White Labs Liquid Yeast
Brewshop is now able to offer you the White Labs range of quality liquid yeast. The yeast is supplied in vials which we surround with ice packs and ship to you. View the White Labs range of yeast we offer.
Why use liquid yeast as opposed to dry yeast? Purity and variety of liquid cultures. Currently, dry yeast contains some level of contamination because the drying technology is not available to create a sterile product. White Labs takes an extra step by testing each batch of yeast produced to ensure that you receive a product that is free of contamination. There is more variety with liquid yeast because only certain strains of yeast can be dried. Even if they could be dried, most yeast strains do not have the demand to make a large batch of dry yeast economically viable. An increased variety of liquid stains also gives the brewer the flexibility to produce many different beer styles.
Each vial of White Labs liquid yeast is designed to be used directly in 19 litres, hence the term "pitchable yeast." Each vial is equivalent in cell count to a 600ml starter, or 75-150 billion cells. One vial will usually start fermentation in 19 litres in 5-15 hours at 21°C. If a faster start is desired, or if initial gravity is over 1.070, we recommend a 600-1500ml starter be made.
Home brewers who enjoy yeast culturing: If a starter is made from a fresh vial, one vial can be added directly to a 2 litre starter, which in 2 days will grow to approximately 240 billion cells, to achieve a pitching rate in 19 litres or 1 million cells/ml/degree Plato (with a 12 Plato/1.048 gravity beer).
The plastic vial packaging is slowly being replaced by the new PurePitch pouch format. The FlexCell process and new PurePitch package allows White Labs to create yeast that's never been transferred or exposed to the environment, ensuring the commitment to purity. The new PurePitch packaging is a recyclable, flexible material allowing for increased breathability, reducing the chance of gas buildup and maintaining an optimal environment for the yeast. It also helps provide a longer shelf life.
How should I store my yeast?
Yeast should be stored in the refrigerator prior to use. Remove the yeast from the refrigerator approximately two to six hours before pitching and allow the yeast to come up to room temperature. The reason for this is to prevent a temperature shock when the yeast is pitched.
What is the shelf life of White Labs liquid yeast?
Short Answer: 4 Months for the vials, 6 months for the PurePitch pouches
Long Answer: Yeast is a living organism. As such, it needs to be in the right conditions to survive. Dry yeast can stay alive for one year, but yeast left in liquid form, even though it's a better product in terms of taste and performance, is more perishable. At White Labs, we are constantly working on our recipe to maximize the viability of the yeast in long term storage. The longer we can make the yeast last in the vial, the better shape it will be in for fermentation. After 30 days in the vial, the viability of our yeast is 75-85%, which is very high for liquid yeast. Yeast that is harvested after a brewery fermentation will typically have a viability of less then 50% after 30 days. Our high viability is due to the health of the yeast and nutrient content of our liquid at packaging. After 6 weeks, lag time before active fermentation is usually between 15-20 hours. The shelf life for White Labs Yeast is four months. Yeast used after this point is usually fine, but lag times will be longer. There will be living yeast in most vials for 6-12 months, so if a starter is made to activate the yeast, successful fermentations can be carried out with aged yeast.
Do I need to make a starter and how do I make a starter?
What White Labs yeast strains match the Wyeast ones?
Mr Malty has a pretty good comparison list along with other yeast reasources.
What breweries are the White Labs yeasts likely to come from?
An unofficial list can be found on Mr Malty.
Why has my order with liquid yeast not yet been shipped?
Because liquid yeast is temperature sensitive we may hold on sending your order if it's unlikely to make it before the weekend. Instead we will hold your order and send as soon as possible the following week. This is to avoid your order sitting in a hot courier warehouse and to ensure minimal time without refrigeration.
I'm new to this liquid yeast stuff, what yeast should I start with?
The WLP001 California Ale Yeast yeast is one of the most popular White Labs strains, and is good for many clean ale styles. Otherwise it's down to personal preference and the style of beer you want to brew. Go wild, try something new - isn't that what you want your wife to say?!
More liquid yeast information available on the White Labs website.