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Disappointed in White Labs

The last two batches I’ve brewed I used their London ale strain and their California strain, and got nothing after 24 hours. I know, I know, many on here would advize patience but both of these bees were fairly low gravity, below 1050, and I warmed the yeast to room temp before pitching. For the London ale, I pitched in the low 60s and was in the high 50s for the cal yeast. These are both BIAB 3-gallon batches, so no starter was necessary…or so I thought.

I guess I just expected to see more going on (a few bubbles at least!) after the first 24. Both times I ended up throwing in some dry yeast bc I didn’t want to take the chance that infection would happen before the yeast could start things going.

From now on I’m going to either use Wyeast or make a starter with White Labs to be sure. Any comments/critiques are appreciated.

I’ve used White Labs plenty of times, but it has always been for 5 gallon batches and I have always made a starter. I make starters with Wyeast too, when I use it.
But you should have been very close to the correct amount of yeast. As long as you aerated well, I would assume growth phase was over and fermentation would have started.
I pitched a Wyeast pack for our host’s Nut Brown Ale w/out a starter, and it turned out great. I don’t know, but sometimes patience is key.

What’s the “born on” date on those vials? Even for a 3 gallon batch, I wouldn’t personally direct pitch a vial or smack pack without making a starter unless it was manufactured only a month or so ago. Much older than that, and you’re probably nowhere near the correct amount of (still living) yeast. I don’t think most HBSes can keep the White Labs yeast moving anywhere near as quick as the 1056, so they might be selling vials that are starting to collect dust.

I think you are over reacting with impatience. Even with starters I still do not always “see” activity within 24 hours. I do ferment in buckets and they do not always seal tight, so I could be having activity and leaking at the lid, but I certainly would not pitch additional yeast after just 24 hours. 72 maybe.

I agree I was being impatient. I forgot to mention that I oxygenated for a minute with a .5 micron stone and an oxygen tank. Another reason that I didn’t wait was because I left on vacation today, and I wanted to make sure the beer was going good before leaving. I also didn’t check the date, but the yeast came from NB. Last time it was my local store.

Ha. . . on that note, for my most recent bucket brew the first sign of activity I saw in the airlock was when it started to fill with yeast some time around hour 48.

Ha. . . on that note, for my most recent bucket brew the first sign of activity I saw in the airlock was when it started to fill with yeast some time around hour 48.[/quote]

Last time I brewed in a bucket, I got no airlock activity until it reached the ceiling with my beer in tow… Blow off tube next time!

I’ve never had this problem with WL, but I always make a starter and pitch it about 24 hours later while the yeast are still fairly active. I think pitching from a starter has a bit of extra value beyond simply pitching the right number of yeast cells: they have already been roused from dormancy when you pitch, resulting in less lag during the growth phase and a faster start to fermentation.

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