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Old 09-01-2007, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default I HATE SMACK PACKS!!!!!!! rant rant rant

Here's the deal- I've been planning all week to brew 10 gallons of brown ale today. Tues evening I went to my fridge to get some London Ale yeast to make a starter-all out. Oh, well, no biggie I'll just pick up a couple packets on Friday when I go to the LHBS. It'll be more expensive than I'd like, and I'd really rather make a starter, but there's worse things in the world, right?

So today I'm mashed in, time to smack the packs. The very first pack went KABOOM all over the countertop and the wall. DAMMITT DAMMITT DAMMIT MUTHERF*** SONUVAB**** and a few more words you can't say on TV. Second pack popped just fine.

So now I'm left with ten gallons fo wort mashing, and only 1 packet of yeast that I know for sure will be viable, and about 1/2 packet that didn't spray all over my countertop. I set it against the wall, with the broken part up so no more would spill out.

Whaddya think-do I try to use what's left of the busted pack? Try to split up the good one between two carboys? Any ideas? Running back to the LHBS for another smack-pack in't an option- it's 1 1/2 hours round-trip and besides it was their last two packs of London Ale.

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:16 PM   #2
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Id say split all the yeast that you have between the 2 carboys. Its not a perfect solution, but what can you do?

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:19 PM   #3
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1. Go get another smack pack, oh never mind I see that is a drive.
2. Pitch dry yeast in one, liquid in the other.

If I was able to do 10 gallon batches I would probably do different yeast in every time.

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:22 PM   #4
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I'd split up the good pack and the exploded one into each. The other thing, which may not help is that in situations like this, can happen to anybody, its nice to have some dry yeast sitting in your fridge. I know I do. If you do, I'd ferment each w/ different yeast -one liquid and the other dry. You could always blend later, or have two different beers. Hope everything works out.
edit> beerrific is a fast mother'!

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
1. Go get another smack pack, oh never mind I see that is a drive.
2. Pitch dry yeast in one, liquid in the other.

If I was able to do 10 gallon batches I would probably do different yeast in every time.

Dry yeast is a drive too

I was gonna get some yesterday but thought the heck with it.


Why can't wyeast just bring back the vials??????
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:49 PM   #6
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I saw brewers yeast at Kroger last night. What is that stuff? And why doesn't the grocery store sell fructose?

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:58 PM   #7
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Don't use the open packet now that it's been open for awhile. It's already infected.


I'd split the good packet up between the two carboys. It truly is your best bet. You'll just have a longer lag, but a brown shouldn't be affected by that.


Just one question. Why didn't you smack the pack last night when you got it home? I smack mine on Tuesday and make a starter on Wednesday if I'm brewing on the weekend.

Two more tips. When smacking the pack, place it in one palm and smack it as hard as you can with the other open palm. Don't use phone books or hammers or even the counter top. I've heard of all of these things breaking the pack.

Second, check the date on the packet. The yeast will need one day extra to expand for each month past production date on the package. If you wait until brew day with old yeast....


Oh, and never place a heater element in a cooler...it might melt!

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Old 09-01-2007, 06:12 PM   #8
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I would just split the total volume of both and pitch that with really well aerated wort. Only pitching a full pack's contents puts you well under suggested pitching rates. If you only have half the contents of the one pack and combine it with the other full one you are only going to be 25% under what you normally pitch over the two batches.

Alright, I know this totally doesn't help you this time but please consider making a starter 24 - 48 hours before you begin your brew day. A starter not only increases your pitching rate but helps avoid situations like this one. I rinse and reuse yeast and a starter is a must because sometimes that rinsed yeast is just too damn old and refuses to come back to life. I avoid being stuck with wort with excessive lag times, old smack packs that won't puff up and unplanned smack-pack explosions throwing a wrench into my brew day by making a starter. Smack packs and White Labs vials are giving you under the suggested bare minimum number of cells for a 5 gallon batch (Homebrew pitching rate should be 20 billion. Though the Wyeast Propagator packs SAY 25 billion third party cell counts put them at 2.5 billion, Designing Great Beers, Daniels pg. 118). You should always make a starter like it says on the Wyeast package.

If you can make it to your LHBS during the week, buy your supplies on a Wednesday and make a one quart, low-gravity (1.030) starter with LME or DME that night. By Saturday or Sunday when you brew it will probably be worked out and settled and you can drain off the top and pitch the yeast slurry.

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Old 09-01-2007, 06:52 PM   #9
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Did you break the inner packet?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that where the yeast is?

If it's not broken then you have more yeast to use...just a thought.

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Old 09-01-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostrildamus
I would just split the total volume of both and pitch that with really well aerated wort. Only pitching a full pack's contents puts you well under suggested pitching rates. If you only have half the contents of the one pack and combine it with the other full one you are only going to be 25% under what you normally pitch over the two batches.

Alright, I know this totally doesn't help you this time but please consider making a starter 24 - 48 hours before you begin your brew day. A starter not only increases your pitching rate but helps avoid situations like this one. I rinse and reuse yeast and a starter is a must because sometimes that rinsed yeast is just too damn old and refuses to come back to life. I avoid being stuck with wort with excessive lag times, old smack packs that won't puff up and unplanned smack-pack explosions throwing a wrench into my brew day by making a starter. Smack packs and White Labs vials are giving you under the suggested bare minimum number of cells for a 5 gallon batch (Homebrew pitching rate should be 20 billion. Though the Wyeast Propagator packs SAY 25 billion third party cell counts put them at 2.5 billion, Designing Great Beers, Daniels pg. 118). You should always make a starter like it says on the Wyeast package.

If you can make it to your LHBS during the week, buy your supplies on a Wednesday and make a one quart, low-gravity (1.030) starter with LME or DME that night. By Saturday or Sunday when you brew it will probably be worked out and settled and you can drain off the top and pitch the yeast slurry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyk'd
Just one question. Why didn't you smack the pack last night when you got it home? I smack mine on Tuesday and make a starter on Wednesday if I'm brewing on the weekend.



Second, check the date on the packet. The yeast will need one day extra to expand for each month past production date on the package. If you wait until brew day with old yeast....


I'm well aware of all that stuff, guys. This is the first time in quite a while that I haven't made a starter, I HATE not making starters. But I didn't have any washed yeast of the kind that I wanted and didn't have time to get to the LHBS until yesterday afternoon. the date on the smack packs is only a month old so that wasn't a concern, the good pack is already swelled up nicely after only a few hours.
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