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Old 09-12-2009, 08:38 PM   #1
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Default Smack Pack Snafu

Just brewed a batch of pale ale. I used Wyeast 1332 Northwest yeast. Here's the problem: the smack pack never broke open. I thought it was swelling slightly, so I went ahead and opened the pack (it was the activator size, which generally has enough to pitch directly into 5 gallons). Since the beer was brewed, I cut the smack pack open with a pair of sanitized scissors, and dumped it all into the beer.

While I am relaxing and having a (not) homebrew, did I grossly underpitch, and should I scramble to find some yeast somewhere? (There are no homebrew shops around my area.) Or will it ferment OK, just with a longer lag time?

I'm pretty comfortable with my sanitation, but obviously the longer lag time, the greater likelihood of contamination.

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Old 09-12-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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You will be fine.

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reassurance. I never saw this happen before. I have to admit it was kind of cool seeing the inside of the package intact.

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:51 PM   #4
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I don't think the pack inside really contributes to yeast propagation much anyway - i believe it just stimulates activity and revives the little fellers from their dormancy.

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Old 09-13-2009, 01:03 AM   #5
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Don't worry. Your yeast are very happy in their new home. RDWHAHB.

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Old 09-13-2009, 04:27 AM   #6
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Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that the smack pack contains a little bit of wort to get the yeast going fermenting a little before you pitch them. It mostly offers reassurance that the yeast are alive. It is not a starter that would substantially increase the yeast population. If you want a starter you need a lot more nutrient (wort), and an oxygen supply, as well as CO2 release. The sealed smack pack isn't going to provide any of these. It is nice to know you are pitching live yeast that Fedex didn't cook enough to kill, and the smack pack provides that reassurance.

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Old 09-13-2009, 04:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeDogsNE View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that the smack pack contains a little bit of wort to get the yeast going fermenting a little before you pitch them. It mostly offers reassurance that the yeast are alive. It is not a starter that would substantially increase the yeast population. If you want a starter you need a lot more nutrient (wort), and an oxygen supply, as well as CO2 release. The sealed smack pack isn't going to provide any of these. It is nice to know you are pitching live yeast that Fedex didn't cook enough to kill, and the smack pack provides that reassurance.
yes this is corect 100%
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:35 PM   #8
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Thanks everybody. I wasn't sure where the yeast was -- in the smack pack or outside it. This morning, while it isn't bubbling away, I am seeing indications of activity.

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Old 09-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hercher View Post
Thanks everybody. I wasn't sure where the yeast was -- in the smack pack or outside it. This morning, while it isn't bubbling away, I am seeing indications of activity.
Once I see those few discs of foam on top of the beer, I know I'm good to go. Assuming that's what you're seeing, you're good to go.

-Steve
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
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Once I see those few discs of foam on top of the beer, I know I'm good to go. Assuming that's what you're seeing, you're good to go.

-Steve
Thanks Steve, but I ferment in plastic buckets, so I'm not see anything inside. But I did take the air lock off briefly, and took a quick sniff -- smells like beer.
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