WLP800 Fermentation Is Blowing My Mind

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lashack

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Brewed my first lager (5-gallon batch size) with a 1.049 OG and pitched a single packet of WLP800 at 52 F. I did a bit of research and asked local HBS owner and microbrewery owner what should my fermentation schedule look like. The plan was to ferment at 52 F for pretty much as long as it takes to hit FG, D-rest for a few days at room temp, then lager around 35-40 F for 3-4 weeks. It sounds like a decent schedule, right? I like simplicity.

Pitching that single packet of WLP800 did nothing. After 3 days, the gravity has not dropped. I am using integrated TILT hydrometer, so gravity readings come every 15 minutes. No activity for 3 days is blowing my mind. After brewing dozens of ales, this has never happened. I decided to bite the bullet and add two more packs of WLP800 with some yeast nutrients. After another 36 hours, still nothing! Gravity readings are still the same as OG. No sign of activity, no sign of krausen.

So, after 4.5 days of no yeast/fermentation activity, I've decided to raise the temperature to 65 F and see what happens. Here is a link to integrated TILT capturing fermentation data.

What should I have done differently?
- Yeast starter?
- Pitched at ale temperatures for 12 hours (65-70 F), then dropped to lager temperatures (50-55 F)?
- Introduced some oxygen with oxygen stone?
 
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What should I have done differently?
- Yeast starter?

With liquid yeast it's always best as there is always a possibility liquid yeast might be DOA. You didn't say what your batch size was so there's a possibility you might have needed much more yeast than you actually pitched.
- Pitched at ale temperatures for 12 hours (65-70 F), then dropped to lager temperatures (50-55 F)?
Don't do that unless you want to risk brewing a diacetyl bomb, among other possible issues.
- Introduced some oxygen with oxygen stone?
Does that actually mean that you did not oxigenate at all?
 
With liquid yeast it's always best as there is always a possibility liquid yeast might be DOA. You didn't say what your batch size was so there's a possibility you might have needed much more yeast than you actually pitched.
You know, I didn't check to see if the yeast were any good, I just assumed they were still good since I bought them a few days before I brewed. Also, the HBS keeps old yeast in a separate bin. Batch size is 5 gallons.

Does that actually mean that you did not oxigenate at all?
I do not have an oxygen stone, but I tried my best to oxygenate with vigorous shaking before and after pitching. Never had a problem with yeast getting started with the way I oxygenate, shaken method with ales.
 
Just to give this thread an update. A yeast starter probably would have been the best idea to get this lager fermenting a bit faster. My method of pitching 2 more packets of yeast help kick start fermentation and it's fermenting great now. I did raise the temp up to 65 then immediately dropped back down to lager fermentation temps a few hours later. Raising the temperature was probably not necessary! Here are the fermentation stats updated in real-time.

Around 60% apparent attenuation, I slowly ramped up temperature 3 F every 12 hours, until 63 F. Following brulosophy lagering methods. Currently, the brew is diacetyl resting now and will until day 14 in the fermentor since it's already at its FG (80%+ apparent attenuation). After day 14, I plan to rack to secondary, ramp down the temperature to 34 F, and lager for 2-3 weeks. I will keep this thread updated with results! :mug:

Any feedback is encouraged. Cheers.
 
I usually ferment this yeast around 60f and haven't had any late starts or flavor issues. Many ferment this yeast at a much higher temp, take a look for the warm fermented lager thread on this forum.

I think a large yeast starter would have been advantageous, especially at lower Temps.

Let us know how it turns out.
 
I normally use 940 and pitch/ferment @ 52*. But I build large starters with lagers.
 
Well, here is the final result. I decided to try and "skip" the lagering and keg after primary fermentation and cold crashing for a few days, again following the brulosophy lagering methods. Added some gelatin finning into the fermentor and into the keg. After about 5 or 6 pints it's finally clearing up. It tastes smooth and creamy, rather than a crisp light lager. Almost like an American Pilsner (think Sam Adams 76). It's a little higher in ABV (5.7%) than I originally wanted but still is drinkable and pretty tasty for my first lager.

IMG_4631.JPG

IMG_4629.JPG


Cheers everyone.
 
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Old thread I know but I have experienced the exact same thing with wlp800!

I’m pretty new to the whole game, I’m on batch 5 now. My first 4 were wlp840 pressure fermented at room temp and within 24h I saw activity on the blow off hose. My og was slightly higher on this one (1.060 vs 1.055) due to more boil off but I just went with it. With the wlp800 I saw no activity for about 3 days, whereas the 840 is getting close to fg by then in these conditions!

In either case I had under pitched the yeast on the first batch of that type, then I’ve been harvesting the yeast and building up a stock of it. The 840 turned out good with the original under pitched batch as well as the more adequately pitched subsequent batches With the recycled yeast. Hopefully a little more 800 and maybe with the use of a starter I can get that stuff to take off a lot faster
 
Old thread I know but I have experienced the exact same thing with wlp800!

I’m pretty new to the whole game, I’m on batch 5 now. My first 4 were wlp840 pressure fermented at room temp and within 24h I saw activity on the blow off hose. My og was slightly higher on this one (1.060 vs 1.055) due to more boil off but I just went with it. With the wlp800 I saw no activity for about 3 days, whereas the 840 is getting close to fg by then in these conditions!

In either case I had under pitched the yeast on the first batch of that type, then I’ve been harvesting the yeast and building up a stock of it. The 840 turned out good with the original under pitched batch as well as the more adequately pitched subsequent batches With the recycled yeast. Hopefully a little more 800 and maybe with the use of a starter I can get that stuff to take off a lot faster
Was the wlp800 at room temps too? FWIW WLP800 appears to be s.cerevisiae (ale yeast), so higher temps shouldn’t be a problem.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/interesting-genome-sequencing-of-some-yeasts.670056/
 
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