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Old 06-30-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
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Default Lager smack pack temperature

I am brewing a pilsner tomorrow and don't have time to do a proper starter. I will pitch 3 packs of Wyeast Urquell strain and am wondering if there is any merit to swelling them at pitching temperature to acclimate yeast, or just use the package directions at 70-75. I'm not sure if they will even swell by tomorrow at 52F. Any lager mavens have any advice?

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Old 06-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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You'll hear opinions on both sides. I've never seen a problem with smacking at room temperature.


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Old 06-30-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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Smack at room temp, IMO.

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Old 06-30-2008, 09:51 PM   #4
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Seeing as the nutrient in the packs are there to proof the yeast only and not to increase the cell count, I would just smack them and leave them at fermenting temps until you are ready to use them tomorrow.

But if you left them at room temps, it really wouldn't matter, especially if you climatized the yeast before pitching.

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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So, I bought this yeast and smacked it, but it never swelled. I pitched anyway and had very little activity. 3 packs, I had no time for a starter.

I had to wait until a week to get more yeast into the fermenter. I smacked two packs of the same strain (but fresh from mfg.) and it swelled up right away. I pitched and oxygenated and have active fermentation now.

1. Could I have had bad yeast the first time?

2. What are the chances for this beer after 1 week at 50F without fermenting.

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Old 07-10-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korndog View Post
So, I bought this yeast and smacked it, but it never swelled. I pitched anyway and had very little activity. 3 packs, I had no time for a starter.

I had to wait until a week to get more yeast into the fermenter. I smacked two packs of the same strain (but fresh from mfg.) and it swelled up right away. I pitched and oxygenated and have active fermentation now.

1. Could I have had bad yeast the first time?
Entirely possible---it probably wasn't "bad", it just lacked the adequate amount of viable cells.

Quote:
2. What are the chances for this beer after 1 week at 50F without fermenting.
You'll probably be okay, assuming the yeast that you added at first didn't give a bunch of off-flavors as it was trying in vain to get started.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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......... assuming the yeast that you added at first didn't give a bunch of off-flavors as it was trying in vain to get started.
Yeah, that's my concern. I'm sick about a 9 hour triple decoction session ending like this. Hoping for the best.

Thanks.
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