Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Problem with smack pack yesterday; hope it turns out ok.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-09-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
zippyslug31
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 109
Default Problem with smack pack yesterday; hope it turns out ok.

Brewed yesterday and started by activating a Wyeast Pacman smack pack.
It sat for a few hours but only got partially "puffy". Figured the house was just a little on the cool side so I wrote it off.

When it came time to pitch I openned the pack, pitched, and then noticed one of the little clear plastic bags had not been ruptured! It did not look like yeast.... looked more like tea. Was this nutrient?

Trying to save the process, all I could think to do was cut that bag open and pitched it in, too.

It's still a little early to see any real fermentation, but any guesses on the outcome?

__________________
zippyslug31 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
Clonefarmer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Springfield, MA
Posts: 1,399
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyslug31 View Post
Brewed yesterday and started by activating a Wyeast Pacman smack pack.
It sat for a few hours but only got partially "puffy". Figured the house was just a little on the cool side so I wrote it off.

When it came time to pitch I openned the pack, pitched, and then noticed one of the little clear plastic bags had not been ruptured! It did not look like yeast.... looked more like tea. Was this nutrient?

Trying to save the process, all I could think to do was cut that bag open and pitched it in, too.

It's still a little early to see any real fermentation, but any guesses on the outcome?
It will probably have a bit of lag time, but don't worry.

Tossing the nutrient in shouldn't have any noticeable effect.

Next time make a starter, it's easy and avoids issues like these.
__________________
"Just remember Scooty Puff Jr. sucks!"....Philip J. Fry
Clonefarmer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
Chad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chad's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Apex, NC
Posts: 1,036
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyslug31 View Post
Brewed yesterday and started by activating a Wyeast Pacman smack pack.
It sat for a few hours but only got partially "puffy". Figured the house was just a little on the cool side so I wrote it off.

When it came time to pitch I openned the pack, pitched, and then noticed one of the little clear plastic bags had not been ruptured! It did not look like yeast.... looked more like tea. Was this nutrient?

Trying to save the process, all I could think to do was cut that bag open and pitched it in, too.

It's still a little early to see any real fermentation, but any guesses on the outcome?
Was there more than one inner pouch? The pouch contains the yeast nutrient that wakes the yeast up and gets them going. I've heard of there being more than one in pouches of Wyeast but I've never experienced it myself. Kind of like a double yolk egg. If the pouch puffed, then you definitely had some action. You might have partially ruptured the inner pouch or popped one of the two. Either way, your yeast seem to be alive and working. Pouring the extra nutrient into the wort can't hurt and will probably aid in a more vigorous fermentation.

Chad
__________________
Chad Ward
An Edge in the Kitchen
William Morrow Cookbooks
www.chadwrites.com
Chad is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
pompeiisneaks
Why that human mask?
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pompeiisneaks's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 897
Liked 43 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I did a starter yesterday, and it puffed well, but I've ALSO followed the instructions on the wyeast smack packs to either rupture and let sit for 3 hours OR pitch immediately. I.e. it can't hurt either way, the latter just does like Clonefarmer says, it causes the yeast to take a bit longer to activate and start eating sugars. This won't hurt the beer at all, just make it take a little longer to go. I am always lazy and just smack and pitch when not doing a starter. I need a starter on this beer, its a big belgian dubbel... but not to worry. You'll be fine.

__________________
~Phil
Fermenting/Kegged/Bottled NONE :( I moved to the NW and haven't had time to setup my brew rig since! (but hey, I'm in the Pacific NW so there's so much awesome beer I don't need to brew it as much hah!
pompeiisneaks is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #5
zippyslug31
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pompeiisneaks View Post
...but I've ALSO followed the instructions on the wyeast smack packs to either rupture and let sit for 3 hours OR pitch immediately. ...
Yeah, I did this. I started with smacking, then allowed it to sit while I brewed. After I was done (3 or 4 hrs), I got the pack and realized that it wasn't fully swelled; just a little puffy.
__________________
zippyslug31 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
zippyslug31
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad View Post
Was there more than one inner pouch? The pouch contains the yeast nutrient that wakes the yeast up and gets them going. I've heard of there being more than one in pouches of Wyeast but I've never experienced it myself. Kind of like a double yolk egg. If the pouch puffed, then you definitely had some action. You might have partially ruptured the inner pouch or popped one of the two. Either way, your yeast seem to be alive and working. Pouring the extra nutrient into the wort can't hurt and will probably aid in a more vigorous fermentation.

Chad
It had a twin, clear plastic package thing. Sorry, that's not a very clear description.

It basically was two distinct "chambers" but hooked together. One of them was ruptured but I don't know what was in it.... maybe the yeast or maybe some nutrient? It was the other "chamber" that was not broken open that contained the 'tea colored stuff'. Just a guess that it was nutrient.

Maybe these are packaged with the yeast slurry in the main package, and then some wort or nutrient in this twin clear arrangement?
Guess I could tear one open before smacking it, but it's probably not all that important.

I suspect I'm ok, just thinking it's a bad design since I could not feel that I failed to rupture that one thing as it was pretty slim. And believe me, I squish around the pack once the obvious pack ruptured just to make sure I had it all. Wasn't terribly impressed that I missed this one.
I plan on washing and reusing this strain so I won't have to worry about it for a long time.
__________________
zippyslug31 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
zippyslug31
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pompeiisneaks View Post
let sit for 3 hours OR pitch immediately
Ya know... the more I think of this, and recall you are exactly correct since I've read this on the package too, why would they have this instruction?

I understand allowing it to "start" by letting it sit for a few hours, but how can it also be viable "immediately"? Furthermore, what's the yeast doing, say, 90 mins after you smack? Does it temporarily turn into "beer destroying anti-yeasts"?
Just something I've wondered.
__________________
zippyslug31 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 07:33 PM   #8
IrregularPulse
Hobby Collector
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
IrregularPulse's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 42,544
Liked 2762 Times on 2713 Posts
Likes Given: 118

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyslug31 View Post
Ya know... the more I think of this, and recall you are exactly correct since I've read this on the package too, why would they have this instruction?

I understand allowing it to "start" by letting it sit for a few hours, but how can it also be viable "immediately"? Furthermore, what's the yeast doing, say, 90 mins after you smack? Does it temporarily turn into "beer destroying anti-yeasts"?
Just something I've wondered.
Letting it start gives you confirmation of the viability of the yeast. If you smack it and after a few hours it hasn't swelled at all it would be an indication of dead yeast so you'd better find a different packet of yeast to use. Plus it lets the yeast multiply in the starter wort (The Smack Packs are basically mini starters) before adding to your wort thus reducing lag time as mentioned above. If you pitch it without smacking it essentially goes through the same processes it would after smacking while in the wort.


So a test. In theory, if you smacked a smack pack, and let it sit for a few weeks, could you then CAREFULLY open it and have a fermented beer? although very basic and unhopped.
__________________
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas. :o - marubozo
IrregularPulse is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
zippyslug31
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
So a test. In theory, if you smacked a smack pack, and let it sit for a few weeks, could you then CAREFULLY open it and have a fermented beer? although very basic and unhopped.
I like it! Kinda reminds me of a military MRE. Heck, the solidiers gotta have something to go along with their 'spaghetti with meat sauce'.
__________________
zippyslug31 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2009, 08:53 PM   #10
ifishsum
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 1,457
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

It's not a starter wort, it's medium and nutrient to jump start the yeast's metabolism and to verify viability of the culture. According to what I've read from Wyeast, letting the activator pack swell does not increase cell population in the package, it just lets you know that they're alive, and feeds them so they should take off quicker after pitching.

__________________
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

Primary 2: Edwort's Robust Porter
Secondary 1: LW Pale Ale
Secondary 1: Blackened Soul RIS
Kegged: Dead Guy Ale
Kegged: Rye Pale Ale
Kegged: Haus Pale Ale
Kegged: Nut Brown Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber
Kegged: Jock Scott Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber
ifishsum is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How long can I smack my smack pack Hilbert General Techniques 7 02-15-2009 09:23 PM
When to smack the pack? Eskimo Spy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 9 01-15-2009 10:10 PM
How do you smack a smack pack? Sumo Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 30 12-05-2008 12:20 PM
Smack Pack Problem Knowlse11 General Techniques 5 06-28-2008 11:15 PM
How to smack a smack pack... This shouldn't be this hard... Driftwood General Techniques 13 08-23-2005 05:20 PM