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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: rayallen on March 03, 2011, 10:50:07 pm

Title: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 03, 2011, 10:50:07 pm
I brewed a Belgian White tonight and in my haste managed not to read the directions on the wyeast packet.

Tells you to burst the pouch on the inside, shake it together and let it sit for a while and swell before putting it in the wort.

What I did open the packet poor it in and then notice the pouch. So I burst the ouch open poured it in the wort. I capped the trub and gave it a real good shake. Hope that did the trick.

Anyone else use Wyeast see this as a problem?

Previously I used a different brand of dry yeast and wasnt expecting this. Only my 2nd brew so im learning as I go..
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 03, 2011, 10:53:01 pm
What was the manufacturing date on the package?  If it's fresh it should be fine, depending on your OG.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: Hokerer on March 04, 2011, 08:27:24 am
The purpose of bursting that pack and letting it swell is just to tell you that there's live yeast in the pack.  Not going through that process won't hurt anything.

What you should do to improve things, though, is to make a starter with that yeast pack.  That kills two birds - it tells you that the yeast is alive AND it get your cell counts up to what they should be for pitching.  While Wyeast claims that the pack is directly pitchable, in general, if you do the calculations, there's nowhere near enough cells.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 04, 2011, 09:11:41 am
The purpose of bursting that pack and letting it swell is just to tell you that there's live yeast in the pack.  Not going through that process won't hurt anything.

What you should do to improve things, though, is to make a starter with that yeast pack.  That kills two birds - it tells you that the yeast is alive AND it get your cell counts up to what they should be for pitching.  While Wyeast claims that the pack is directly pitchable, in general, if you do the calculations, there's nowhere near enough cells.

Thank you for the information. Being a newbie im not to fimiliar on Yeast brands/providers.

Is there a particular company that is preferred over others when it comes to getting good live healthy yeast?
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: denny on March 04, 2011, 09:23:31 am
The 2 providers that are most pervasive are White Labs and Wyeast.  Both make great products.  Most experienced brewers will tell you that neither product should be pitched into beers over 1.040 OG without a starter.  For information on yeast and starters, see mrmalty.com.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 04, 2011, 10:05:12 am
As long as your OG was in the normal range for a wit beer don't worry about it too much, your beer will be fine as long as the yeast was fresh.  A starter may have been better but it's not absolutely required.  Which yeast did you use?
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 04, 2011, 11:56:38 am
I used the Belgian Wit 3944
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: majorvices on March 04, 2011, 12:03:38 pm
Agree that as long as your yeast is fresh I wouldn;t worry about underpitching for a wheat beer, especially a wit. However the advice about starters for liquid yeast is spot on.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 04, 2011, 12:09:15 pm
I think your beer will be fine.

Some things to keep in mind for future batches:
Slight underpitching can enhance yeast character, which you might want in a wit or hefeweizen or other styles.  Pitching a lot of yeast is best for when you don't want a lot of yeast character, like in lagers or when you want a clean fermentation profile.

If your liquid yeast is not fresh it may have lost more viability than you think, so a starter is a good idea.  In fact, a starter is never a bad idea, it's just not always required.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: euge on March 04, 2011, 12:22:29 pm
I thought this would turn into the relative merits of White Labs vs Wyeast?  Anyway, according to the Mr Malty I still underpitched my 12.5 plato Alt, where 1 vial for 2.8 gallons should have been 1.9 vials or 98 billion cells...

As far as starters go I'd like to see more appropriate cell counts in those vials and packs and skip that step altogether.

Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: majorvices on March 04, 2011, 12:29:54 pm
The real problem ends up being viability. For instance, when I order yeast from WL I order in a 2bbl pitch and have it overnighted. The yeast is guaranteed to be at 98% viability when it leaves the door. You can't really do that on the homebrew level because of the price. That's why starters are important, especially for yeast that is older or higher gravity beers.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: denny on March 04, 2011, 12:35:36 pm
I thought this would turn into the relative merits of White Labs vs Wyeast?  Anyway, according to the Mr Malty I still underpitched my 12.5 plato Alt, where 1 vial for 2.8 gallons should have been 1.9 vials or 98 billion cells...

They're both fine products.  It comes down to personal opinion AFAIAC.


As far as starters go I'd like to see more appropriate cell counts in those vials and packs and skip that step altogether.

This is something I've discussed with Wyeast.  Seems like homebrewers are notoriously frugal and the feeling is that they wouldn't want to pay the price.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 04, 2011, 12:41:40 pm
As far as starters go I'd like to see more appropriate cell counts in those vials and packs and skip that step altogether.

This is something I've discussed with Wyeast.  Seems like homebrewers are notoriously frugal and the feeling is that they wouldn't want to pay the price.
You can get the appropriate amount by buying more packs if that's the way you want to go.  If you want to make starters to save money or to verify viability, you probably don't want to spend $20 to get enough yeast for your batch straight out of the pack.  If anything, some people might prefer smaller packs so they could save money, but my LHBS doesn't carry the propagator packs (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_productdetail.cfm?ProductID=2).
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: euge on March 04, 2011, 12:50:46 pm
The real problem ends up being viability. For instance, when I order yeast from WL I order in a 2bbl pitch and have it overnighted. The yeast is guaranteed to be at 98% viability when it leaves the door. You can't really do that on the homebrew level because of the price. That's why starters are important, especially for yeast that is older or higher gravity beers.

That's good to know. After I pitched the recently purchased vial the date was noticed. Best before Feb-o6-11! If I had made a starter then maybe there wouldn't have been a 48 hour lag. :-[

I thought this would turn into the relative merits of White Labs vs Wyeast?  Anyway, according to the Mr Malty I still underpitched my 12.5 plato Alt, where 1 vial for 2.8 gallons should have been 1.9 vials or 98 billion cells...

They're both fine products.  It comes down to personal opinion AFAIAC.


As far as starters go I'd like to see more appropriate cell counts in those vials and packs and skip that step altogether.

This is something I've discussed with Wyeast.  Seems like homebrewers are notoriously frugal and the feeling is that they wouldn't want to pay the price.

Hmmm. Is that an assumption on their part I wonder? Despite my own inherent laziness I've always gotten better beer from pitching active yeast. So it's probably a good thing in the big scheme of things.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: majorvices on March 04, 2011, 01:03:09 pm
but my LHBS doesn't carry the propagator packs (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_productdetail.cfm?ProductID=2).

Back in the day that was the highest cell count you could get.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: euge on March 04, 2011, 01:11:52 pm

You can get the appropriate amount by buying more packs if that's the way you want to go.  If you want to make starters to save money or to verify viability, you probably don't want to spend $20 to get enough yeast for your batch straight out of the pack.  If anything, some people might prefer smaller packs so they could save money, but my LHBS doesn't carry the propagator packs (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_productdetail.cfm?ProductID=2).

I've done that with dry yeast but draw the line at liquid yeast. I'm not sure if it's frugality or cheapness. Probably the latter. ::)
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 04, 2011, 02:03:25 pm
Thanks guys I got the info I need and much more.

Im not concerned about the price of yeast. The way I see it, one 5g batch will make me ~50 bottles give or take. Some of the beers I drink I will pay $15+ for a 12pack. Heck some of them I pay $15 for a 6 pack. So if it takes paying a little more cash to be able to pitch the correct amount a yeast so be it.

What do they say "you get what you pay for". Ive quickly learned that pretty much anyone can make a beer, but its quality im after. If I can replicate Hoegaarden I will be one happy camper.

Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 04, 2011, 03:17:16 pm
This is something I've discussed with Wyeast.  Seems like homebrewers are notoriously frugal and the feeling is that they wouldn't want to pay the price.
Hmmm. Is that an assumption on their part I wonder? Despite my own inherent laziness I've always gotten better beer from pitching active yeast. So it's probably a good thing in the big scheme of things.

And then

You can get the appropriate amount by buying more packs if that's the way you want to go.
I've done that with dry yeast but draw the line at liquid yeast. I'm not sure if it's frugality or cheapness. Probably the latter. ::)
It can't be too much of an assumption then euge, you're a case in point ;D


If I can replicate Hoegaarden I will be one happy camper.
Where did you get your recipe?  Did you use the "secret" ingredient, chamomile?
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 04, 2011, 04:55:52 pm
If I can replicate Hoegaarden I will be one happy camper.
Where did you get your recipe?  Did you use the "secret" ingredient, chamomile?
[/quote]

No! Chamomile was not on my list. But you know I told the guy at Austin Homebrew I wanted to make a Belgian Witbier, I didnt specify hoegaarden.

Now I know for next time.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 07, 2011, 12:12:39 pm
Ok, I brewed and pitched the yeast March 3rd around 9pm. Its the 4th day now.

Im pretty sure its not fermenting, I made sure to wash my hands really well and took a peek inside the fermenting bucket and it hasnt foamed up like my last batch of beer did. My last batch fermented with 12hrs but I used a dry yeast and a different brand.

I dug the Wyeast pouch out of the trash and it was passed exp date.

Should I give it another day or should I go ahead and pitch some more yeast. Unfortunately I dont have any because I didnt buy extra. came with the kit and only my 2nd brew. Im going to have to order it online or try and find some locally.

**Note to self- always have extra yeast on hand**

Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: euge on March 07, 2011, 12:19:15 pm
You are experiencing a long lag. Probably because of no starter and the viability is low. You should see something soon.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 07, 2011, 12:25:33 pm
You are experiencing a long lag. Probably because of no starter and the viability is low. You should see something soon.

Thank euge I will keep a eye and ear out for it to start.

Last batch I could here my fermenter burping so I knew it was working.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 07, 2011, 12:27:55 pm
Order some new dried yeast - if fermentation starts before it arrives, you can keep it in the fridge for months.  If it's not started and vigorous, you can pitch the new yeast.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 07, 2011, 12:46:57 pm
Order some new dried yeast - if fermentation starts before it arrives, you can keep it in the fridge for months.  If it's not started and vigorous, you can pitch the new yeast.

What dry yeast would be best or equivalent to Wyeast 3944.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 07, 2011, 01:44:54 pm
Order some new dried yeast - if fermentation starts before it arrives, you can keep it in the fridge for months.  If it's not started and vigorous, you can pitch the new yeast.

What dry yeast would be best or equivalent to Wyeast 3944.
Ah, I forgot you were using 3944.  The answer is "nothing", at least not that I know.  But you could use S33 to get a beer that wouldn't be exactly what you wanted but still fermented.  I always keep S05 and S04 on hand, which doesn't help for a wit but would be better than nothing.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 07, 2011, 01:48:51 pm
Yep, all my seraching found nothing for a Belgian wit.

There is the Safbrew T-58 which ive read is good with Belgian recipes.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 07, 2011, 02:05:47 pm
Yep, all my seraching found nothing for a Belgian wit.

There is the Safbrew T-58 which ive read is good with Belgian recipes.
Yes, T58 might be even better than S33 for making a wit, I've never used either so I can't speak from experience.  Depending on what kinds of beers you usually make, that could be a good one to keep on hand.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: denny on March 07, 2011, 02:26:36 pm
Despite what the manufacturer says, I've found nothing even vaguely "Belgianish" about S-33.  T-58 makes a pretty decent wit, though.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: tschmidlin on March 07, 2011, 02:28:37 pm
Good to know, thanks D.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: Rhoobarb on March 07, 2011, 02:45:56 pm
Okay, I haven't seen this asked, so I'll ask it.  Have you taken a gravity reading?  You say you're using a bucket and sometimes the seal on buckets are not the tightest and CO2 escapes from them without the brewer realizing it.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 07, 2011, 05:17:19 pm
Okay, I haven't seen this asked, so I'll ask it.  Have you taken a gravity reading?  You say you're using a bucket and sometimes the seal on buckets are not the tightest and CO2 escapes from them without the brewer realizing it.

I havent, with this being only my 2nd batch brewed I was looking for the same signs of my 1st batch. I could here it burping and when I shined a light through the bucket I could see the foam forming.

I will take a reading and see if its changed from the starting/orignal gravity.

Thanks Denny on the confirmation of Safbrew T-58. Thats what im going to use if I need to repitch. Going to by several varieties to keep in stock.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: a10t2 on March 07, 2011, 05:30:47 pm
3944 is probably the slowest-fermenting yeast there is. Combined with under-pitching, you could still have nothing to worry about, as long as your sanitation is good. A gravity reading should definitely be the next step.

Also, sorry if this is obvious, but the date on the pack is the manufacture date, not an expiration date.
Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: rayallen on March 07, 2011, 07:16:58 pm
All is good Chaps.

We are fermenting!

Title: Re: Wyeast
Post by: bluesman on March 07, 2011, 07:21:55 pm
All is good Chaps.

We are fermenting!



Excellent!

Now be patient and watch for the Krausen to fall and the beer to clear then take a gravity reading. This may take as much as 7-10 days.