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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > I am done with "Smack Pacs"
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:04 PM   #11
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I'll stick with Nottingham's dry, or White Lab vials.... never failed me!

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:40 AM   #12
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Ive only used smack packs so far. And since i tried to open my first one in the car on the way home for my LHBS , I wasnt able to smack and break the insides. I have since just wrung the entire package between my two hands like it was a wet rag, following that by shacking the hell out of it. These always works for me.

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:42 AM   #13
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My current batch of English Pale Ale in my fermenter was my first experience with a Wyeast smackpack. I forgot to smack it the night before like I had planned so I smacked it the next day 4 hours prior to pitching. The pack didn't seem like it had swelled at all come pitching time and I realized I hadn't actually broken the nutrient pack. D'oh!! Luckily I happened to have a pack of dry Coopers Ale yeast in the fridge so I pitched that and everything seemed to go well. Not sure how it will affect the taste though.

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:58 AM   #14
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Unfortunately, the LHBS has gone back to smack-packs, too. I hate'em too.

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Old 08-31-2006, 02:02 AM   #15
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If you are going to make a starter from them anyway then smacking them and waiting for them to swell is really only necessary if you want to be absolutely certain that the yeast cells are viable. There is really not enough food for any significant increase in cell count within the smack pack itself. The real increase in cell count occurrs during the production of the starter. You could just cut it open without smacking it, or smack it and immediately just pitch it into an already prepared starter wort.

The only thing that you would be loosing is knowing ahead of time that the cells are viable, but you don't know that with a White Lab's vial either. If you have viable cells, you will have a starter in about the time it takes for a smack pack to fully swell.

John

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Old 08-31-2006, 03:22 AM   #16
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I usually smack my packs (when using them and not making a starter) right before I set up the Mash then put them on top of the fridge where they get to 75-80 ish.. they are usually swollen by the time I'm ready to pitch.. I haven't had any issues or excessive lag using the larger smack packs witholut a starter.

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Old 08-31-2006, 06:26 AM   #17
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I don't know what brand puts 2 bags inside the outer bag, but I've always used Wyeast, and can count on 2 fingers how many times a bag wasn't fully swollen in less than 12 hours, and 1 of those was like 3 months old. I made a batch tonight, and my Wyeast Activator has 1 bag inside. Why would anyone put 2 packs in, just put 1 ingredient in the main bag, and one in the inner pouch? I always assure the inner pouch is broken by laying the pouch on the counter, and kneading the liquid through my fingers, holding the far end down about 1/3 of the way. If you can't push it all through, the inner bag ain't broken. I never use a starter, and my beer is always going within 8 hours, and ferments out fine.

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:00 PM   #18
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It was a Wyeast 1214 Propagator that had two small bags in it.

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Old 08-31-2006, 06:18 PM   #19
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All of them have two bags. It almost looks like one bag folded in half and sealed on 3 ends.

The Activator XL is the only one you should be pitching directly into low-grav worts.

I recently goofed and bought a Propagator Pack for my IPA. This "forced" me to pour my Horny PA's yeast/trub slurry into a starter container then clean the primary. Then I pitched the yeast/trub back into the wort and added the Propagator Pack for good measure...then I stood back and watched the magic show...lag time was about 30min and full krausen w/in 2hrs.

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