Author Topic: WLP 670 not fermenting?  (Read 999 times)

Offline rainmaker

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WLP 670 not fermenting?
« on: August 27, 2013, 05:08:29 AM »
I brewed an American Black Saison, 10 gallon batch. 10 lbs 2 row, 2 lbs Rye, 1 lb black prinz malt. 4 ounces maltodextrin. Mt. Hood and Willamette hop additions at 60 and 5 respectively. OG was 1.059. Pitched yeast at 77 degrees on Saturday and haven't seen a bit of airlock activity. For fun, I took 5 gallons of wort and pitched it with lactobacillus and a berliner Weiss yeast from WLP and that's chugging along fine.

So, I'm stumped as to why this yeast hasn't done a thing.

Any thoughts?

Offline redbeerman

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 07:14:54 AM »
What size starter did you use?  I noticed that the Saccharomyces strain in WLP670 is not a strong fermenter, but I did get reasonable lag time pitching at 65F (<24 hours). I made a 1 liter starter.  This also needs to sit for months for the Brett to work it's magic.
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Offline rainmaker

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 07:17:13 AM »
I didn't pitch a starter. Have only ever pitched starters with higher gravity beers and have never had an issue before

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 07:18:24 AM »
Airlock activity .... you fermenting in a bucket and watching for bubbles by any chance? Airlock activity is not a great indicator of fermentation activity. Bucket lids can have leaks that allow co2 to escape much easier than aitrlock. Of this is the case, pop the lid and have a look.

Otherewise, if you are not seeing actual krausen, tell us about your yeast starter.
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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 07:19:33 AM »
I didn't pitch a starter. Have only ever pitched starters with higher gravity beers and have never had an issue before

Be aware you are underpitching. And if you don't make a starter it will eventually bite you in the ass. But hopefully in this case it is a leaky bucket lid.
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Offline rainmaker

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 07:28:54 AM »
Airlock activity .... you fermenting in a bucket and watching for bubbles by any chance? Airlock activity is not a great indicator of fermentation activity. Bucket lids can have leaks that allow co2 to escape much easier than aitrlock. Of this is the case, pop the lid and have a look.

Otherewise, if you are not seeing actual krausen, tell us about your yeast starter.

Yes, I ferment in buckets for a month then if I plan to extended age move to carboys.

I'll have to pop the lid when I get home. I've always judged fermentation off my airlock and never had an issue, which is why this puzzled me. I try to keep everything as closed up as possible to avoid o2 and contamination.

Offline rainmaker

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 07:29:32 AM »
I didn't pitch a starter. Have only ever pitched starters with higher gravity beers and have never had an issue before

Be aware you are underpitching. And if you don't make a starter it will eventually bite you in the ass. But hopefully in this case it is a leaky bucket lid.

In regards to making a starter, I was under the impression white labs had enough viable cells to pitch directly into the wort?

Offline scottNU

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 07:32:18 AM »
I didn't pitch a starter. Have only ever pitched starters with higher gravity beers and have never had an issue before

Be aware you are underpitching. And if you don't make a starter it will eventually bite you in the ass. But hopefully in this case it is a leaky bucket lid.

In regards to making a starter, I was under the impression white labs had enough viable cells to pitch directly into the wort?

** Edit - had the text in the wrong spot
All liquid yeasts, White Labs or Wyeast, will benefit from a yeast starter.  Sometimes a starter is not as important, as when brewing a low gravity beer.  But liquid yeasts perform better with a starter.  Dry yeasts are a different animal.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 08:31:39 AM by scottNU »

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 07:57:08 AM »
Airlock activity .... you fermenting in a bucket and watching for bubbles by any chance? Airlock activity is not a great indicator of fermentation activity. Bucket lids can have leaks that allow co2 to escape much easier than aitrlock. Of this is the case, pop the lid and have a look.

Otherewise, if you are not seeing actual krausen, tell us about your yeast starter.

Yes, I ferment in buckets for a month then if I plan to extended age move to carboys.

I'll have to pop the lid when I get home. I've always judged fermentation off my airlock and never had an issue, which is why this puzzled me. I try to keep everything as closed up as possible to avoid o2 and contamination.

If you like buckets, stick with them. Your not going ot get much added benefit from a carboy. More expensive, break easier. Nothing wrong with buckets.

Most likely this is your problem and when you pop the lid you will see krausen.
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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 07:58:10 AM »
I didn't pitch a starter. Have only ever pitched starters with higher gravity beers and have never had an issue before

Be aware you are underpitching. And if you don't make a starter it will eventually bite you in the ass. But hopefully in this case it is a leaky bucket lid.

In regards to making a starter, I was under the impression white labs had enough viable cells to pitch directly into the wort?

Yep. For a 1.035 beer. Assuming the yeast is extremely fresh. You can get by without making a starter for 1.050ish beers as long as your yeast is fresh. But your better off making a starter in most cases.
Keith Y.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 12:58:24 PM »
I didn't pitch a starter. Have only ever pitched starters with higher gravity beers and have never had an issue before

Be aware you are underpitching. And if you don't make a starter it will eventually bite you in the ass. But hopefully in this case it is a leaky bucket lid.

In regards to making a starter, I was under the impression white labs had enough viable cells to pitch directly into the wort?

Yep. For a 1.035 beer. Assuming the yeast is extremely fresh. You can get by without making a starter for 1.050ish beers as long as your yeast is fresh. But your better off making a starter in most cases.

Agreed - anything north of 1.045-ish, liquid yeasts benefit from a starter.  Surprisingly little yeast left over after decanting from a 1500ml chilled starter will give you a huge jump start compared to a smack pack or vial added straight.  Dry yeast get rehydrated in most instances and those don't use a  starter and can be directly pitched up into the 1.050's range without an issue.  So, if it isn't going, get some US-05 ready or try some of the new Belgian dry yeast out there.
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Offline goschman

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 02:39:39 PM »
When in doubt, pull off the lid as mentioned before. I have had this happen multiple times and after taking a peek there is a hugh foamy layer of krausen.

Offline rgnlkngtylrbmbstk

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2013, 03:11:40 PM »
In regards to making a starter, I was under the impression white labs had enough viable cells to pitch directly into the wort?

If you do the math, 5g of 1.059 would love to see 200 billion cells, that's two vials coming from the lab on day one.
If your vial is two months old, it's at 60% at best, which means you have less than a third of the ideal yeast pitch. I've had plenty of success going with about 2/3 the George Fix number, or even less depending on the circumstances. More yeast growth will give a different profile, so you have to think of what you're after.
The best thing about a starter is that you have fresh yeast every time, completely beside the cell count.

Offline erockrph

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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 07:07:23 PM »
Since this strain is a blend of Sacch and Brett, I think the OP did the right thing to by not using a starter. It may be a bit of an underpitch for the Sacch strain, but in this case I think it's more important to get the Brett part of the pitch right.
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Re: WLP 670 not fermenting?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 06:23:39 AM »
Since this strain is a blend of Sacch and Brett, I think the OP did the right thing to by not using a starter. It may be a bit of an underpitch for the Sacch strain, but in this case I think it's more important to get the Brett part of the pitch right.

Agree in this case. Didn't catch that. But in general still better to make a starter.
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