From the HBD Archive
From: "Theodore R. Jackson Jr." <tj2d@mtaac.bme.Virginia.EDU>
Subject: Wyeast problems (Re: Wyeast Belgian revisited)
Date: 1992-06-05 16:20:46 GMT

I have also encountered problems (infections) using
Wyeast liquid cultures. At first, I attributed the
problems to poor sanitation techniques although I never
had a problem in any of the 18 previous batches brewed
with Whitbread ale yeast. However, a recent attempt to
culture Chimay yeast directly from the bottle has lead
me to believe otherwise.

The three times I used Wyeast cultures, I produced beers
with a horrible aftertaste (one that would stay with you
for 1-3 days). The attempt to culture Chimay produced
the same aftertaste in the starter. I tossed the starter
down the drain. The Chimay yeast was presumably dead and
something else started growing.

This leads me to the point that no matter how well one
sanitizes equipment, the yeast population still has to
be large enough to out-produce anything else living in
the fermenter. I really already knew this, but disregarded
advice to first pitch the Wyeast into a starter before
pitching into the main fermenter. I ruined four batches
of beer because of slow starts.

It might be worthwhile to prepare a small (starter size)
batch (usual sanitation procedures) and allow it to sit
with a fermentation lock and no yeast. If the resulting
infection is similar the problem infection (method to be
determined by you, taste was enough for me), you can point
a finger at the wild things living in your kitchen.

Ted Jackson


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