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WLP820; I wish I knew before I used it

yeast PSA fermenting

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#1 3rd party JKor

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:03 PM

I didn't know this yeast had such a reputation for being a finicky, slow fermenter. I did my first WLP820 based Oktoberfest last Sunday. The thing was glacial in getting started up. I did the typical method of starting at ~45 and letting it free rise to the ferment temp of 51. The krausen didn't really start to build until Tuesday, by Thursday it was a bit more than half covered. it had only dropped from 1.060 to 1.050 over the course of 4 days. This is very abnormal for me, so I panicked a little and upped the temp to 54. That seemed to help kick things off. It was down to 1.040 on Saturday...then the power went out. My plan was to cool it down a degree or two (with my generator running) and let it slowly rise up hoping the power would come back on before it got out of control. Well, it seemed like cooling it down that one degree completely shut down the ferment, so I upped it to 58! Now it's going again, but geez, this has been an annoying yeast to deal with. The longest ferment I've had in the last few years is probably 8 days to FG with a first gen WLP830 ferment. Everything else has been 4-7 days. I love the clockwork of WLP001. 4-5 days to FG regardless of OG, ahh those were the days! tl;dr WLP820 sux!

Edited by JKoravos, 02 November 2011 - 05:04 PM.

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#2 djinkc

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:19 PM

I don't make many lagers but never had one take that long. I guess consider this payback from your 3724 finishing out quick. :devil:

Edited by djinkc, 02 November 2011 - 05:19 PM.

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#3 ChicagoWaterGuy

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:17 AM

How much yeast did you pitch in what size batch?
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#4 ER Pemberton

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:01 AM

I've heard people say that 820 is awesome. I have heard people say that it's slow to start and sometimes stalls. I have heard people say that it's finicky but awesome and worth the trouble. I had a vial of it and was going to brew with it. It sat around for awhile and then awhile longer and I decided to punt it into the garbage and I never did pick up another vial of it... probably because people say it's hard to work with. What I would be interested in is how you like the final product. If the yeast was a pain to work with but the resulting beer was awesome, I'd be okay with it. This is a yeast that falls in line with my favorite styles so I've always wondered about it. Does it have a Wyeast equivalent?
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#5 3rd party JKor

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:09 AM

How much yeast did you pitch in what size batch?

'A lot' into 11 gallons. a lot = 2 fresh vials into a 2.5L starter, which was then chilled/decanted and pitched into a 3.5L starter. Going by the Mr. Malty pitch rate calc, should have been in the vicinity of 800BB cells.

Edited by JKoravos, 03 November 2011 - 08:11 AM.

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#6 3rd party JKor

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

I don't make many lagers but never had one take that long. I guess consider this payback from your 3724 finishing out quick. :devil:

That's what I was thinking. <_<
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#7 3rd party JKor

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:18 PM

It's down to 1.021 now. Ugh, glacial.
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#8 dmtaylor

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:09 PM

I shall never use WLP820 ever again. It's a total crap yeast. You can buy any other lager yeast on the market and it's 50 times better.
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#9 Humperdink

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:12 PM

I shall never use WLP820 ever again. It's a total crap yeast. You can buy any other lager yeast on the market and it's 50 times better.

But how do you REALLY feel?
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#10 dmtaylor

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:53 AM

Once you've been burned by it, you'll have the same opinion. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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#11 DieselGopher

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:25 AM

I've heard people say that 820 is awesome. I have heard people say that it's slow to start and sometimes stalls. I have heard people say that it's finicky but awesome and worth the trouble. I had a vial of it and was going to brew with it. It sat around for awhile and then awhile longer and I decided to punt it into the garbage and I never did pick up another vial of it... probably because people say it's hard to work with. What I would be interested in is how you like the final product. If the yeast was a pain to work with but the resulting beer was awesome, I'd be okay with it. This is a yeast that falls in line with my favorite styles so I've always wondered about it. Does it have a Wyeast equivalent?

No wyeast equivilant I know of. I have had one batch not work out, but have had three really good o'fests with it. I use it because after making 5 gallons of o'fest, I use the yeast cake for 10 gallons of my Creeping Black Death, and that has been good every time, even the time the o'fest wasn't very good. Pitch tons of it, and wait it out, it is slow, but very good. YMMV :D
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#12 3rd party JKor

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:39 AM

OK, I guess I, ultimately, can't complain too much as the Ofest got down to about 1.013-1.014 and the gravity sample tastes ridiculously malty and clean. I'm going to lager this one for a bit, see where it goes.I think I need to chill out about these non-001 yeasts and accept that they all don't ferment the same way. It's hard, but I suppose it needs to be done.
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#13 Mando

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:56 AM

gravity sample tastes ridiculously malty and clean. I'm going to lager this one for a bit, see where it goes.

answer: even cleaner!
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