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Old 06-01-2009, 11:57 PM   #1
Jun 2009
Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 13

Hey everyone, brand new to brewing - ordered my first Sierra Pale Ale clone kit from Midwest and mistakenly ordered a propagator instead of an activator. Anyways, I activated the propagator on Friday, nothing happened Saturday, nothing Sunday (my planned brewing day) them BAM today (Monday) the pack expanded. So I assumed it wasn't usable yesterday but apparently it is, right?

Thing is, I'm not ready to brew this evening, but I can do it tomorrow or the next day, and from reading this forum I understand it would behoove me to make a starter so can this propagator last me another 24 hours until I can make a starter? Or should I just forget it and try again with a dry yeast?

Many thanks!

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:09 AM   #2
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
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If you're making a starter, you should be doing that anywhere from 1 to 3 days before brew day so I'd get going on that. The yeast should be fine if you're making a proper starter.

It is usable for pitching into a starter right away - you don't have to wait for it to swell up.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
Jul 2008
Harrodsburg, Ky.
Posts: 96
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alot of times it will take 3 days to swell, and is good for atleast 24 hrs after swelling. if you make a starter you can just use it unswollen, time will taken care of it.

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:28 PM   #4
Edcculus's Avatar
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
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If you popped the inner pack and dont want to use it, just stash it in the fridge until you are. The inner pack is really a way to proof the yeast. It dosen't necessarily activate them for fermentation.

You can always use a smack pack without popping the inner pack.

I have found the FAQ on Wyeast's Website very helpful.

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
conpewter's Avatar
Nov 2007
East Dundee, Illinois
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It will still be fine for making a starter, if you won't be brewing till the weekend you can make your starter today/tomorrow and then it will be plenty ready by Sat/Sun.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
khiddy's Avatar
Apr 2009
Portland, OR
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I used the Activator pack over the weekend. It had been shipped from BMW with an icepack, and I threw it in the fridge as soon as I got home from work. I took it out on my brew morning, and damn if I couldn't find the little bubble inside to smack. I assume it somehow got smacked during shipping. I was quite worried that the yeasties didn't survive the trip across the country, but I pitched it anyway. 48 hours later, I have high krausen, so I guess they made it!

Moral of my little rambling story: Yeast are strong little buggers.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:23 PM   #7
Jun 2009
Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 13

Originally Posted by philhead1 View Post
alot of times it will take 3 days to swell, and is good for atleast 24 hrs after swelling. if you make a starter you can just use it unswollen, time will taken care of it.
That's the thing, I wasn't even planning on using a starter til I read these forum posts yesterday prior to making my own thread. Ok this helps a ton, thank you everyone. I'll try to brew Friday if I can just find some DME nearby today to get this starter going.

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Old 06-02-2009, 03:35 PM   #8
Mar 2009
Jacksonville Florida
Posts: 39

when using The Propagator packs you are supposed to make a starter, that is what they are for. They don't have a high enough cell count for pitching directly into 5 gallons of wort regardless of whether or not the pack is swollen.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #9
double_e5's Avatar
Dec 2008
Kansas City
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Like Ferrousity said, you need to make a starter with a Propagator Pack. I believe there are only 30 billion cells in a Propagator. You will need to up that cell count considerably.

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Old 06-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
Jun 2009
Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 13

Yeah that's what I learned yesterday, that a propagator needs a starer. I'm glad I read up on it a bit...sure I should have done this before getting my kit but better late than never, right? Yup the propagator only has 30 billion yeast cells.

Now I'm thinking I'm going to try to make a starter from a bit of my LME that came with my recipe kit since I'm not willing to drive 30 mins to the local homebrew store (can't remember the acronym you guys use...I'll get there).

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