White Labs WLP300 Yeast ReviewSaturday, September 19th, 2009
White Labs has always been a favorite of mine, no matter the yeast variety, they produce excellent beer and are very reliable yeasts. Aside from the fact that you get a great product, you get a really cool test tube looking vial that is already labeled, which you can use to store harvested yeast after your primary fermentation is complete.
One yeast that I can give nothing but rave reviews to is the WLP300 German Hefeweizen yeast. From the quick start, the raging fermentation and excellent final flavor profile, this yeast is a show stopper in your summer Hefeweizen. Below are some stats on this yeast and how I have effectively used it in my beers. Mrmalty lists this as the strain as Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen Yeast.
- Starter recommended?: YES
- Starter size (for 5 gallons): 1 quart
- Starter OG: 1.040 – 1.050
- Starter incubation time: 24 hours
- Blow off recommended?: YES
- Optimum fermentation temperature: 68F-72F
- Suggested ambient air temp during first 24 hours of fermentation: 65F
- Suggested ambient air temperature after 24 hours of fermentation: 70F
- Scent during fermentation: Bananas
- Flavor profile: Bananas and cloves
- Flocculation: LOW
- Attenuation: 72%-76%
Liquid yeasts yield a much lower cell count than the common 11g dry yeast packets. Dry yeast are also packed with nutrients and reserves so they are ready to ferment immediately after being re hydrated, liquid yeasts are not. This is why a starter is imperative. 24 hours is all that is really required to get this yeast really cranking and ready to pitch. See how to make a yeast starter at brewersfriend.com.
Typically with this yeast, my beer OG is low, 1.040 – 1.050 and the volume is 5.0 gallons. For the proper pitching rate for the above described conditions you will need about 158 BILLION yeast cells, requiring a 1qt starter. Quickly boiling up some DME OR using your actual wort from your brew and allowing the yeast to incubate for about 24 hours is all that you need to get this yeast ready to brew.
The ambient air temperature is important to note with this yeast as it ferments. Optimum fermentation temperatures are tight, between 68-72F, so temperature control is imperative for good consistent results. After pitching, this yeast will require approximately 8-10 hours to show real visible signs of fermentation. Fermentation is violent, heating up the wort to at least 5-7F greater than the ambient temperature. Therefore when fermentation begins, it is best to keep the ambient temperature at approximately 65F for the first 24 hours of violent fermentation, after this point you should safely be able to raise the ambient temperature to 70F to finish the remainder of the fermentation. Due to the violent fermentation associated with WLP300, a blow off tube is required, you can expect up to a quart of fluid to blow out of a typical 6 gallon fermenter.
Please note that on each vial of White Labs yeast it claims to be pitchable yeast, direct from the vial. While this may be true, in most cases you will be under pitching into your wort, experience a longer lag time and a less desirable fermentation.