Yeast explosion

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GeckoPunk, Apr 18, 2013.

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  1. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Initiate (163) Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    How embarrassing... This afternoon I created a 2L yeast starter for a Sierra Nevada clone. I took my White Labs California Ale WLP001 vial out of the fridge a couple hours prior to pitching it. Vigorously shaking the yeast to mix up the liquid with the cake, I proceeded to unscrew the cap, resulting in a volatile eruption of yeast spewing from the vial. Sad thing is I knew better to wait for it to settle antecedent to opening.

    Although only half the vial make it to flask, I'm certain with enough TLC, I'll rebuild the colony by Sunday (brew day).

    Has anyone else suffered from the same fate?
  2. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    Yeah I think we all have with White Labs. Love the product but yeah I have learned to shake, wait, shake again, wait, crack then close then crack then close until I am confident my $ won't be sprayed all over the kitchen floor.
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  3. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (152) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    That was my experience the first time I used White Labs as well. I was quite unprepared and was a little annoyed, chalk it up to experience and now I know better. Since no LHBS near me stocks Wyeast, I'll just have to take the safe approach and assume that every vial is a potential bomb... Sheesh!
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  4. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I open them like a bottle of shaken soda. Untwist a little bit and slowly, when it foams up tighten it back up. Repeat as necessary until I know it will not explode.

    I hate how they explode but it happens!
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  5. premierpro

    premierpro Disciple (384) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    I open mine above the fermenter just in case!
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  6. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Initiate (163) Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    I wish the mouth/neck of my Erlenmeyer was as wide as my fermenting bucket, but then again, that would have defeated the purpose...

    My fiancee wants my yeast vial for arts and crafts for the children at her daycare. However, I am considering saving this yeast strain for future brews.

    Poll: Should I use the expended vial for preserving my yeast, or obey the commands of my future wife for a bunch of booger-eating bambinos? :confused:
  7. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Answer to poll: If you shop at a LHBS that does brewing on premise, they may be willing to give you a bunch of old tubes. I got a bunch that way.
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  8. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (679) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Never point a WL vial at something you don't want to shoot : )

    A large funnel in a growler has been working for me lately.
    GeckoPunk likes this.

    FeDUBBELFIST Meyvn (1,074) Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I also open the vials slowly and submersed in sanitizer. Don't know if that helps but it makes me feel better.
  10. thedarkestlord

    thedarkestlord Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013 Illinois

    Open the vial first (not all the way, just enough to relieve the pressure), close it, THEN shake and let it warm up. This will cut out the "explosion" completly. I have done this many times with great results.

    I learned my lesson the hard way also.
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  11. MLucky

    MLucky Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2010 California

    Ha! I think we've all done that.

    Here's what I do now: I sanitize the outsides of the tube(s), and my hands. I put a large sanitized funnel in the mouth of the flask, crack the seal on the tube to let the gas out, and slowly open the cap. (Even doing this, usually some stuff will spill out!) Then pour the yeast, and set the tube into the funnel upside down and wait till all the yeast slides out.

    Or, buy Wyeast.
    GeckoPunk likes this.
  12. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Initiate (163) Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    To think I wanted to take the shortcut and just pour the yeast directly in the flask... haha, joke was on me :stuck_out_tongue:
    Applecrew135 likes this.
  13. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Initiate (163) Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    I reserved that for my Surly Furious clone :wink:
  14. GeckoPunk

    GeckoPunk Initiate (163) Jul 29, 2012 Connecticut

    Great response... Hadn't thought of that. But then again this LHBS where I got my Willamette rhizomes, they gave me the puniest one with 2 tiny and frail looking shoots compared to all the 'zomes I've gotten from NorthernBrewer or Midwest Supplies (been meaning to try FresHops, also)...
  15. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,013) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Man, I'm glad this came up when it did. I'm using white labs for the first time Saturday.
  16. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (152) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, was quite a surprise for me the first time. I was used to Wyeast smack-packs, which are more forgiving in this regard and don't "gush". All of my LHBS simply refuse to carry Wyeast... something about Wyeast return policies or some other crapola. I'm stuck... Not that WL is inferior, it's just that I have no choice...
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