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Old 09-11-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
heywolfie1015
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Default Hmm...yeast problem?

First off, I'll totally admit that this is my first starter, so I might be overreacting.

Yesterday morning, I took my smack pack out of the fridge, fully meaning to activate it before I left for work. Totally forgot about it and only realized my mistake halfway through the day. Had my wife smack it around 3 PM after it had been out at room temp for about 8 hours.

Hoping I didn't do any damage, I came home at 9 PM and noticed it hadn't ballooned up that much; only a little. Boiled my starter and cooled it, and then pitched the yeast when the mini-wort was around 90-95F.

This morning, I checked and there wasn't really any indication that anything was going on in there. The double bubble airlock had all the liquid pushed into the chamber closer to the blowoff hole, so I took that as a good sign, but otherwise nothing.

Yeast is Wyeast Belgian Abbey and it's my first time using it. I guess I have two questions. First, was the fact that the smack pack hadn't ballooned up a bad sign? Second, did I pitch too hot and kill my yeasties? What should I be looking for here?

Thanks!

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Old 09-11-2009, 04:13 PM   #2
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Sounds like a bad Yeast pack to me and yes 90-95F is way too high to pitch yeast for a starter. The starter temp should be close to the temp that you are going to ferment at. I do not know if it was too hot to kill the yeast but it is possible. When I did my Pliny The Elder Clone a few weeks ago one of the yeast packs I used was better than 6 months old and it still swelled up like a champ.

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Old 09-11-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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90s would be on the hairy edge of damage, I haven't used that strain before, you'll just have to wait and see if they perform in a day or two, otherwise start over.

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:29 PM   #4
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Any danger in just pitching another activated pack into the current starter?

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
90s would be on the hairy edge of damage, I haven't used that strain before, you'll just have to wait and see if they perform in a day or two, otherwise start over.
True, 90-95° is right near the limit, however, it is a belgian yeast strain which actually can be fermented warmer, up to about 80° so only time will tell I'd give it the 72 hours before becoming frenzied. You proabably killed off some of the yeast, and in any smak-pak or WL vial there is never 100% of the100 billion cells that are viable, so give it a few days.

FWIW, take that airlock off your starter and use a foam stopper or a piece of sanitized foil, you want gas transfer to occur, having an airlock on your starter is actually inhibiting growth, not promoting it.
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