did i miss something guys- OP said yeast he used was best by december, so that puts it production in Aug 2015.....unless he meant 2014-cant imagine that.
I would not base the performance of any method on a culture that was shipped between mid-June and mid-September. The temperature of the route that the culture took between the West Coast and the East Coast is what matters. It is not uncommon for the inside of a trailer be well over 100 degrees. The yeast culture is living off of stores. Hotter temperatures increase metabolism, which is why I do not order yeast in the summer or purchase commercial yeast cultures that were shipped during the summer.
With that said, it appears that WLP833, like dry BRY 97, is notorious for slow starts. It is an outlier strain that is going to produce outlier results. The lack of activity in the starter combined with the long lag time is also starting to raise red flags as to the condition of culture.
I do not know where this pitch cold and allow the culture to come up to fermentation temperature because it lowers esters dogma originated or the belief that lagers are best fermented at 50F or below, but these myths are based on very dated information. Every every lager strain in use today was selected for use at 13C/55F, which is the temperature of the Earth below the frost line. I am starting to feel like Marshall's evil twin.