Choosing Liquid Yeasts

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jgriffin

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As always, i got rather excited on my morning visit to my LHB. I go in with lots of ideas of what i want to buy, and generally always come out with something else as well :)

Anyway, i purchased my first ever liquid yeast, a White Labs San Francisco Lager (WLP810) in a "pitchable tube". I was after the English Ale (WPL002) however my local HBS guy told me that the San Fran yeast was more tollerant of higher temps, and that the English Ale could produce off flavours for me, as i do not have a temp controlled environment.

Did i do the right thing? I'm wanting to pitch it with a Pilsner to start with, is this suited or did i buy the wrong thing?
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Look up Steam Beers! (aka California Common)
But yes, WL say this yeast has ". . .the ability to ferment up to 65F while retaining lager characteristics. . .down to 50F for production of Marzens, Pilsners. . ."

Jovial Monk
 

jgriffin

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Thanks for that JM, looks like it should do ok for my pils.
Well i followed the instructions here
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...ng+liquid+yeast
to make up the yeast so i can split it into 6 stubbies.

Problem is, she's not doing much. Not a single bubble in 12 hours, although the water airlock is showing positive pressure, just not enough to bubble.

Anyway, when i finish stepping it up, and go to split it (assuming it does eventually take off), do i shake the mixture up so that each bottle gets part of the yeast cake, or do i just pour off the liquid?
 

Batz

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jgriffin,

Some yeasts do have very little activity , having said that give it some time ,things may be more acitve later.

And yes shake it up before you split it , but be careful after a good shake it has a habit of spraying all over you and everything else when you open the bottle , open very slowly to release the gas

Good Luck
Batz
 

bibtracker

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:chug:
You're right about the spray effect, Batz. I learned that one the hard way.
I couldn't believe just how much yeast/water vapour/foam mixture can come out of a 2 litre plastic bottle!
Tends to stick to surfaces like the proverbial to a blanket, too.
 

jaytee

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I have a WYeast 1968 ESB yeast due to arrive any day - so really looking forward to getting that going.

There was a comment from Trough Lolly about preparing the starter
decant the unhopped beer off the stubbie and swirl the slurry in the bottom of the stubbie. Pour it into a fresh starter solution and it will activate and get ready for your brew the following morning
Is this because it's spent and needs more DME adding to get it working again ?
 

warrenlw63

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That's right Jaytee,

It's better to pitch into your brew whilst it's still fermenting strongly. Seems to get the batch going faster/stronger.

BTW Wyeast 1968 is a "GREAT" Ale yeast. Clears beautifully. Leaves a very fruity English Ale. Just don't let the temp. drop too much towards the end of fermentation otherwise it will leave you with a fairly under-attenuated beer.

What I do is ferment between 16-18c and when the beer is about 2/3rds attenuated I bump the fermentation temp up a couple of degrees and gently swirl the fermenter around a few times to put the yeast back into suspension so it can finish the job. Some people say rousing works well here. But I don't like the thought of opening the fermenter up and stirring if I can avoid it.

This yeast can be "very" flocculant.

Warren -
 

jaytee

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Thanks Warren, makes sense.
The WYeast blurb on the 1968 did sound good - "bright within days"

Temperature in the garage is steady about 14c at the moment, using a heatpad usually gives me a brew temp of 18c

Plan is to make up starters using Batz fine instructions Thursday or Friday
Let you know how it goes
 

jgriffin

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Well it seems the White Labs yeast i bought was either a dud, or i somehow managed to kill it. How i could have killed it, i have no idea, so i'm sure it was a dud.
Nice waste of $16. This is going to be one expensive Pilsner.

I can't see what i did wrong... but this is what i did.
I boiled up 1.5L of water with 1/3 cup DME. Stuck it in the freezer till it cooled to room temp. I then poured 75% of it into a coke bottle and shook the shit out of it for 2 mins or so. I then shook the Yeast Tube and pitched it into the mix, and them poured some of the remaining wort into the tube to "wash out" any left over yeast, then poured the rest into the coke bottle, stuck on the airlock, and waited.

Nothing happened after 2 days, so i stepped up to 3L of wort just in case she needed some more juice to kickstart.
 

Justin

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What temperature is it/was it at jgriffin when you pitched it and what temp has it been at since? I've had older packs of wyeast show no activity for a week or more, namely a munich lager 2308-my first liquid yeast. Same deal though. I ended up pitching it into a bottle so I could see if there was any activity as the pack didn't swell at all. It took ages to get going and I eventually got a starter from it that I pitched into a brew. The beer turned out fine mind you. I will say this sounds unlikely though from a pitchable white labs tube. I would have thought you would see some bubbles. Try and keep it at around 20C for a few more days and see what happens, don't worry about off flavours at this point, you just want yeast. Isn't this always the way with your first liquid yeast starter though.

Jaytee, nice choice of yeast with the 1968. This little number is right up there with my favourite ale yeasts, especially if I want to do a quick brew. I did an ESB recently that was finished in 4 days @18C (was pitched onto 1/2 a cake though so lots of yeast) but it was finished in 4 days and crystal clear. I kegged it on that day and chilled it and carbed and drank a pint the next day. I didn't even pull any yeast in the first glass, I was amazed at the floculating ability of this yeast. Anyway, this beer was great drinking at 1 week from pitching date and was a favourite in my house. It didn't last very long unfortunately.

Cheers and good luck fellas.

Justin
 

jgriffin

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It was pitched at around 25c and has been at 18 - 23 ever since.
 

warrenlw63

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Jaytee,

If your ambient garage temp is about 14c, skip the heat pad for 3-4 days. Fermentation temps at high krausen are usually 2-4c higher than ambient anyway. Maybe use it after that. The yeast tends to need a bit of help at 2/3rds attenuation.

Warren -
 

Batz

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warrenlw63,
Sorry mate had to tell you this it has been on my mind for sometime

Your avatar is very unsettling

Sorry i don't like it ! :blink:
 

warrenlw63

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Really?

Just like to keep an eye on things :lol: :lol:

I'll have a bit of a look for something better. Is a bit loud now you mention it.

Took me a long time to photograph my right eye like that. :p

Warren -
 

warrenlw63

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There ya go Batz :p

Status quo restored??

Warren - :D
 

jaytee

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Warren, Justin, good reviews on the 1968, thanks for reassuring on my choice.

The Wyeast instructions are to activate and ferment at 21c, though they also say ferment ales at 60-72F (about 14 to 23 ?)
So, ok I'll ferment at the lower end of the scale.

What about the temperature for making up my starters using Batz instructions - I was going to go with 18c which is the steadiest temp I can get in the garage

Also, any comments about light affecting the yeast ?

jaytee
 

Green Iguana

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Direct sunlight is not good...other than that no problem
 

warrenlw63

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Jaytee,

Don't be quite as anal with your starter temps. For an ale yeast it's probably better to go a little warmer on the starter. About 20c or so to assure a good consisent fermtation.

Just remember though starters are smaller in volume therefore more sensitive to temperature fluctuations because it will all happen more rapidly. When it goes into your brew you want to keep it at the lower end of the temp scale then (16-18c). But temp changes will obviously effect 23 litres slower than say 1-2 litres.

Depends what sort of light you're talking about. They say direct sunlight can introduce mercapitans into your hops (skunk smell ie, Heinneken / Grolsch ). Fluoro lights can also do this "slowly". Normal light bulb type lights are not that bad.

If it's just your starter you're talking about all this becomes pretty negligible anyway.

Warren -
 

Trough Lolly

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jgriffin said:
I can't see what i did wrong... but this is what i did.
I boiled up 1.5L of water with 1/3 cup DME. Stuck it in the freezer till it cooled to room temp. I then poured 75% of it into a coke bottle and shook the shit out of it for 2 mins or so. I then shook the Yeast Tube and pitched it into the mix, and them poured some of the remaining wort into the tube to "wash out" any left over yeast, then poured the rest into the coke bottle, stuck on the airlock, and waited.
Hi John,
Your starter technique seems to be in order - although when I make my Bavarian Lager starters, I make a 500ml starter and then step up over 2 days to make about 3 litres, of which I pitch some on brewday and stubbie off the rest for future use. I find that you need to allow the yeast to start multiplying and then it gets stuck into the fermentation phase after its initial growth phase (there are proper terms for this but I don't have them handy here at work...). I step yeast up when it is developing krausen and not beforehand. That is why I pitch a yeast at high krausen - it has gotten over the multiplying stage and is ready to hook in and eat up the fermentable sugars in the solution - and that's why I have minimal lag time between pitching and fermentation... ;)

One of the biggest problems with yeast is shocking the cell walls through variations in solution composition and temperature. Was the yeast tube at room temp? How close to room temp was the starter? You have two things that the yeast cells have to deal with - different temperatures and you are plunging the yeast cells into a different solution from where they came. Some craftbrewers argue that this is why they rehydrate their dry yeast in cooled boiled water, without any malt addition. I generally try to make sure that my 1.040 starter and the host smack pack or tube are at the same temp well before I mix the yeast into the aerated starter. Ideally its good to use some of your brew wort as the starter if you have good brewing techniques that allow you to develop the yeast starter from the brew wort and keep the brew wort from getting infected whilst you let the starter develop.

Now I don't want to slag off your local HBS guy, but how did he store the tubes? How old was the yeast? Were the tubes in the front of a glass door fridge that gets some sunlight on it - every day? It is possible that the yeast was inert when you bought it :blink: ...but highly unlikely <_<

Don't rush the yeast - if you toss it out then you're stuffed...At least you can persist with it for a few more days, keep an eye on the gravity of the starter if necessary - taste a sample that you measured the gravity with. If it tastes like shite then you are a goner - you will know if you have an infection from the smell, well before you see the mutation. You may not have a gusher krausen wise, but at the micro level, the yeast may be hanging in there and actually growing - you just haven't seen it yet with the naked eye...

[poor pun]
ALL WE ARE SAYING....IS GIVE YEAST A CHANCE! :lol: :p :lol:
[/poor pun]

Cheers,
TL
 

jgriffin

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Trough Lolly said:
Was the yeast tube at room temp? How close to room temp was the starter?

Now I don't want to slag off your local HBS guy, but how did he store the tubes? How old was the yeast? Were the tubes in the front of a glass door fridge that gets some sunlight on it - every day? It is possible that the yeast was inert when you bought it :blink: ...but highly unlikely <_<
Thanks TL, sounds like some good advice.
I did do the wrong thing, and ditched it. I sorta got the shits with it and poured it down the sink.
But never one to give up, i went and bought another yeast yesterday (this time an Irish Ale WLP004) and made up the starter again. This time she's cranking along. :)

As for the temp, i returned the tube to room temp by taking it out of the fridge about 2 hours before pitching, and the wort was definately at room temp.
The tube had 1 month to go on the "best before" but i believe that the white-labs tubes only have 4 months coming out of the factory?
 
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