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Whitelabs San Francisco Lager Yeast

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Lindsay Dive

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Hi All,

I am wondering if there are any other brewers who have experienced some weird behaviour with the well know Whitelabs San Fancisco lager yeast.
I have used this yeast extensively in the past but have not used it for some 2 years.
I bought a new Whitelabs vial.
I made a two litre starter with the vial and immediately noticed that the kraeusen was not subsiding and filled the entire three litre starter bottle. This did not worry me too much at the time as the 'starter wort' can have some influence on the behaviour of the kraeusen.
Now that I have pitched the starter and have the 'brew' fermenting at a controlled 16 degrees, I have the yeast climbing out of the fermenter (25 litres in a 30 litre fermenter) to the extent that I have had to remove the lids and clean them.
I have never experienced this behaviour with San Fran before. The only other two yeasts the exhibited this behaviour was Whitelabs Pilsner Lager Yeast and Heffeweizen yeasts.
Anyboby noticed a change in this yeast???
 

Brizbrew

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Lindsay Dive said:
I have the yeast climbing out of the fermenter (25 litres in a 30 litre fermenter) to the extent that I have had to remove the lids and clean them.

[post="66527"][/post]​
I did use this Yeast a while back when a mate and I wanted to do a lager without having the ability to do true lager temps, it too climbed up and stuck to the lid but we left it there for the next two weeks regardless, it is now in secondary and has been for 3 weeks, I hope I have not wrecked it by not cleaning the lid. :(
 

Hopsta

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Try using a blow off tube in future, you will minimise risk of infection, no need to remove lid, just remove airlock and insert tube with the other end of the tube into a bucket with a bit of sterilizing solution added. As removing the lid and cleaning can often have the opposite effect of introducing bacteria.
 

Barry

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Good Day Lindsay
I use it a lot and while it always has a good/very good kraeusen it never attacked me. I usually ferment it at 10 to 14oC but even at higher temps it was not that extreme. So I can't tell you why this batch of San Fran is acting like this.
 

Lindsay Dive

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Hi Barry,
I have also used this yeast a fair bit in the past and that's why I am asking if there are other reported problems. I've never encountered problems before this. I have the fermenter fridge set right on 15 degrees which is the temperature recommended by Whitelabs.
This certainly attacked me, the airlocks spewed about two cups of thick yeast sludge out onto the tops of both fermenters (I split the 50 litre brew into 2 fermenters).
As I said before the only other lager yeast I've seen behave anywhere like this is the Whitelabs Pilsner Lager yeast and what a mess that made. So much so, that I have never attempted to brew with it again.
At present, the kraeusen has subsided to be about 50 mm high and is staying away from the lids.
I think I'll fire off an email the Chris White and see what response I get.
Im a little pi55ed off because this is the first brew with the new Bohemian Pilsner Malt.
Oh well, I guess its back to the old Ayinger at 9 degrees.
 

Barry

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Good day Lindsay
I have 6 lagers in secondaries at present, all made the San Fran and not a problem. All have drop from OG 1.050+ to 1.012-14 so far without problems. The first two used one litre starter each and the other four used a half a jar each from the yeast from the first two batches.
Today I racked two Bopils made with the Bohemian malt. I had great deal of trub with these two beers. I used the 55oC rest with one and not with the other. Same OG and the same gravity at racking (1.014). Have to wait to see if there is any differences in the final beers.
So I have no idea why your San Fran has gone feral.
 

Lindsay Dive

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I shall report back when I get a reply from Dr. Chris White from Whitelabs.

I have a slight suspicion that the yeast I've got here is the Pilsner Lager yeast (WLP800). Makes good beer but is an absolute mongrel to work with.
 

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