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Old 07-03-2006, 02:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alemonkey
White labs says you don't need a starter up to I think 1.070. I've had really good luck with it without a starter. Wyeast is good too, I just don't like waiting for the pack to swell.
I just so happen to have vials sitting right in front of me... you are absolutly correct. It says up to 1.070. What is your lag time without a starter? Does not seem like a lot of yeast in one of these things
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Old 07-03-2006, 04:28 AM   #12
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I much prefer Whitelabs over Wyeast. I don't use starters with WL and always get great results. One of the few times I used that smack pack I did the same thing you did and had no activity after 2 days so I pitched an old tube WL and had bubbles in about 4 hours.

Hope for the best, but you may want to keep that backup pack handy

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Old 07-03-2006, 04:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
This question comes up all the time. The instructions on the package say it all:
Yeah, that's true, but I've never had a smack-pack take more than about 5 hours to swell to near-bursting. I'm sure that the first time I assume it will swell that quickly, it won't and I'd find myself in a pickle.

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Old 07-03-2006, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer Snob
I just so happen to have vials sitting right in front of me... you are absolutly correct. It says up to 1.070. What is your lag time without a starter? Does not seem like a lot of yeast in one of these things
I usually brew in the evening and it's going good the next morning, so maybe 6 hours? I'm not exactly sure. I've seen it start in as little as 3. The cell count is pretty high in those vials.
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Old 07-03-2006, 04:21 PM   #15
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Ya!!! I now have bubblage! Only thirty-six hours after pitching! Everything smells normal, too. My system is pretty much sealed from the outside air from the boil to the fermenter, so I wasn't super worried about infection (famous last words).

However, I will never, ever start my mash again before signs of swelling!

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

jp

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Old 07-03-2006, 06:27 PM   #16
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Nice thing about smack packs, you can hit them days before brewing and know you have a good pack and if you get delayed, just tuck them in the fridge.

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Old 07-03-2006, 09:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alemonkey
White labs says you don't need a starter up to I think 1.070. I've had really good luck with it without a starter. Wyeast is good too, I just don't like waiting for the pack to swell.
Well if you think about it you really don't need the vial at all. Just let nature take its course and it will ferment out on its own. If you want to make the best beer you are capeable of then you should make a starter of the right size for your batch and type of beer.
After all...........you want to make the best beer possible, don't you?
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:19 PM   #18
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I personally don't think making a starter improves a beer at all - it just makes it start faster and reduces the chances of infection. If I'm making a big beer I always make a starter. If not, I usually don't.

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