Author Topic: WLP 029 - Low Activity?  (Read 463 times)

Offline philm63

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Agis Quod Adis!
    • View Profile
WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« on: June 13, 2014, 10:27:36 AM »
I thought this was supposed to be a vigerous fermenting strain. I did a Kolsch last Sunday and pitched at 60 F. I made a 1.3 L starter on a stirplate - YeastCalc tells me I needed around 193 B, and also told me I'd get 277 B with a 1.3 L starter on the SP so I figured it'd be a nice healthy pitch.

The activity in the fermenter was low - only about an inch or so of krausen. I even used a blow-off tube on this one thinking it would make a mess otherwise. Also, Thursday morning showed the krausen had dropped and the beer was pretty clear on top - just a few bubbles here and there. It was still putting CO2 bubbles in the flask of StarSan my blow-off tube was in - about every 5 or 6 seconds - so I know it's still fermenting.

Was the seemingly low fermentation activity normal for this strain at 60 F? Or did I miss the mark on the pitch and make too small a starter for such a low fermentation temperature? The thinking here is that as the fermentation temperature decreases, the initial cell count needs to increase... does this make sense?
AHA Member

On Tap: AIPA with all EXP 1210 Hops, Kolsch
On Deck: Robust Porter

Offline alestateyall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 11:56:52 AM »
It's probably just slow at 60F. If you have a krausen your good to go.

Back when I had a glass carboy there were beers that never got more than an inch or two of krausen.

Also I have used WLP029 and don't remember it being really fast to ferment.
Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Offline alestateyall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
    • View Profile
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 11:59:33 AM »
Wait. The krausen already dropped? Are you sure it's not finished? Did you take a gravity reading?
Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Online morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7466
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 12:00:35 PM »
Yeah, that yeast is a bit finicky that low. But it sounds fine. A big giant krausen and lots of blow off isn't ideal behavior especially for a clean crisp style like kolsch. What you are seeing is good. You could safely bump the temp a couple of degrees at this point to help it finish up if you like
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline philm63

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Agis Quod Adis!
    • View Profile
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 12:15:44 PM »
Wait. The krausen already dropped? Are you sure it's not finished? Did you take a gravity reading?

Taking the first reading tonight - fingers crossed...

Yeah, that yeast is a bit finicky that low. But it sounds fine. A big giant krausen and lots of blow off isn't ideal behavior especially for a clean crisp style like kolsch. What you are seeing is good. You could safely bump the temp a couple of degrees at this point to help it finish up if you like

Yeah, I'd already been bumping it up slowly since fermentation slowed down Wednesday - I'm at 66 F now and will let it finish out there.

Thanks for the replies.
AHA Member

On Tap: AIPA with all EXP 1210 Hops, Kolsch
On Deck: Robust Porter

Offline S. cerevisiae

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1575
  • deus ex machina
    • View Profile
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2014, 05:56:57 PM »
Your pitching temperature was too low for that strain.

For White Lab's website (http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp029-german-ale-k-lsch-yeast):

Optimum Ferment Temp.  65-69°F, 18-20°C (Does not ferment well less than 62°F, or 16°C, unless during active fermentation)
Mark V.

Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19850.msg252492#msg252492

Separate the National Homebrew Conference from the National Homebrew Competition

A pale ale losing points for being too pale is like a vicar being defrocked for being too godly. It is no wonder that beer judges get such a bad rap.  - Graham Wheeler

Online morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7466
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2014, 06:09:11 PM »
Your pitching temperature was too low for that strain.

For White Lab's website (http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp029-german-ale-k-lsch-yeast):

Optimum Ferment Temp.  65-69°F, 18-20°C (Does not ferment well less than 62°F, or 16°C, unless during active fermentation)

yes and no. it gets persnickity below 62 but works and produces a very clean crisp beer at that temp. I've heard it will stall below 58 though.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline philm63

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Agis Quod Adis!
    • View Profile
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 02:08:01 PM »
Tell ya what, though; even at 60 F this thing fermented out completely in 5 days. Successive gravity readings on days 6 and 7 showed a consistent 1.007 - done! Dropped very clear, too. Sample tasted very good. Me happy.
AHA Member

On Tap: AIPA with all EXP 1210 Hops, Kolsch
On Deck: Robust Porter

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1703
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: WLP 029 - Low Activity?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 07:43:00 PM »
I have used this in many Kolsch recipes over the years and it worked for me at 58F - I just left it alone for a month and kegged it from the primary.  Easy peasy good clean ales.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"