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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Do My First Starter or Pitch Dry Yeast?
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:12 AM   #1
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Default Do My First Starter or Pitch Dry Yeast?

I am doing a Festa Brew Continental Pilsner kit (23 litres or 6 gallons) that I intend to lager. The plan is to pitch the starter at between 65 and 70, then cool the beer to 50ish for fermentation, then proceed with lagering as usual.

The yeast I'm going to use is a Wyeast Activator 2124 Bohemian Lager. Mr. Malty is telling me with one pack of this I need a 6.42 litre starter--and that's based on today's date. The date on the package is 10 Feb 09; so when I put that into the calculator it tells me I still need a six litre starter with TEN packs of yeast!

So...should I forget about this Wyeast and hydrate/pitch the dry yeast? Or is the smack pack likely to be okay if I do a 6 or 7 litre starter?

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:31 AM   #2
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I'd buy 10 packs of yeast.

Just smack the pack and give it a day (assuming you have a day). If it inflates, the yeast is fine and you can make a standard starter. If not, rehydrate the dry yeast about 1/2 hr. before pitching. Those continental pilsner kits usually come with ale yeast so keep that in mind if you use the dry yeast.

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Hooter. Interesting; this kit actually came with Saflager s-23 dry lager yeast. So I guess I would be okay to use it in place of the liquid--although I would hate to waste the liquid. I smacked the pack so if it swells up in three hours I'll pitch it into a starter; otherwise away we'll go with the dry yeast. The package says not to hydrate it but I think I would.

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:47 AM   #4
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That doesn't sound right at all to me... what's the starting gravity?

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:59 AM   #5
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That doesn't sound right at all to me... what's the starting gravity?
About 1.050 according to this site:

http://www.magnotta.com/Festabrew/Pr...?ProductID=216
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:57 AM   #6
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Ok. I didn't look closely enough at what you were posting. That's a pretty old smack pack of yeast you have there. If it were me, I'd either try to use it with a starter early and step it up (asuming it works at all), or just hydrate and pitch the dry yeast. Probably the latter.

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Old 10-13-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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Overnight the smack pack seems to have swelled up decently. Since I wouldn't want to pitch all six litres, I guess I would have to wait for the starter to run its course so I could decant the beer off (as opposed to "pitching at high krausen" as seems to be recommended).

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