Morebeer recently added Imperial Organic Yeast to their line up. I’ll admit I’ve long been a fan and supporter of White Labs yeast products, as their products in my experience have always been top quality and yielding good results. But for kicks I thought I’d give this new product a go. The first and most obvious difference is packaging (more on this later). Second difference is price. The Imperial product retails for $9.99 at Morebeer compared to White Labs at $6.99. The difference is Imperial claims 200 billion yeast cells, while White Labs is 100 billion.
Imperial’s website suggests their solution is a pitchable can, meant to be used without the need to create a starter. From their FAQ, “The Pitch Right cans were designed to give home brewers enough yeast to direct pitch 5 gallons of wort. If the volume of the wort exceeds 5 gallons or the original gravity of the wort is higher than 1.060 (15oP) more yeast may be required.” The pitchable can concept is novel, and to be honest quite easy to use. Following the instructions I shook the can then sanitized in Starsan. I dumped half the can in my fermenter, swirled the can, and dumped the rest with all the yeast coming out cleanly. Homebrewers have a lot of secrets to getting yeast cleanly out of White Labs vials, and while I’m usually successful here it’s certainly never been easy.
The proof will remain in the final result. I pitched one can into a 1.057 gravity ale. Fermentation was noticeably strong in 18hrs, and in four days I was down to 1.011. I’m not yet through complete fermentation, but so far so good. Big advantage in packaging, and nice not make a starter. However if you always do starters (which I do and typically enjoy) I can get by with one White Labs vial and grow up the cell count to an estimated 200 billion cells for $6.99 while the Imperial option costs considerably more. Jury is still out, but so far my experience has been positive.