LHS Phasing out WLP - Help Plz WLP833 Equivalent

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by InVinoVeritas, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (415) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Ok, short vent. I'm very frustrated to find out my local homebrew shop is phasing out White Labs. I mostly use Wyeast, so could be worst I suppose. However, one of my very best recipes uses WLP833, my Marzen. There's no Wyeast noted substitute. Quick google notes Saflager W-34/70. Don't want to mail order. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Prost!!!
  2. Push_the_limits

    Push_the_limits Initiate (30) Feb 8, 2018 Antarctica

    Dang man, sorry your'e in a jam! You could get a few packs, open them up, and keep them in a low-sugar environment in your refrigerator for a over a year?
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  3. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (107) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    I research practices that I don't currently use but intend to use at some point. When searching about reusing and saving yeast I came across these sites:
    Yeast Harvesting & Freezing
    Freezing Yeast
    If you have the capacity and desire to save yeast and make starters, check them out and see if it's for you.

    In a nutshell, a starter is made, small portions are placed in 15ml vials, water and glycerin is added and the vials are placed in the freezer. Build up the yeast for a batch from one vial as needed.
    It is stressed that if you have a frost-free freezer, surround the vials with freezer packs, put the vials and packs in a Styrofoam cooler and put the cooler in the freezer. That helps prevent them from going through detrimental freeze-thaw cycles.

    It sounds like a lot of work, and probably is.
    If this is viable, a really nice upside (according to the author) is "Each of these tubes can be re-used 4 times. At a minimum that will yield 16 uses from each original batch. Propagate each tube to the 4th generation and you can reuse yeast that originated from the original batch 340 times." (my math doesn't arrive at "340" but it's definitely more than a couple hundred)

    Before using this approach it'd be good to hear from someone who has used it, or can say that it will/won't work.
    Push_the_limits likes this.
  4. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Wyeast Private Collections 2487 Hella Bock Lager is a reputed substitute. Will be hard to come by with any frequency because it is not regularly offered.

    You might get close with Fermentis SafLager 34/70 dry strain, if you are OK with that (I like it for convenience, and because it makes good beer). Pretty widely available. Not sure why you don't want to mail order, but..,
    • the beauty of dry is that it holds up well under harsher conditions it might experience in shipping,
    • because dry yeast cost less, so offsets shipping costs. A little.
    • If your concern is out of loyalty to your local shop, and your local shop no longer carries what you want, you are at a cross roads.
    If your local shop has WYeast lager strains, you might just try a bunch of them. I'm sure there are differences among them, but there is a great deal of similarity, too. Maybe I haven't brewed enough lagers to really develop a strong preference, or maybe I will never develop a strong preference. Maybe your preference isn't as strong as you think and your loyalty to the 833 strain is misplaced? What would Brulosophy do?
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  5. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (344) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    Yeah, looks like WLP833 is the Ayinger strain. Wyeast does have an equivalent (WY2487), but it’s from their private collection. So, limited release.
    I’m pretty sure W34/70 is not the equivalent. It’s really neutral and more like WLP830/ WY2124. I would not use that for a Marzen.
    WY2633, Oktoberfest blend is nice for a Marzen. I recommend giving that a try. Sorry man, best of luck!
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    It almost sounds like you are talking about slanting, but that's much more complicated than this, and "a few packs" worth of slants (in their vials) would probably fill a fridge.

    But if you have developed a different sterile technique, please describe it in more detail. Or is this a thought experiment?
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  7. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (415) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    @pweis909 thanks for the help. Bit of clarification, my LHS will likely have 34/70, wouldn't have to ship. I'm not interested in shipping liquid, don't want to pay twice as much and have concerns with heat. So shipping 833 isn't for me.
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Can't really comment on the cost tradeoff (totally personal concern/decision), but liquid yeast can be shipped pretty safely with ice packs and short delivery time, if you avoid the hottest times of the year. If you like, you can add some "penalty days" to your yeast's age when computing starter size to compensate.
  9. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (344) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    Just because your LHBS is going to stop carrying White Labs, doesn’t mean they couldn’t special order you some once in awhile. Am I wrong here?
  10. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,285) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Here's an 'excuse' to occasionally go visit a brewery(ies) in a nearby town that has a store that carries White Labs products. (Even if it's once per year at Marzen time.)
  11. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

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  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,761) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Jeff, did you mean to type 2247 here?

  13. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I meant 2124.
  14. Push_the_limits

    Push_the_limits Initiate (30) Feb 8, 2018 Antarctica

    I have good luck storing liquid yeast in a cold (not freezing) fridge. It's not my own technique, and it's not as thorough as slanting. Anyway, you basically just divvy the population among viles/jars, and store them in a fridge. You can revive the yeast if you are worried viability is getting too low. I guess the genetic makeup of the population isn't as stable as in a slant, and the yeast may not remain viable for as long.

    A few packs might be better. But one pack could be used in a starter to simply to enlarge the population.

    You can apply additional principles in order to further care for the yeast. However, storing them in the freezer with glycerin, as riptorn mentioned, should extend viability.
  15. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    No doubt. Opening yeast packages, dividing the cells into separate containers, and giving them food occasionally on a hunch (or is it a constant "low-sugar environment" you mentioned before?) doesn't sound like a recipe for yeast ranching success IMO. Perhaps I'm missing a point here.
  16. Push_the_limits

    Push_the_limits Initiate (30) Feb 8, 2018 Antarctica

    It's been successful for my purposes, but I tend to function on the months-long scale, and have only heard that they last even longer than that in the fridge. Fermentation has always gone as expected or better, so I'm not concerned.

    If I'm ever worried about a sample, I could plate the yeast to check for unwanted growth and use a microscope to do viable cell counts. Since my starters have been getting going quickly (5-15 hours), and they smell and taste good, I've rolled with it and have had success so far.

    With this in mind, it's important to remember that using yeast right away is ideal!
  17. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (240) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    not sure if you can get your hands on Mangrove Jack strains, but their Bavarian Lager could be one to try as a possible sub...
  18. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (415) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Ended up ordering online. Got two packs with ice and insulated bag. One to store, I always do a starter with lagers anyway, and one to use right away.
  19. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (206) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    My first test of S-189 seems promising. It is almost time to package and tastes great so far.

    I don't like the dry pack W-34/70 at all. Not "German" enough or clean enough for my taste.
    frozyn likes this.