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How Embarrassing!

I’m never going to say I’m the smartest guy in the room. In fact, I’m embarrassed that I went to brew a German Lager today and didn’t have my 34/70. I could have sworn I had ordered some. Nonetheless I didn’t. How embarrassing. This is why I throw the LHBS some money every once in awhile, for emergencies.

Now, I sent my wife to the LHBS today to get some as she was going to be right next door. I had her practice several times asking for “34/70 yeast.” Finally she nailed it and was ready to go.

She gets home and asks if it a rare yeast. I advised it is not and she goes on to tell me the guy working didn’t know what it was. In fact, he had to look it up, then started looking around the shop himself, finally finding it in the fridge. After finally checking out he asks, “Is he brewing a hefeweizen?” Even my wife said, no, it’s a lager strain (so proud of her!) Now THATS embarrassing.

I feel this is why many of these shops fail. People, especially new brewers count on these individuals to know what’s going on and to help. Clearly this guy has zero clue.


We had a little brother/sisterL HBS up in Duluth… It was a continuation from their fathers set up… Well, those 2 didn’t have a clue, and even worse, weren’t there much at all… And if that wasn’t bad enough, it was at the Fitgers complex… I think they barely got a years worth of rent paid before they went under…
I thought they’d had their fingers on the “home brew pulse”… I was wrong… You can’t hang out your shingle and not know whats going, then think you’ll make it… I’m fortunate to be able to score all that I need now from our local brewery… Sneezles61

Have you ever found it humorous when someone suggests going to your local home brew shop for the best and most up to date advice. It all depends upon which local home brew shop is yours. Yours may be great but that isn’t transferable to all of the shops.

Hope I didn’t step on any toes here.

Next time maybe ask for “dubya 34/70”. Don’t forget the “dubya”.


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Would you go to Home Depot and ask for advice? Well it depends. I’ve met a few older guys working there that know a bit. But often I’ve overheard conversations where I roll my eyes. Same thing in any retail shop. Could be someone’s nephew that needs a job. Look I had my own business for 40 yrs sometimes you just need to leave a body on the job and straighten it out when you get back.

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Next time, just to be safe, either print a page of exactly what you want or just look it up on your wife’s phone and have her show it to the LHBS people so there is no mistake what you are looking for. It’s hard to believe they couldn’t just Google what she asked for.

Dad always said you get what you pay for and some of the small LHBS might not have the money to pay someone knowledgeable enough or that even cares. If they are lucky someone will take a job because they are a home brewer and are doing it for fun and not for a living. If you are the owner and can’t take the time to just read through forums like this one to keep a finger on the pulse of the hobby then you might want to start looking for something else to do.

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I really dislike going to my LHBS but sometimes I must for a last minute brew or add on item. The one employee (has recently moved on to brewing at a local pub) always seemed to bash my recipes and tell me I should do this or do that. I tasted numerous beers that he had brewed in the shop before and none were that impressive. Now the owner and some other slug are always in there giving their opinions in which I disagree with most of the time. My wife hates when I have to go there because I come home with high blood pressure and pissed off. Lol.


That’s my wife also

what HB store is that?

It sure seems to be a trend… I can’t repeat my thoughts… But, in the commercial construction part… Well, lets just say theres alot of kids in the watching occupation… Sneezles61

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I understand what you’re saying. However, what I’m saying is you going to HD and asking where the solid core doors are. The employee not knowing and then asking if your putting in a window.

Might happen

I have to admit I am annoyed with the jargonistic tossing out of numbers when referring to yeast strains. 34/70 means nothing to me, adding on the W doesn’t help either as that could be either of the Ws as well, who both use 4 digits as well. Add the Saflager to the name and I know exactly what you are talking about. Ok sure numbers are useful… there are about 30 ISBNs associated with different editions of Moby Dick


I get what your saying but yeast is known by their numbers. Books are not. Plus, when you say 34/70 YEAST that should clue someone in. It’s not some rare strain that no one use.

I didn’t go into the “Walmart” of stores asking for a number. Go into “Walmart” and ask for Moby Dick. Sure it would make sense that someone might think the book, a character, maybe even a plastic tote. They sell items of all sorts, not specific genre of items.

I think some are missing the point. If I go into a specialty store I expect a certain amount of knowledge. If I went into a library and asked for an an old book about a Captain hunting a great big whale I would bet they know what I’m talking about.

Edited to add: next to the yeast fridge there is a dry erase board with the yeast numbers and stock on hand.

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I had to google “34/70 yeast” to know what you where talking about. You are right that that took me 2 seconds and your LHBS should have at least been able to do that. Peeps are lazy.
Books stores and libraries have the ISBN system for the same reason breeders of yeast have a number system. Oddly enough we do not refer to hops by their breeding program numbers. Mostly likely because they are rebranded with a name and we have to dig deep to learn their number. Yeast is given a name as well but keeps its number. I prefer using Stranda over OYL-057 or the name Hot-Head because it’s even more specific than the number as it’s a place of origin.
I also deal with this in my job. If you don’t give me the manufacturer then the number is useless to me.

I do not have this problem with my LHBS they are very knowledgeable know all their yeast numbers by heart and if they are out of something they are quick to offer suggestions of alternatives.

I’m lucky that the LHBS near me is great to deal with. I was surprised to find this spring the owner had sold it but the good news is he sold it to the young guy that worked for him for years and he is reasonably knowledgeable plus interested in anything you wish to share. I asked him about Kveik yeast and though he had not heard of it he asked me to spell it, wrote it down and immediately got online.

EDIT: This is it Web site isn’t great but the shop is.

First time I walked into the LHBS after moving here, I was shocked after asked “what yeast strains do you have?”. The answer: “Both kinds.” I was shown generic dry foil packets labelled “viinihiivaa” (wine yeast) and “oluthiiva” (beer yeast).

I was happy to learn later that it was a temp worker who didn’t know about the packs in the fridge. But I can’t fault the owner for needing to take a bit of time off occasionally. These small shops can’t always afford to hire real workers, and if you sometimes just need a body to man the register, the service can suffer. Unavoidable.

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