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WLP001 Cal. Ale slow start?

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dteahan

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Evening,

I was wondering if anyone else had experienced a slow kick off with WLP001? First time I have used the strain and everything I read say's it's quite an active strain - but I seem to be having a different experience. I did a bit of research and slow performance is mentioned happening with no starter, wrong temps, high gravity etc.

I wouldn't mind trying to narrow down what, if anything, has transpired.

I pitched a 4 L starter I made with a vial (exp date by Sept) AND a fresh(ish) vial (oct) into a 1.076 OG Black IPA on Sunday (mashed at 66C). Pitch temp was bang on 18C (same as the starter) and I aerated with a stone for 20 minutes before dropping in the yeast.

Ferment temp is 18C (well the fridge is set to 18C).

48 hours on and a very small (2cm krausen) and slow bubbling. Gravity has dropped 16 points to 1.060 so I am not ultra concerned - just seems to go against the reviews for this yeast?

I normally brew with Belgian yeast(s) or Wyeast 1028 London Ale III which go nuts.

Thoughts? Nothing to worry about?
 

Yob

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I was a bit underwhelmed with this yeast myself, did all the right things, took a bit too long for my liking, have gone back to 1217 or Greenbelt for my American pales and IPA's

I thought it might take a few brews to get it cranking but the second use was quite similar, I'm sure others will have had different results
 

dteahan

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Yob said:
I was a bit underwhelmed with this yeast myself, did all the right things, took a bit too long for my liking, have gone back to 1217
Cheers Yob - I might give the 1217 a go next time and try it out.
 

Spiesy

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Can you please let me know the exact BB date of the yeasts, and when you pitched?

Was your starter on a stir plate?
 

Yob

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dteahan said:
Cheers Yob - I might give the 1217 a go next time and try it out.
Where abouts are you? I've got a spare tube or two in the freezer and just about to save some gen 2, was a 4 day ferment and was pretty happy with it.
 

Fat Bastard

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September is pretty long in the tooth for yeast. Did you step it up before pitching it into the starter? Your initial pitch rate in the starter can affect how many cells you get out of it. I'd suggest plugging your numbers into yeastcalc and see what you get.

I normally get 40 odd points in 48 hours with a 1.45 litre starter, although that has something to do with my mash regimen as well. I've always found 001 to be a reliable and fast fermenter, but the krausens do vary quite a bit from monsters trying to escape to 1 inch tiddlers.
 
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It sounds like you might have made the starter too large for the yeasts in the first place. You want to make a lot of heathy yeast not just a lot of yeast. Thats the reason why doing starters in steps is a good option.
 

tateg

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Hi yob
Where did you get the greenbelt from ? Been hearing a bit about this yeast lately

Cheers
 

Yob

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Got it from a member who isn't about here much any more, he got it from the states on a trip he had, between me and a mate, we've had it going for a few years now, it's rock solid and a great performer, by far my most used yeast. You can have a vial in a month or so when I do my next culture up :)

You'd need to pick up or jump for the postage though :)
 

tateg

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Yob said:
Got it from a member who isn't about here much any more, he got it from the states on a trip he had, between me and a mate, we've had it going for a few years now, it's rock solid and a great performer, by far my most used yeast. You can have a vial in a month or so when I do my next culture up :)

You'd need to pick up or jump for the postage though :)
I would love to get some to try out, sounds like a real work horse.
 

Spiesy

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Fat Bastard said:
September is pretty long in the tooth for yeast.
It's 2-months old. Not really that old, especially when used in a starter.
 

Fat Bastard

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Spiesy said:
It's 2-months old. Not really that old, especially when used in a starter.
Just re read. I had assumed it was September last year! You can officially call me an ass.
 

Yob

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tateg said:
I would love to get some to try out, sounds like a real work horse.
Welcome to it, I enjoy sharing it, if I screw up all my cultures I'm more likely to be able to get it again :)
 

Fat Bastard

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Ok, I punched your numbers into yeastcalc and assuming the yeast was produced 2 months ago, a 4 litre, 1.037 starter will give you 262 billion cells where your beer requires 359 billion, so you've got a definate underpitch there, which might account for the slow start. With a brand new vial you would have been slightly over.

I personally wouldn't worry about it overly much, WLP-001 doesn't produce much in the way of esters, even when severely mistreated. I used to ferment at up to 24 degrees before i had temp control and pitch a vial direct to the fermenter and the finished result was ok. File the knowledge away for next time.
 

dteahan

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Yob said:
Where abouts are you? I've got a spare tube or two in the freezer and just about to save some gen 2, was a 4 day ferment and was pretty happy with it.
Yob I am in Sydney - Inner West - but will travel - thanks very much for the offer - even if you're not near me.
 

dteahan

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Fat Bastard said:
Ok, I punched your numbers into yeastcalc and assuming the yeast was produced 2 months ago, a 4 litre, 1.037 starter will give you 262 billion cells where your beer requires 359 billion, so you've got a definate underpitch there, which might account for the slow start. With a brand new vial you would have been slightly over.
Yeah I had a 4L starter and an extra vial to get close to the 359 billion required. No stir plate though and BB was 23/092014 (for what I used on the starter) and 30/10/2014 respectively. Starter was 1.045 too.

FWIW I've normally only done 2L starters with WLP530, 500, 540, 1214,1762 and even 1028 III with no problems on similar OG brews.
 

Fat Bastard

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Do you pitch your starters active or crash and pitch only the yeast? I only pitch mine active after only about 24hr on the stir plate?
 

Spiesy

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Yeah, according to Yeastcalc, you're right - as long as this isn't considered a "high gravity ale" - which I would consider it so.
Kind of miffed that the high gravity ale option exists, as shouldn't the calculator work this out itself...

If selecting "High Gravity Ale" you would have needed 479 billion cells.
And according to Chris White (the bloke who made your yeast), you would have fed your wort with 324 cells (I've backdated your yeast viability to when you pitched).
Still, not a crazy underpitch.

Don't know mate. But 16 points in 48 hours isn't too bad, keep us posted.
And let us know about the proof in the pudding... the end beer.
 

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