OK so many of the White Labs vials have been a hassle to open without spraying everywhere and it's always a challenge to do it without making a mess. I am familiar with that procedure. My experience has been if it doesn't want to spray, the yeast is probably not at it's optimum. Every batch I ever made with their yeast where the vial didn't give me a nice blast of CO2 while opening it was a slow ferment or was so bad it didn't fully ferment. Checking dates is a good idea I guess.
Starters....thought about making one. Was trying to decide what to do since I have S05 packets and two vials of this White Labs and I'm brewing ten gallons.
- I either need to make two starters using the white labs, or use both vials in one batch and use rehydrated S05 in the other as a comparison for flavor etc. That might be interesting.
- Or make a starter with one vial, pitch it with the other vial straight away into one batch, and use S05 in the other batch again for comparison.
- Or mix the two yeasts! Put a vial and a rehydrated packet of S05 in each batch.
Just checked and the vials are both dated for Jul 11th 2012.....definitely need to make starters with them.
Looking to brew a mid 60's OG IPA which warrants a bit more pitch than one packet or vial per batch particularly if this stuff is getting a bit old, which has tripped me up in the past.
Definitely make a starter with the vials.
I'd pitch both batches with different yeasts and see what you think on a side by side comparison. I've done this recently with a couple different strains and it has helped me to rule out certain yeast for certain styles and some yeast altogether.
The differences between two batches of the same recipe pitched with different strains can be eye-opening, even if your pitching two similar strains.