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Old 09-26-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Smack Pack - have I been misled?

I was told to buy one smack pack (Wyeast 1968) for a 5 gallon batch of beer with an estimated OG of 1.060. I now see that the cell count on this thing is 100 billion and I am reading I should pitch more than 200 billion cells into this beer.

Have I been given bad advice?

If so, what do I do now? I do not have any DME for a starter and probably do not have time to get any in time to do a starter. I do have dry yeast (2 packs each of S-04 and S-05).

So, do I:

1. Just pitch the smack pack and be done with it?
2. Just pitch 2 packs of S-04?
3. Pitch the smack pack and one of the S-04?
4. Go buy some High Life and stop trying to make beer?

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
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I would just pitch the smack pack. I used just one for all my 5g brews for a long time and my beer turned out fine.

Pitching the proper amount of yeast does affect the flavour, but so do 100 other variables. Having one or two variables off (within reason) won't ruin a beer. Under pitching will just make a different beer, not necessarily a bad one.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #3
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Many people these days are saying you need more yeast than what the yeast companies recommend and so many factors are involved it's hard to know which numbers to go by. It is known that the more yeast you pitch the less off flavors the yeast produce since they will reproduce less. Honestly, as long as you don't go over 1.060 you should be fine. Oxygenate the wort well and try and keep the smack pack around the same temp as the wort you are pitching into and you will be ok. When I first started brewing I didn't know any better and pitched Wyeast's 50ml smack pack into a few batches instead of the 125ml smack pack and things still turned out fine.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #4
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I've been told that the smack pack is good enough for up to 5 gallons, unless its a really big beer nearing the edge of the yeast tolerance. For thet reason, ive generally only used one pack. I'm curious to hear feedback from the crew here..


it bears noting that im planing on moving away form the smack-packs and to traditional starters/washing in order to reduce brew costs...

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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You could always purchase another smack pack.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhoop View Post
I would just pitch the smack pack. I used just one for all my 5g brews for a long time and my beer turned out fine.

Pitching the proper amount of yeast does affect the flavour, but so do 100 other variables. Having one or two variables off (within reason) won't ruin a beer. Under pitching will just make a different beer, not necessarily a bad one.
This is also sound advice.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
You could always purchase another smack pack.
There is a small possibility that I will be able to do that. But assuming I cannot, mix the yeast? use the dry? under-pitch with the liquid?

I want this beer to be exceptional and am pissed that I was told to use this one pack if doing so risks off-flavors.

EDIT: while I'm no seasoned expert, I am beginning to eliminate a lot of the things that cause off flavors. I do not want a silly variable that could have been so easily avoided (such as under-pitching) to factor into the quality of this beer.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewebb View Post
I've been told that the smack pack is good enough for up to 5 gallons, unless its a really big beer nearing the edge of the yeast tolerance. For thet reason, ive generally only used one pack. I'm curious to hear feedback from the crew here..


it bears noting that im planing on moving away form the smack-packs and to traditional starters/washing in order to reduce brew costs...
Every source (other than the yeast companies) that I look at says that this beer should have around 220 billion cells pitched. One smack pack has 100 billion cells (if 100% viable).

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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When I first started brewing (1 year ago) I always pitched smack packs. I make starters mostly now, but due to an impromptu brew 2 weeks ago, I just pitched a smack pack into 5g of 1.058 stout. Gravity check yesterday confirms we are at 1.013 and I'll be kegging it tonight. It tasted great. You'll be fine pitching the smack pack. I think the hype about starters is the horror of under pitching and the beer not finishing. I'm sure there are other reasons, but those are beyond my 4th grade edumacation and I still make great beer!

As a side note, this is a strong flavored beer so any off flavors produced (if any) would go unnoticed.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridire View Post
Every source (other than the yeast companies) that I look at says that this beer should have around 220 billion cells pitched. One smack pack has 100 billion cells (if 100% viable).

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
Yeast calculators, however useful for general calculations, can be way off. No real way to tell what the little guys are doing other looking at them reallllll close.
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