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-   -   Reading "Designing Great Beers", and had question about Wyeast yeasts... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/reading-designing-great-beers-had-question-about-wyeast-yeasts-277109/)

cutchemist42 10-27-2011 04:42 PM

Reading "Designing Great Beers", and had question about Wyeast yeasts...
 
They said that there is not enough cells even with the starter smack pack inside to properly innoculate a typical 5 gallon, 5% beer. Is this true?

Pilgarlic 10-27-2011 04:48 PM

Some say so. Define "enough". Most agree that up to about 1.055 - 1.060 you're fine. Some believe it's woefully inadequate.

osagedr 10-27-2011 04:51 PM

Hello, fellow Winnipegger.

The "smack packs" have about 100 billion cells.

Mr. Malty says you need 180 billion cells for 5.25 gallons of a 1.050 ale.

The answer is: a smack-pack probably contains enough yeast to get the job done, especially if it was produced recently and you have a relatively small beer. However, if the pack is a bit old, or if you have a bigger beer, you should make a starter. Thousands of brewers probably use no starter and feel like their beer is fine.

Personally, I would never pitch a smack-pack with no starter.

BrewerinBR 10-27-2011 04:57 PM

Wyeast have two products an Activator and a Propagator. According to Wyeast the Activator is sufficient to inoculate a 5 gallon batch and the Propagator is not and needs a starter. Both have "smack pack" nutrients inside. I have used both with excellent success. I make 1.5 quarts of wort for both kinds. Some will say the Activator really does not need one some say all of them need a starter. I make starters, is easy and fast and fun

cutchemist42 10-27-2011 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by osagedr (Post 3429623)
Hello, fellow Winnipegger.

The "smack packs" have about 100 billion cells.

Mr. Malty says you need 180 billion cells for 5.25 gallons of a 1.050 ale.

The answer is: a smack-pack probably contains enough yeast to get the job done, especially if it was produced recently and you have a relatively small beer. However, if the pack is a bit old, or if you have a bigger beer, you should make a starter. Thousands of brewers probably use no starter and feel like their beer is fine.

Personally, I would never pitch a smack-pack with no starter.

Just curious then, how does a starter increase the capability of yeast? Like will a starter take a smack packed Wyeast pack and increase the year past 100 billion?

BrewerinBR 10-27-2011 05:01 PM

A starter is a medium to grow more yeast cells in.

osagedr 10-27-2011 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cutchemist42 (Post 3429649)
Just curious then, how does a starter increase the capability of yeast? Like will a starter take a smack packed Wyeast pack and increase the yeast past 100 billion?

That's exactly what a starter does. If you are a really new brewer consider dry yeast to make things easy for your first few batches.

paulster2626 10-27-2011 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by osagedr (Post 3429664)
That's exactly what a starter does. If you are a really new brewer consider dry yeast to make things easy for your first few batches.

Dry yeast is your best friend right now.

But you can even get a little saucy and make a mini-starter for the dry stuff, so you get a feel for larger ones with liquid yeast. At the very least you'll confirm that your dry yeast is alive, and you won't get those "did I pitch dead yeast" thoughts running through your head when your wort doesn't start fermenting right away.

cutchemist42 10-27-2011 05:19 PM

I've actually been brewing for about 2 years but after reading this book, started thinking about my yeast. So how many billion yeast cells are created with a starter?

Malticulous 10-27-2011 05:22 PM

He's talking about 'great' beer. You can make regular beer without a starter. Great beer takes the proper amount of healthy yeast and good temperature control.

Making a starter with dry yeast will do more harm than good. They are dried with all the nutrients they need. Making a starter will use some up and it wont be big enough to increase the numbers. The only starter I'd make with dry yeast is five gallons.


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