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Old 02-20-2008, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Help me understand yeast!

OK I have only ever used the packets of yeast, which I understand you rehydrate, pitch into cooled wort, slap airlock or blowoff and your done for a week.

But what I don't understand is the liquid vials do I use those to produce more cells and if so, How? Or do I just pour one vial into each 5 gallons at pitching temperature?

How do the Wyeast activator "smack packs" work do you kinda treat it like a packet of dry? but instead just smack it to wake it up then pour in cooled wort?

I guess I'm probably just confusing myself. The more I read the more I get confused i feel like my head is gonna explode . Please break the different types and styles down for me if you could. It will be very much appreciated.

Thank you,

BMW-LBD

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Old 02-20-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
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For the vials and smack packs, you usually want to make a "starter." There are countless threads on starters, there is some information in the Wiki, and also in just about any book on brewing (including http://www.howtobrew.com/). Have fun!


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Old 02-20-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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with the liquid yeasts if you buy the WYeast Activator smack pack there is like a condom of nutrients inside it. By smacking it it releases the nutriants and the package starts to swell. After a few hours when the package has completely swollen, then you can pitch to 5 gal. With the White Labs vials you just warm to room temp for a couple hours.. shake and pitch.

However I find and I think most ppl will agree with me that even though it says you can pitch that to 5 gallons it is a lot less than what you need. I would recomend pitching the smack pack or the vial to a 1-2qt starter and letting it ferment out (overnight) then pitching. This will give you a lot higher count more like micro brews. (I believe they use something like 20 mil. per mililiter per degree plato but im not sure)

Also make sure you have a good starting temp (around 80 is what i use) then after fermentation gets to a start cool it down to fermentation temp.

Cheers!

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Old 02-20-2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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and the Wyeast 'propagator' packs are specifically designed to be used in a starter. the 'activator' packs claim to be pitchable, however they are below optimal pitching rates.

the vials from White Labs have about as much yeast in them as an 'activator'. you can direct pitch either, but a starter is a better route to take. and if its a higher gravity beer (over 1.060 OG) then you really need to make a starter.

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Old 02-21-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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Thanks guys did some more reading and watched a couple videos on youtube and now I understand why and the process.

Thanks for your help.

BMW-LBD

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