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White Labs vs Wyeast

Time for me to open that can of worms…

I usually use wyeast, but accidentally ordered white labs the other day and got thinking… Why do I always bother myself with the smack pack when white labs is much easier to work with? I wanna say that I’ve heard that wyeast is more reliable since you reactivate the yeast with nutrients. Is this necessary? Does wyeast yield a higher cell count? What’s your opinion?

I usually go for Wyeast, but for no particular reason. Why do you say white labs is so much easier? The packaging?

I used to prefer the White Labs due to a bad experience the first time I used a smack pack - it didn’t swell. It seemed to me that the vial would be more reliable. I’ve since realized that if shipped or stored improperly, either package could be filled with dead yeast and you really should use a starter regardless. I only use Wyeast now, but only because I can’t get the White Labs. Both are good quality if used properly.

I say easier because of the packaging, mostly. I don’t have to keep smacking & shaking it to make sure the package burst. Plus I’m always paranoid that I’ll bust the outer package even though I know I won’t. Also, Wyeast 1056 is notorious for swelling in the summer time even though the package didn’t bust so you have to slightly open it to release the air, then carefully smash the inner pouch. Lately, I just us a starter when that happens.

I haven’t use the white labs in a while, but I did last week & was reminded that you take it out, give it a shake, & pour (once it’s been out long enough). Also smaller & less concern of accidentally busting the package when you have it in the fridge next to the leftovers.

I don’t really have a preference. I used Wyeast for years because that’s what was available and have been using White Labs for the past several years for the same reason. I always make a starter too.

[quote=“mubrewer”]I say easier because of the packaging, mostly. I don’t have to keep smacking & shaking it to make sure the package burst. Plus I’m always paranoid that I’ll bust the outer package even though I know I won’t. Also, Wyeast 1056 is notorious for swelling in the summer time even though the package didn’t bust so you have to slightly open it to release the air, then carefully smash the inner pouch. Lately, I just us a starter when that happens.

I haven’t use the white labs in a while, but I did last week & was reminded that you take it out, give it a shake, & pour (once it’s been out long enough). Also smaller & less concern of accidentally busting the package when you have it in the fridge next to the leftovers.[/quote]

You can follow the same “White Labs” procedure with the Wyeast smackpacks as well, there’s no “need” to smack it before pitching if it really gives you that much trouble. If you don’t smack it you’re simply pitching the yeast without the nutrients inside the inner pack, which is exactly what you’re doing with the White Labs vial. The nutrients just get the yeast active and help prove viability. Use whatever you’re comfortable with but discounting one for that reason seems unfounded.

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