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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: theDarkSide on August 06, 2012, 06:27:01 PM

Title: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: theDarkSide on August 06, 2012, 06:27:01 PM
I just bought a smack pack of Wyeast Lager yeast today and it cost $11.75.  I wouldn't normally pay that much but I needed it sooner than later.

What is everyone else willing to pay for yeast?

I know I can get it cheaper online, but I'm not too crazy about it sitting in the UPS truck in this heat, even with the freezer packs (which probably only last a few hours ).  Another local option has it for $9.99, which also seems high.  Most of the places around me only have Wyeast, but it is the same for White Labs?  Is everything going up?  Is there a dreaded yeast "shortage"  ;)?

Also the yeast I got today is dated March 6, 2012 which means I'm going to need to step it up a few couple times to get the total yeast I need.  But when you procrastinate, you pay I guess  >:(
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: denny on August 06, 2012, 06:49:33 PM
About $7-7.25 at the LHBS.  Dates are usually 1-2 weeks before I buy it.  It's good to live close to Wyeast!
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Slowbrew on August 06, 2012, 06:54:22 PM
You made me pull out my last receipt (last week's trip) to find out.  I paid $6 each for Wyeast American Ale and American Wheat. 

I think I would delay my brewing schedule before I paid $11+ for a smack pack.

Paul
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: morticaixavier on August 06, 2012, 07:10:29 PM
an out of date smack pack at that!
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Kaiser on August 06, 2012, 07:11:08 PM
with prices like this I'm surprised that there aren't more home brewers that maintain their own slants.

Kai
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: davidgzach on August 06, 2012, 07:18:30 PM
I pay $7.50, but like many, wash and reuse as much as possible.  I typically get 4-5 generations per packet/vial bought.  Looking in to maintaining slants per Kai as well.  Next level....

Dave
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: denny on August 06, 2012, 07:29:56 PM
with prices like this I'm surprised that there aren't more home brewers that maintain their own slants.

Kai

I did for several years, but finally decided it wasn't worth my time.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: davidgzach on August 06, 2012, 07:52:37 PM
with prices like this I'm surprised that there aren't more home brewers that maintain their own slants.

Kai

I did for several years, but finally decided it wasn't worth my time.

Why?  I don't want to spend the $ on the equipment to come up with the same conclusion.  Washing and reusing is working just fine.

Dave
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: nateo on August 06, 2012, 08:09:03 PM
$1.95 for T-58, $3.25 for S-04, $4.95 for W-34/70
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: skrag6713 on August 06, 2012, 08:27:30 PM
i'm in Cedar Rapids, IA, and i can't get yeast for less than $6 a package - dry or otherwise - without driving an hour 1 way to dubuque.  think i'm going to wait till this fall when the weather's cooler and order a bunch in bulk from there.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: denny on August 06, 2012, 08:41:01 PM
with prices like this I'm surprised that there aren't more home brewers that maintain their own slants.

Kai

I did for several years, but finally decided it wasn't worth my time.

Why?  I don't want to spend the $ on the equipment to come up with the same conclusion.  Washing and reusing is working just fine.

Dave

It required a semi regular schedule of reslanting every few months.  As I've said many times, I'm basically lazy and I found it difficult to make time to do the maintenance that it took.  My main incentive was to make sure that I had CL50 around and once Wyeast started carrying it there really wasn't a big reason for me to continue.  Sure, it costs me some money now when I have to buy yeast, but it also frees up my time to do other stuff.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: nateo on August 06, 2012, 08:46:38 PM
i'm in Cedar Rapids, IA, and i can't get yeast for less than $6 a package - dry or otherwise - without driving an hour 1 way to dubuque.  think i'm going to wait till this fall when the weather's cooler and order a bunch in bulk from there.

Rebel Brewer is the cheapest I've found. If you only order yeast you can get 4-5 packs with $3 shipping. My "local" store is a 1.5 hour drive and they're a bit more expensive, but not too crazy. I think they're <$7 for a smack pack, IIRC.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: The Professor on August 06, 2012, 09:03:32 PM
I agree with Kai...and I feel that yeast should be by far the least costly aspect of brewing (like, almost no cost),  especially since it's so easy to maintain once you've got it.

I mainly use my house yeast (a mixed strain originally, the dominant factor being unknown and surely mutated anywy after 20+ years)....at this point I technically owe the yeast money.   ;)

I've maintained it since at least the late 1980s and after re-culturing it I'll re-ptich it anywhere from 8-12 times before starting over with a new re-culture or, infrequently, a round of brews with a smack pack from which I'm also able to coax at least 8 or more brews.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Kaiser on August 06, 2012, 10:06:19 PM
Why has yeast become so expensive? Is it because they package more yeast or is out because homebrewers will pay that much?

Maintaining a yeast bank is a pain. But so is ordering yeast. I buy brewing ingredients maybe once our twice a year.

Kai
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: a10t2 on August 06, 2012, 10:11:13 PM
The last few times I've ordered smack packs they've been $6-7.

I do replace them every couple years, just because a new "master" culture is so cheap. So my per-batch cost is probably about a dollar, on average. Even at $11/pack the per-batch cost would be negligible relative to the rest of the ingredients (which, in turn, are negligible relative to my time).
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: nateo on August 06, 2012, 10:26:56 PM
I used to re-use all the time, but I wasn't brewing often enough with the same cultures to make it worthwhile. I save wort now for starters, but it's a lot easier and faster to just rehydrate and pitch a dry pack than deal with a starter for a smack-pack or an old slurry.

Also, my sanitation, while acceptable most of the time, isn't flawless. Given the cost of all the other ingredients, plus my time, it's not worth it to me to risk an infection because I didn't properly store my yeast.

Is it because they package more yeast or is out because homebrewers will pay that much?

Probably the latter, but maybe Chris White wants to make a decent living. Yeast labs seem like pretty small operations so I can't fault them for trying to make a living. It takes a lot of $7 smack packs to make even one reasonable salary, especially since Wyeast/WL probably sells them for $3-4, and probably half of that is expenses. I'd be surprised if the lab makes more than $2 profit on each tube or pack sold.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: dannyjed on August 06, 2012, 10:34:56 PM
I pay $6.50 for Wyeast and $2-4 for dry.  I get 3 uses out of it so that figures out to be a little over $2 a batch - not that much in my book.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: euge on August 06, 2012, 11:19:10 PM
I've seen dry yeast go up dramatically over the past 5 years. In 07 a pack of s-04/05 was $0.75! Now I'll pay upwards of $5-6 for it. :( Sometimes I'll find Danstar or Lallemand for under $3. White labs and Wyeast have remained fairly stable in price and it's usually around $7 but often it is "expired" and I have to step it up.

Like nateo I worry about bacteria so usually won;t repitch a third time.

It kinda irks me that the liquid yeast manufacturers state that a "package" is pitchable when we know it really isn't enough to do the job right- especially after shipping and time have had their way with it.

This is why I usually stick with the dry yeasts. They are a bit cheaper usually and save me some time and effort so that I can sometimes spontaneously brew when the mood hits me.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: thebigbaker on August 07, 2012, 12:07:36 AM
I mainly use dry yeast except Hefes and Saisons.  I mainly use US-05 which I can get at my LHBS for $2.50.  Wyeast packs are $7 and I can get them about a week old. 
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: tygo on August 07, 2012, 01:37:59 AM
I use liquid yeast and pay between $6-7.  I buy the icepacks but during the summer months I just assume a loss of viability and make a bigger starter.  I like the idea of keeping my own library but at this point in time I know it'll be too much work.  I barely have enough time for my current brewing tasks. 

Yeah, I have to plan in advance to make starters but I don't get to brew spontaneously anyway, so no big deal.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: stadelman on August 07, 2012, 02:49:25 AM
Williams Brewing has Wyeast 1056 for $2.88...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/08/williams-brewing-half-price-wyeast-1056.html
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Pinski on August 07, 2012, 04:27:08 AM
Williams Brewing has Wyeast 1056 for $2.88...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/08/williams-brewing-half-price-wyeast-1056.html
Do they disclose the age of packs?
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: a10t2 on August 07, 2012, 05:05:52 AM
Do they disclose the age of packs?

At that price, does it matter? You're making a starter either way.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Pinski on August 07, 2012, 05:14:42 AM
Do they disclose the age of packs?

At that price, does it matter? You're making a starter either way.

If the viability was such that I would need to do two or three starter steps to produce the numbers I need,  I'd gladly pony up the $3.50 for fresh stock at my LHBS. It's just hard to imagine that they're selling fresh highly viable yeast at 50% off.   
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Jimmy K on August 07, 2012, 12:41:41 PM
Why has yeast become so expensive? Is it because they package more yeast or is out because homebrewers will pay that much?

Also - a perishable product with huge variety. I'm sure a lot of that yeast goes bad. Add competition from fermentis for the most popular strains and White Labs/WYeast are even more a specialty product.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Hokerer on August 07, 2012, 12:59:58 PM
Why?  I don't want to spend the $ on the equipment to come up with the same conclusion.  Washing and reusing is working just fine.

If you already own a pressure canner (doesn't everyone? :) ), then there's very little cost to maintain your own slants.  Less than $2.00 for a pack of agar, $6.50 for a 12-pack of vials, and a little bit of leftover wort and you're good to go.

It required a semi regular schedule of reslanting every few months.  As I've said many times, I'm basically lazy and I found it difficult to make time to do the maintenance that it took.  My main incentive was to make sure that I had CL50 around and once Wyeast started carrying it there really wasn't a big reason for me to continue.  Sure, it costs me some money now when I have to buy yeast, but it also frees up my time to do other stuff.

I've gone as long as 21 months on a slant and still been able to grow up a great starter.  As long as you brew something with each yeast you're banking more often than that, just reslant it then and you're good.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: stadelman on August 07, 2012, 01:05:56 PM
Yep... on the home page where they describe the promo "This is fresh stock Wyeast, with a manufacture date of July 9th"

Williams Brewing has Wyeast 1056 for $2.88...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/08/williams-brewing-half-price-wyeast-1056.html
Do they disclose the age of packs?
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: nateo on August 07, 2012, 02:29:12 PM
Here's my quick back-of-the-evelope calculation:
20 batches per year
base grain - $1.20/lb @ 12lbs/batch = $288/year
specialty grain = $40
H2O - $6 maybe 4 times per year = $24
acids/bases/nutrients = $40
finings = $15
hops = $80
bottle caps = $25
bottles = $40
cleaners/sanitizers = $20
subtotal = $572

dry yeast - $2/batch for 8 batches = $16
dry yeast - $4/batch for 8 batches = $32
liquid yeast - $7/batch for 4 batches = $28
yeast subtotal = $76

Yeast as percentage of expenditures = 11%

I suspect my non-yeast expenditures are actually higher than I'm estimating here, making my yeast expense percentage even lower. If I were to reuse yeast and make starters for half my batches, it would take about 10 hours of my time. If I value my time at $3.80/hour, i'd break even. If my free-time is worth more than $3.80/hour (I think it is) then I'd come out behind.

When possible I'll rack a stronger beer onto the yeast cake from a weaker beer, but while I typically only use 5-7 strains, it's not often I want to brew the same yeast back-to-back.

Although, if I value my free-time at >$3.80, I probably spend more money on the AHA forum than on any other expense in my life.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Pinski on August 07, 2012, 02:39:33 PM
Yep... on the home page where they describe the promo "This is fresh stock Wyeast, with a manufacture date of July 9th"

Williams Brewing has Wyeast 1056 for $2.88...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/08/williams-brewing-half-price-wyeast-1056.html
Do they disclose the age of packs?

Wow, then I'd say that's a pretty good deal these days.  If you order enough other stuff to make it worth the shipping. 
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: a10t2 on August 07, 2012, 03:13:04 PM
I'd gladly pony up the $3.50 for fresh stock at my LHBS.

:o That's awesome. Do they have some sort of arrangement with Wyeast?
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: gsandel on August 07, 2012, 03:46:46 PM
I pay in the $6-7 range, both LHBS have yeast usually dated within a week to three.  Two smack packs (wyeast) in 12 gallons of wort does it for me....even for my award winning Marzen.  The yeast starts vigerously pumping out CO2 (only indication on my closed fermenter) within a couple hours and finishes quickly.

I am confused by the pitching calculator (mr. malty) vs. the yeast makers (WL and Wy) on wildly differing proper pitching rates.  Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast?  That makes no business sense, and therefore, I surmise that it is actually enough, or the difference (all other fermentation variables controlled/stable, young viable yeast) is negligible to everyone except the high tasters (which thankfully, I am not)....the yeast guys have a vested interest in our beer turning out well or avoiding problems as they already sell a premium product (over dry yeast), but both major liquid manufacturers have chosen to recommend using a less than optimal amount of their product?  Why not sell the same pack for $5.00-$6 each, but say the optimal amount for 5 gallons is three or 4 (or whatever it is) packs full.

Bottom line: I am too lazy to wrangle yeast, but would start right away if my option was 6 month old yeast for $11.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: theDarkSide on August 07, 2012, 04:01:15 PM
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

I'm sure it has something to do with attracting the newer or less experienced homebrewers, who want to make beer without the added complications of making a starter.  Otherwise they would just go with the dry option.  And they can probably assume the more experienced homebrewers will know to make a starter or add multiple vials/smack packs.

Bottom line: I am too lazy to wrangle yeast, but would start right away if my option was 6 month old yeast for $11.
Trust me, if this was the norm...I would be keeping my own library.  Unfortuneately my laziness got the best of me and I was a little rushed.  As it stands right now, I'm not even sure the starter I did last night is going to make it.  9 hours later on a stirplate at room temp and it doesn't look like it's doing anything.  I'm going to check it when I get home from work before making a decision to continue or not.  >:(
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: AmandaK on August 07, 2012, 04:31:41 PM
I pay $6.25 for Wyeast and $6.99 for WL.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Mark G on August 07, 2012, 06:23:31 PM
I pay $6.50 for liquid yeasts at my LHBS, and also get a 10% discount for being an AHA member. I typically repitch that yeast into 4-5 batches, so my cost per batch is pretty small.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Pinski on August 08, 2012, 05:10:13 AM
I'd gladly pony up the $3.50 for fresh stock at my LHBS.

:o That's awesome. Do they have some sort of arrangement with Wyeast?

No, sorry I wasn't very clear. What I meant was that I'd rather pay $6.50 for yeast that's a week or two old and be able to do a single step starter rather than save $3.50 and have to do a multiple step starter.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: summy on August 08, 2012, 01:02:30 PM
We pay $8.99 with our LHBS for White Labs...  Not always handled well either.  I make a starter every time though.

Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: beersk on August 09, 2012, 01:41:53 PM
I get Wyeast for $5.99 and White Labs for $6.50 at Midwest...sometimes not the freshest though, but I suppose it's more difficult to get fresher yeast being in the Midwest as opposed to West Coast. Not a fan of making starters, let alone multi-step starters.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: erockrph on August 09, 2012, 03:08:17 PM
I get Wyeast for $5.99 and White Labs for $6.50 at Midwest...sometimes not the freshest though, but I suppose it's more difficult to get fresher yeast being in the Midwest as opposed to West Coast. Not a fan of making starters, let alone multi-step starters.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

I find that for online retailers I get the freshest yeast from Northern Brewer. I've found that Midwest and Austin Homebrew Supply typically run 1-2 weeks older than NB. But still, we're talking about 2 weeks old versus 3-4 weeks in my experience, so they're all well within reason to me.

As far as pricing goes, you have to factor shipping into the cost. NB and AHS are flat-rate, but Midwest and Rebel are not. Depending on the size of your order, one may be a better deal than the others.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: beersk on August 09, 2012, 03:15:00 PM
I get Wyeast for $5.99 and White Labs for $6.50 at Midwest...sometimes not the freshest though, but I suppose it's more difficult to get fresher yeast being in the Midwest as opposed to West Coast. Not a fan of making starters, let alone multi-step starters.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

I find that for online retailers I get the freshest yeast from Northern Brewer. I've found that Midwest and Austin Homebrew Supply typically run 1-2 weeks older than NB. But still, we're talking about 2 weeks old versus 3-4 weeks in my experience, so they're all well within reason to me.

As far as pricing goes, you have to factor shipping into the cost. NB and AHS are flat-rate, but Midwest and Rebel are not. Depending on the size of your order, one may be a better deal than the others.
I concur.  I should check out Northern Brewer more often...I just feel loyal to Midwest since that's who I started with. Seems only rarely do I order from Northern Brewer, for no particular reason.  I wish the flat rate shipping went for all orders instead of just the smaller ones at NB.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Jimmy K on August 16, 2012, 01:44:39 AM
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

I think they sell an acceptable amount of yeast, and that amount is a compromise considering beer flavor, manufacturing, transportation, and storage costs, homebrewer demand and willingness to pay, etc.  This doesn't mean it is the BEST amount of yeast.
 
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: nateo on August 16, 2012, 02:03:35 AM
I think they sell an acceptable amount of yeast, and that amount is a compromise considering beer flavor, manufacturing, transportation, and storage costs, homebrewer demand and willingness to pay, etc.  This doesn't mean it is the BEST amount of yeast.

That nuanced, reasonable analysis may be the truth, but it's not the official line from the yeast lab, probably because they think (correctly, IMO) that most people are too dumb to hold a nuanced, reasonable opinion.

The reason people have problems with their package size is because they say specifically that pitching 100b cells into 5 gallons of 1.050+ wort is a "professional pitching rate." I'm not aware of any literature pertaining to professional brewing that suggests using <0.4m/*P/ml is an acceptable pitching rate. I'm not aware of any professional brewery that is using that little yeast, but I could be wrong.

From Wyeast:
The Activator™ package contains a minimum of 100 billion cells in a yeast slurry.. The Activator™ is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard strength ale wort (1.034-1.060 SG) with professional pitching rates. For lagers, we recommend inoculating the wort at warm temperatures (68-70°F/ 20-21°C), waiting for signs of fermentation, and then adjusting to the desired temperature. Alternatively, for pitching into cold conditions (34-58°F/ 1-14°C) or higher gravity wort, we recommend increasing this pitching rate. This can be achieved by pitching additional Activator™ packages or by making a starter culture. Please see the Pitch Rate section for additional information."
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: brewmasternpb on August 16, 2012, 05:23:08 AM
This is why I usually get 4-5 generations/batches out of my yeast.  Also, I don't know why people are opposed to making starters.  You are putting a lot of time, energy, money and space into this beer, why not take the extra half hour to make a starter?  If you reuse the yeast, you only have to do it every 4-5 batch...
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Kaiser on August 16, 2012, 12:23:45 PM
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

Unless you live right next to the factory and can get the yeast less than 1 week old, you will not get yeast in amount and quality for a proper pitch of yeast.

Even if they would put 400B cells of yeast into the pack or vial, you still want to propagate fresh yeast since the yeasts fermentation performance suffers with age even if the cells are not dead.

That's why I liked  the propagator packs. All you buy is a sample of yeast that you'll propagate to the needed amount of yeast. The amount of growth can fairly easily be controlled by the amount of wort you are putting into a starter.

Kai
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: tomsawyer on August 16, 2012, 12:43:23 PM
Kai someone did a little experiment with a simple amber recipe and most people didn't ID the stuff that was pitched without a starter.  So I do think its possible to pitch the pack with decent results if you're talking about a sub-1.050 ale.  Then theres also those styles where a lower pitch rate helps to accentuate the esters.  I'm arguing vociferously since I just pitched a fresh WLP300 vial in 4gal of hefe wort!  So I need it to be OK.

I pay $6.50-7 and reuse yeast cake.  I'll keep it in jars for a few months and make a starter, or pitch it direct if its under a month old.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: redbeerman on August 16, 2012, 01:21:01 PM
I pay between $6.50 and $8.99 for liquid yeast.  I always make a starter and I rarely repitch.  I do not like to save yeast over a long period of time but I will repitch lager yeast for instance if I am going from an Oktoberfest to a doppelbock on a subsequent batch.  The risk of infection is too high for my tolerance since I do not live in a laboratory ;).
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: passlaku on August 16, 2012, 03:04:16 PM
I bought a vial for $10 in Norfolk, VA.  Once.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: a10t2 on August 16, 2012, 04:33:34 PM
Kai someone did a little experiment with a simple amber recipe and most people didn't ID the stuff that was pitched without a starter.

Actually, both batches used starters, although one was smaller than the other. So they were both very "fresh", in terms of Kai's statements regarding vitality vs. age.
Title: Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
Post by: Jimmy K on August 16, 2012, 08:07:42 PM
That nuanced, reasonable analysis may be the truth, but it's not the official line from the yeast lab, probably because they think (correctly, IMO) that most people are too dumb to hold a nuanced, reasonable opinion.

The reason people have problems with their package size is because they say specifically that pitching 100b cells into 5 gallons of 1.050+ wort is a "professional pitching rate." I'm not aware of any literature pertaining to professional brewing that suggests using <0.4m/*P/ml is an acceptable pitching rate. I'm not aware of any professional brewery that is using that little yeast, but I could be wrong.

From Wyeast:
The Activator™ package contains a minimum of 100 billion cells in a yeast slurry.. The Activator™ is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard strength ale wort (1.034-1.060 SG) with professional pitching rates. For lagers, we recommend inoculating the wort at warm temperatures (68-70°F/ 20-21°C), waiting for signs of fermentation, and then adjusting to the desired temperature. Alternatively, for pitching into cold conditions (34-58°F/ 1-14°C) or higher gravity wort, we recommend increasing this pitching rate. This can be achieved by pitching additional Activator™ packages or by making a starter culture. Please see the Pitch Rate section for additional information."

Very good point. I'm sure from a marketing standpoint, "Buy our expensive vial of yeast that's almost enough for a low gravity beer" is a non-starter. So whatever size they decide to sell, they probably have to say it is enough. I've love to hear their off-the-record opinion of this.
 
Somebody should organize a trip to the tasting room at White Labs and find out what their pitching rates are for the beers they are serving.