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We’ve Moved!

29 Mar

Please update your bookmarks to reflect our new location. Thanks for reading!

Old Ale Recipe

5 Feb

Our Essex Ale Platinum strain is available through February. This strain is perfectly suited to brewing old ales such as in the recipe below.

English Olde Ale Recipe


12lbs Pale Ale Malt
1lbs 6 oz Caramel 80L
12oz Caramel 120L
8oz chocolate malt
Hop additions:
60 minute Perle at 8%AA
30 minute UK Goldings at 5% AA
5 minute Uk Goldings at 5%AA
Water: Filtered Water with Gypsum (optional)
Pitch with Essex Ale yeast WLP022
17.5 degrees plato or 1.072 SG
38.5 IBU’s
25.5 SRM
Estimated ABV%: 7.0%

Yeast Fundamentals for Homebrewers (2/16/13)

28 Dec

Early registration is now available for our next Yeast Fundamentals for Homebrewers course held at our San Diego location. Sign up before January 15th and save $25 on registration. These info-packed courses tend to sell out quick, so sign up soon if you want to secure your spot! The course covers a range of topics with the homebrewer specifically in mind, including yeast strain selection, flavor impact and pitching rates, as well as in-depth information on yeast starters and proper handling.

Speakers include Chris White, Neva Parker, Kara Taylor and John Carroll.

For more information, contact

Belgian Dubbel Reserve

27 Dec

WLP510 Bastogne Ale Yeast returns in January for a limited time as a Platinum Strain. Curious what to brew with it? Try out this great dubbel recipe!

Belgian Dubbel Reserve (5 gallon, all-grain)
Malt 8 lbs Pilsen Malt
1 lb. Caracrystal Wheat Malt
1 lb Aromatic Malt
8 oz. Carabrown Malt
4 oz Carapils Malt
1 lb Cane Sugar
1 tsp Irish Moss
Hops 1 oz. Saaz Hops (60min boil)
WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale Yeast
Mash grains in 3 gallons water at 155-160 F for 45 minutes.  Sparge wort and collect to 5 gallons.
Add bittering hops and bring to a boil.  Boil for 60 minutes.  Heat Cane Sugar in saucepan. Stir constantly until liquid and slightly browned.  Add Cane Sugar and Irish Moss. Boil 15 more minutes.  Cool to 70º ­F, oxygenate wort and add 2 vials WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale yeast.
What are you brewing with WLP510? We’d love to hear!

Under the Microscope: WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend

14 Dec


Raise your hand if you like Cuvee des Jacobins. How about Rodenbach Grand Cru? I thought as much. West Flanders is known for having given birth to and inspired some of the most revered beers on the planet. Our WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend strain is ideally suited to making Oud Bruins and Flanders Red Ales in the spirit of the aforementioned brews. This yeast debuted earlier in the year as a Platinum Strain and, due to popular demand, will return as a year-round offering in 2013. A proprietary blend of Saccharomyces yeasts, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, WLP665 creates the complex, funky flavor and aroma profiles that characterize the wonderful, distinctive ales of West Flanders.

5,000 vials in Norfolk

13 Dec

Chris White visited Homebrew USA in Norfolk, VA last week to brew a collaborative beer and celebrate the shop’s collection of 5,000 White Labs vials. While in the area, Chris checked out local breweries such as Beach Brewing Company and Smartmouth Brewing and spent a great afternoon brewing beer and hanging out with the local homebrewing and craft beer community. Chris looks forward to visiting more homebrew shops in 2013 for to celebrate the 5,000 vial milestone. Norfolk_1



Bastogne Belgian Ale Platinum Strain Returns in Jan. ’13!

7 Dec


January sees the release of three Platinum Strain varieties, including one that we get a lot of questions/requests for: WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale Yeast. This high gravity Trappist-style yeast is ideally suited for those big beers that keep us warm throughout the winter, such as Belgian ales, dubbels and trippels. This yeast is a strong fermenter and produces spicy aromatics and dark fruit notes as well as a slightly tart finish. Moreover, it’s a very versatile strain that produces very little phenolic character. It’s also a superb option for an Orval clone. Once 2013 rolls around, ask about it at your local homebrew shop!

Homebrewers, how’s your QC?

6 Dec

Our Alcohol Test Kit Plus let’s you test your beer like the pros. Each kit includes an ABV test for one sample and is postage paid. You can easily add more analytical tests when you register your sample. Ask about it at your local homebrew shop or order online!


Under the Microscope: WLP644 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois

29 Nov

Under the Microscope is a new series of Yeastbuddy posts that highlight specific (usually new or seasonal) White Labs strains.

The cat is out of the bag, so to speak, with wild ales, gueuzes, lambics and sours. The demand and desire for funky, sour beers has never been higher- just ask a bottle shop that’s trying to stock Cantillon, or the guy who traveled hours for the release of the newest batch of Lost Abbey’s Cable Car. In 2012, we introduced WLP644 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois and it proved to be one of our most popular Platinum Series strains of the year. 2013 will see Brett trois added to our year-round offerings due to popular demand. Brett trois is a versatile Belgian strain that works great in primary fermentation, producing tropical flavors and the signature funky bite that people look for in wild ales. The strain is perfectly suited for 100% brett beers (check out this 100% Brett IPA brewed by our friend The Mad Fermentationist), and works well in bottle conditioning, producing consistent effervescence when added during bottling. So sour brew fanatics rejoice, your homebrewing yeast options just got funkier.

Saint Archer IPA Tasting tomorrow at White Labs Tasting Room 11/28

27 Nov

We’re beyond excited to be tapping a keg of soon-to-be-open Saint Archer‘s IPA tomorrow at the White Labs Tasting Room at noon. I conducted the following Q&A with brewmaster Ray Astamendi (formerly of Mission Brewery, Left Coast Brewing Co., and Maui Brewing Co.) via e-mail:

Q I know a lot of people, myself included, are eagerly anticipating you guys opening your doors to the public. Could you talk a little bit about your plans for launch? (initial offerings, bottles/cans?)

A: Our 30-bbl brewhouse, manufactured by Premier Stainless, is scheduled for delivery in January. We’re planning to have all our fermenters filled and in full production mode by early February. Initially, we will offer a kolsch-style ale, a hoppy pale ale, and of course an India Pale Ale – all of which will be available in 6-packs, 22oz. bottles, as well as 1/6 & ½ barrel kegs. We are anticipating additional fermenters in March/April which will permit us to launch our Double-IPA, as well as some other beers that Kim Lutz and I are working on now.

 Q: The branding and design component of St Archer is so on point and really seems to distinguish you guys from other breweries. Can you talk a bit about the company as a purveyor of lifestyle in addition to great brewing?

A: The two go hand-in-hand. Brewing is a form of creative expression, balancing both art and science.  The lifestyle element behind Saint Archer is deeply rooted in creativity, passion, and commitment. There is definitely a correlation between the two, and everyone behind Saint Archer sees that. Having grown up in Southern California at a critical time in the development of modern surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding, I was immediately hooked when approached for this project. Afterall, I started brewing in the mid-90’s when I moved to Lake Tahoe – snowboarding and beer go hand in hand! It was beers like Anchor, Sierra Nevada, and Red Nectar that inspired me to make my own.

Q:What are your favorite styles to brew? How much variation can we expect to see in the St. Archer line (ie. experimental one-offs, collaborations, variants, barrel-aged versions of beers, etc)?

A: I definitely lean towards the sessionable beers. I’ve always loved traditional German beers such as Kölsch, Altbier, Helles, Maibock. On the other hand, a solid IPA is hard to beat.  I really believe that there is a time and a place for every beer. Our lineup will be continuously expanding – tanks permitting. Kim and I are working on the direction we intend to take our product line. Having worked with Kim in the past, I’m excited to be able to work with her again, and to collaborate with her so we can offer the widest variety of beers to satisfy the increasingly diversified palette of today’s craft beer enthusiast.

Q:You guys brewed a test IPA here at White Labs, trying out different strains in the process of dialing in the recipe. What do you look for in a yeast strain? What are some of your favorites/top performers?

A: Having brewed with many different White Labs yeast strains over the years, I definitely lean towards certain strains – especially when it comes to specific styles. I love WLP051 for Pales and IPA’s. The ester profile lends itself really well to compliment the hop character of those styles. For my Kölsch, WLP029 is the obvious choice – although I’m really interested in trying other similar strains to see how they perform side-by-side. Maybe we brew that one with you guys next?

Q: What’s the best thing about San Diego’s beer scene?

 A: The diversity and proliferation of great beer! We are so lucky to live and brew in such a vibrant, talent-rich community. This truly is America’s Finest City.

Big thanks to Ray for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out this fantastic short film that offers insight into the St. Archer aesthetic and be sure to stop by the Tasting Room tomorrow!