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Old 04-03-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
TexasAggie
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Default Wyeast 3944 smack-pack

I pitched a smack-pack of Wyeast 3944 into my Belgian wit with an OG around 52. The pack wasn't fully expanded when I pitched it (not enough time). 48 hours have passed and the most vigorous activity I have seen is about 3-4 seconds between bubbles. Is this just a slow strand of bugs or can I pitch another pack? I am more fearful of under pitching than over.

Thanks,

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Old 04-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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Leave it alone, by only pitching one pack originally so it's already under pitched. In order to pitch another pack you would have to aerate it again and that would oxidize it and that would be bad.

Leave it alone for a total of 3 weeks and let the yeast do its thing, next time make a starter and you'll be better off. Some yeast just operate at a steady pace....

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Old 04-03-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
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I would let it ride.

The packs do not need to be inflated to work. The inflation just proves that they [yeast] are still alive. You may have underpitched, but it sounds like fermentation is underway, so the yeast have already gone through lag and growth phase so you have plenty of yeast in there to get the job done. Adding more yeast at this point would add little to no benefit and you'd just be wasting the $$.

FWIW, I prefer to slightly underpitch this strain, and ferment it pretty warm. The flavor profile is better. More esters and more of that 'wit' character. I've found that when I overpitch this yeast, it tend to come out with much less character and sometimes sulpher notes.

Long story short, it'll be fine. Just give it time to finish up and check the gravity to know when it's done.

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Old 04-03-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
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I have nothing to add to this topic, other than to say Howdy to a fellow Ag.

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Old 04-03-2012, 11:47 PM   #5
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Okay, I will let it do it's thing. I need to learn how to make a starter for sure. Just another thing to learn in this crazy world of brewing.
Howdy, Sam. Class of '08 here.

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Old 04-03-2012, 11:51 PM   #6
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I rembember reading about Yeast Activity when I first started brewing. Basically, it said "Leave the Yeast Alone, they know what they are doing". I have found that good advice as I have never had any wort that did not become beer. Knock on wood!

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:10 AM   #7
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Making a starter is easy, boil 1L of water and add about 4oz extra light DME and yeast nutrient, boil 10-15 minutes, cool to 70 and put in a sterilized flask, pitch yeast, shake vigorously and watch the yeast get happy! It should ferment out within a day. If you want to you can then decant and do the same thing again-called stepping up. I like to cold crash the starter the day before I brew. On brew day I remove from fridge, decant, let warm up to pitching temp and then pitch. Depending on size of starter I've had fermentation really take off in as little as 4-5 hours. You can also make a 2L starter with 1 cup of DME but I find they blow out and make a mess so I prefer to step up. I usually brew on Sundays so I smack the pack on Wednesday, make starter on Thursday, step up Friday, crash Saturday.

Cheers!

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #8
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3944 is slow, it took 3 full weeks for it to ferment my spiced Christmas ale.

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Old 04-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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Welcome to the SEC Aggies.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aubiecat View Post
Welcome to the SEC Aggies.
It's gonna be fun beating Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
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