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Old 12-26-2007, 04:56 PM   #1
The Bone2
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Default Smack Pack - "Half" # of cells?

I'm sure this has been covered, but on a current thread the comment was made that smack paks only have "half" the number of yeast cells for a 5 gallon primary?

Can you explain?

Is this true as well for the White Labs Yeast Vials?

Smack Pak = 1/2 yeast = reason to make Yeast Starter?

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:29 PM   #2
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Yes. all those liquid strains are 'pitchable' quantities, but not 'optimal' which is why everyone will still recommend a starter.

In fact, I think they have more like 100billion cells, and for a 5 gallon ale that isn't wickedly high gravity, you want closer to 300-400 billion cells.

However if you're oxygenating your wort really well, and don't mind a lag phase while the yeast colony tripels in size, then you can direct pitch a vial or smack pack after it inflates.

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default I find it interesting that this is such

common knowledge, yet it is not discussed on the yeast packages themselves, nor on the recipes that one receives from the brewing shops.

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Old 12-26-2007, 06:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
for a 5 gallon ale that isn't wickedly high gravity, you want closer to 300-400 billion cells.
Where did you get that info? Most of the info I'd seen for ales has said less than that; Jamil says it's about 4 billion cells for each point of gravity, so a 1.050 beer would be ~200 billion cells in a wort that's just over 5 gal.

I'm always interested in new sources of info.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:02 PM   #5
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Try this calculator:

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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Old 12-26-2007, 08:30 PM   #6
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Yuri, that's definitely a good calculator, but it doesn't really address the issue at hand.

For the OP:
http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php or
http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm
are good resources that explain pitching rates in some detail.

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Old 12-26-2007, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia
Yuri, that's definitely a good calculator, but it doesn't really address the issue at hand.
Did you read the part that lists # of cells and # of vials or smack packs without a starter? That addresses it quite succinctly without all the reading.

Thanks for the amplifying info.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Did you read the part that lists # of cells and # of vials or smack packs without a starter? That addresses it quite succinctly without all the reading.

Thanks for the amplifying info.
Without the background info in the other articles, it kind of leaves you hanging, not knowing why. Of course, I tend to always ask why you do something, not just what you do. I'm a little weird that way.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia
Where did you get that info? Most of the info I'd seen for ales has said less than that; Jamil says it's about 4 billion cells for each point of gravity, so a 1.050 beer would be ~200 billion cells in a wort that's just over 5 gal.

I'm always interested in new sources of info.
Nope, yer right, my numbers were off...posting from work and unable to lookup resources.

to fix my above numbers, its more like 50-100 billion viable cells in a smack pack. pitchable, but not optimal. so a starter both wakes up your yeast, and steps up the cell count to a level that's right for an 'average' ale gravity.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:20 PM   #10
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Also don't forget that the viability of liquid yeast is not great when it's not totally fresh. They can drop to 50% viability in a matter of a few months, or less if they're not handled correctly and kept at the proper temperature. Some people are lucky enough to live where they can get brand new vials/packs of yeast at their LHBS, but some of us aren't so lucky. It takes a lot for ALL the yeast in a vial/pack to be killed, which is why liquid yeast almost always manages to survive harsh shipments, and be usable after long periods of time, but at that point you REALLY need to be doing a starter.

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