thinking we are really all that "serious." Even the serious aren't that serious most of the time ;) right guys? Come on, the man has 16 posts and he already has to worry about carrying an English book to comment on a forum "correctly?" Let's mess with him the friendly way... fricken yeast-slaying newbie. BTW, I'm sending him a friend request to badger him in the future. Welcome to the forum Nick :)
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I would call that paranoia. I've left yeast on the counter for two days and still had no problem with it.
FWIW in the summer it can get up to 110+ and obviously hotter in the vehicle, and I don't necessarily go straight home from my LHBS, so it gives me some time to get some errands done without having to worry about my yeast vial exploding! (not that it would do that, but I wouldn't wanna put it to the test!) and dealing all my little yeastie friends a death blow. If they can arrest you for leaving your kids, or your dog in the car for negligence, then I would asssume it is the same for yeast :D
 

kaiser423

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Thank you everyone for all your help. As for kaiser and reno... I'm here to ask questions about brewing beer. I couldn't care less if my choice of words "bugs" you and I'm actually glad it did now. and if you can prove I did something wrong with that yeast then I'll put the blame on myself entirely. Otherwise its gonna be "the yeast/I" did something wrong. Enjoy your angry little lives guys. Thanks to everyone else.
No problem bucko :fro:

I'll go RDWAHAHB and wait for your thread calling StarSan a bunch of doodie heads because you didn't sanitize right or got a badly cared for bottle from the LHBS or something :rockin:

Just messin' with ya man. :tank: Hopefully this one comes out good, 'cause the liquid yeast is worth the trouble . The yeasties might have been bad, but I doubt that that had anything to do with White Labs (probably went bad in shipment or storage). I always keep a pack of dry Nottingham yeast around just in case I fugg up my liquid yeast. Haven't needed it yet, but probably will at some point.


By the way, has fermentation started yet? I'd try to keep that sucker warm (~75F) for the next 24 hours and see if the yeasties don't take advantage of the warm temperature and go to town. If within the next couple of days nothing has happened (checked via a hydrometer), toss a new vial or a pack of Notty. It should take weeks for the beer to sour; I've left wort in a bucket over a four day weekend in my hot garage, and pitched the yeast when I got back and the beer was just fine. I've heard of people not tossing yeast for up to a week and had it all work out.
 

riromero

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I've only made a starter once for a lager. And I've used WL yeast that is months past its expiration date. I pitch the contents of the vial right in and have never had any problems. It does take +24hours to see airlock activity with this approach though. Maybe the starter method is best for reducing stress while waiting, but the beer turns out just fine either way. The real talent in brewing beer (that I haven't yet acquired) is learning how to wait properly. Man, that is hard.
 
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Nickhouse80

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kaiser, nothing would please me more than to know you're sitting there anxiously awaiting my next reply. Wait no longer man cause here it is.

Just kiddin bud. Midnight tonight will be 24 hours. I'll take a hydrometer reading in the next couple of days and see what I see. I've only brewed a handful of batches but the only time I used WL was with the only batch that turned out terrible. I want to like this brand because everyone else seems to. There has to be something to that. If anyone is interested I'll give an update in the next day or two.
 

Dwain

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Most of these guys/guyettes will help you in any way they can. This board has an, shall we say, eclectic personality. If you make what someone feels is a blanket statement, Hold On!. I would tell you what RDWHAHB means, but everyone would clown me. That's another one of the taboos, telling anyone anything that they should have searched for. At the end of the day, this is a great community that will go the extra mile to help, teach, and sometimes listen. Welcome aboard. Go to the search feature and look RDWHAHB up. Then Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Home Brew. Keep us posted. Luck - Dwain


Dang Rick500, you beat me to it!
 

kaiser423

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kaiser, nothing would please me more than to know you're sitting there anxiously awaiting my next reply. Wait no longer man cause here it is.

Just kiddin bud. Midnight tonight will be 24 hours. I'll take a hydrometer reading in the next couple of days and see what I see. I've only brewed a handful of batches but the only time I used WL was with the only batch that turned out terrible. I want to like this brand because everyone else seems to. There has to be something to that. If anyone is interested I'll give an update in the next day or two.
He replied! he replied!!!!11!!!!!!1!! :ban::ban::ban::ban::ban:

Yea, we're like 4 pages or more into this. We at least have to see how it turns out!

I probably put out some bad karma, I have two vials of White Labs sitting in the fridge for a brew day early next week, and they'll both probably fail 'cause of this thread :eek:
 
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Nickhouse80

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Well its been 60 hours and still no activity. I took a reading and its pretty much the same. I don't know where I went wrong. I stirred it up and tried to aerate but who knows what will happen. No airlock activity either. I'll take another reading in a day or two and maybe pitch a second vile with a starter.
 
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