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Old 02-02-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
beerguy2009
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Default Wyeast smack pack

I used a Wyeast smack pack for my last brew (my first time with a liquid yeast) and am planning on using one for the next.
I was wondering though, am I suppose to leave the pack on the counter and warm to roo temp before I break open the internal pack. If you are, then how long can it sit at room temp? Should I set it out the day before I need it so it can warm up? I didn't do that with my last one and the bag never puffed up and it took about 2 1/2 days for the fermentation to really kick in.
Also how long can it sit after you smack it before you add it to the wort. It said on the pack that it takes up to 3 hours to expand but can it sit out longer than that?



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Old 02-02-2010, 05:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerguy2009 View Post
I used a Wyeast smack pack for my last brew (my first time with a liquid yeast) and am planning on using one for the next.
I was wondering though, am I suppose to leave the pack on the counter and warm to roo temp before I break open the internal pack. If you are, then how long can it sit at room temp? Should I set it out the day before I need it so it can warm up? I didn't do that with my last one and the bag never puffed up and it took about 2 1/2 days for the fermentation to really kick in.
Also how long can it sit after you smack it before you add it to the wort. It said on the pack that it takes up to 3 hours to expand but can it sit out longer than that?
So one of two things I would suggest is eithe make a starter or buy 2 packs. Lots of reasons for this but your under pitching. That being said you can get away most times with 1 pack so take it out of fridge about 4-5 hr ahead of time smack and let sit at room temp. If it doesn't swell it might mean the yeast isn't healthy or alive. If that's the case it would be a good idea to grab another pack and repeat. Worst case it takes more than 5 hr. For the first pack to swell and you have a second ready and pitch closer to the proper amount. Just my 2 cents


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Old 02-02-2010, 05:13 PM   #3
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I've NEVER needed to make a starter with the smack packs. The "ACTIVATOR" ones contain enough live cells to get your brew going. I've pitched one pack into a 1.086 wort and it fermented to 1.014 in 7 days. That being said, I always pop them a day or even 2 before pitching.

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Old 02-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #4
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I use Wyeast yeast ... And it says you can smack it and pitch it right in ...

I usually smack it when I'm about to start to give it like 1-2 hours during my steeping and boiling ...

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Old 02-02-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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You don't *need* to make a starter, but it's a little work for a lot of benefit. The smack packs have around 100 billion cells which is a bit on the light side even if they are all viable. Depending on the age it could be less. An average gravity wort can probably take 1.5-2 times that.

Check out Mr. Malty; again YMMV but we're here to control as many variables as possible to make great beer.

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Old 02-02-2010, 05:59 PM   #6
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There are two types of Wyeast smack packs.

You don't need to make a starter for "Activator" packs.

You do need to make a starter for "Propagator" packs.

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Old 02-02-2010, 06:06 PM   #7
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With a low gravity beer you can get away with no starter but its always best to make one. You can smack the activator pack while its cold and let it sit on the counter at room temps to swell.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanK2 View Post
I've NEVER needed to make a starter with the smack packs. The "ACTIVATOR" ones contain enough live cells to get your brew going. I've pitched one pack into a 1.086 wort and it fermented to 1.014 in 7 days. That being said, I always pop them a day or even 2 before pitching.
the activator pack contains 100b cells at full viability. With age this goes down you are underpitching with one pack specially with a 1.086 gravity ... Can you get away with it yes . But will it make the best beer possible- highly doubt it.

pitching rate for an ale at that gravity is 307b cells .


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Last edited by springer; 02-02-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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