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WLP002 - what the heck?!

I brew up a 3 gallon batch of Jamil’s oatmeal stout (OG 1.055) and pitch a very fresh vial of WLP002 - a yeast I’ve never used before. I place the fermentor (a plastic bucket) in my basement where it’s 66-67 degrees and go to bed. 8 hours later - no activity in the airlock, nothing. 24 hours later, same thing…nothing. I open up the bucket and see no sign of activity - no kraeusen, no ring around the bucket, etc… I move the bucket upstairs where it’s warmer. 36 hours…still nothing. The wort looks exactly like it looked when I poured it in the bucket after brewing.

So, I figure there’s a problem with the yeast. I decide to pitch a packet of US-05, but before I do,I go to take an SG reading just to check and I drop the stupid hydrometer…glass bits all over the floor. So, I figure what the heck, and I pitch the rehydrated US-05.

Later that day, I have an unexpected chance to go to my LHBS and buy another hydrometer. As soon as I get home, I take a SG reading (this is about 3 hours after pitching the US-05) and much to my surprise, the SG is down to 1.015…which seems to indicate that the WLP002 worked after all.

SO…I wondering two things:

  1. Anyone else have a similar experience with WLP002? I’ve read that it’s a slow starter, but my experience was that it worked very quickly and quietly - so quickly and quietly that there was absolutely no sign that it had happened/was happening.

  2. I assume that the US-05 I added will probably result in a lower FG than it would have from the US-05. Am I going to get a yeasty flavor or any other problems as a result of the additional yeast?

This yeast is definitely a vigorous fermenter… it’s probably almost done by now. If your basement was at 67, the temperature of the fermentation could have risen to 70+ which would have sped things up. If you didn’t see any airlock bubbles, your bucket just wasn’t sealed airtight. No big deal, nothing will get in with CO2 being pushed out during primary fermentation. I doubt the dry yeast will have much effect at this point.

I also noticed that I got little to no krausen with 002 it in my latest oatmeal stout. I don’t remember if the strain did this in the past or if it has something to do with the wort being viscous / high in protein from the raw oats. It is a very flocculent yeast, so maybe that has something to do with it.

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