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Old 06-10-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default Wyest pack only slightly inflated

I just received my Wyeast 1010 American Wheat packet in the mail the other day. I smacked it about 20 times just to make sure the bag had popped and shook the crap out of it. It has been a little over 24 hours and the pack seems slightly inflated, not nearly as swollen as it should be. It was made on May 3 10' so i know it isn't expired.

I am just worried because the day it arrived it was 108 degrees outside. The Ice pack inside was actually pretty warm, and it seems like it could have been sitting in the fed ex truck for a while before it was delivered. Upon arrival, I immediately opened the package and placed the pack in the refrigerator and I smacked it later that night so i could use it the next day. I plan to give it the 5 days before calling Northern Brewer.

Is this out of the ordinary? How do I know if its dead for sure?


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Old 06-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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Are you making a starter? I would do that to make sure the yeast is ok. I have made starters with smack packs that did not swell up and they turned out fine. Now, they didn't sit in 108* heat all day though.

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Old 06-10-2010, 11:32 AM   #3
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The smack packs don't require to swell up all the way, I would make a starter or if you want to play it safe call NB and they can replace it for you.

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Old 06-10-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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+1 make a nice sized starter. You should be able to tell if the yeast is good from that. With that high temperature the yeast travelled at, the yeast may well be at risk or you could have lost a portion of the colony. To be on the safe side you may want to assume the yeast has lost a bit of viability and make a larger starter than norma to compensatel, or do a two step starter stepping up the yeast in a second starter after you proof it in the first one.

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Old 06-10-2010, 12:35 PM   #5
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From the horse's mouth.

From the Wyeast FAQ website:

3. Does the package need to be fully swollen before pitching?

No, The package can be pitched before activating, or at anytime during the activation process. The activation process "jump starts" the culture's metabolism, minimizing the lag phase.
Like others have said, it is really a good idea to make a starter for this. It will reproduce the still viable yeast. And it will also give you more peace of mind, then us speculating whether your yeast is toast (pardon my expression ) or not. If you have a creamy band of yeast on the bottom, or if you are lucky enough to see it krausen, then you know it will work for your beer.

But be aware, it may take a day or so to get going if it's been shocked by the high temps.

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