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Old 08-30-2006, 05:04 PM   #11
Jun 2006
South River, NJ
Posts: 2,587
Liked 21 Times on 17 Posts

I'll stick with Nottingham's dry, or White Lab vials.... never failed me!
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~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:40 PM   #12
gonzoflick's Avatar
May 2006
Orlando, FL
Posts: 466
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Ive only used smack packs so far. And since i tried to open my first one in the car on the way home for my LHBS , I wasnt able to smack and break the insides. I have since just wrung the entire package between my two hands like it was a wet rag, following that by shacking the hell out of it. These always works for me.
Primary: Fullers ESB Clone
Secondary: Hierra Sevada Pale Ale
Bottled: NOTHING

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:42 AM   #13
Jul 2006
Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 91
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

My current batch of English Pale Ale in my fermenter was my first experience with a Wyeast smackpack. I forgot to smack it the night before like I had planned so I smacked it the next day 4 hours prior to pitching. The pack didn't seem like it had swelled at all come pitching time and I realized I hadn't actually broken the nutrient pack. D'oh!! Luckily I happened to have a pack of dry Coopers Ale yeast in the fridge so I pitched that and everything seemed to go well. Not sure how it will affect the taste though.
Fingers behave...

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:58 AM   #14
Bernie Brewer
Grouchy Old Fart
Bernie Brewer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Eldorado, WI
Posts: 7,507
Liked 148 Times on 59 Posts

Unfortunately, the LHBS has gone back to smack-packs, too. I hate'em too.
I like to squeeze the nickle until the buffalo craps-mt rob

"Why don't we get drunk and screw?" Jimmy Buffett

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:02 AM   #15
johnsma22's Avatar
Jun 2006
Taunton, MA
Posts: 1,967
Liked 82 Times on 61 Posts

If you are going to make a starter from them anyway then smacking them and waiting for them to swell is really only necessary if you want to be absolutely certain that the yeast cells are viable. There is really not enough food for any significant increase in cell count within the smack pack itself. The real increase in cell count occurrs during the production of the starter. You could just cut it open without smacking it, or smack it and immediately just pitch it into an already prepared starter wort.

The only thing that you would be loosing is knowing ahead of time that the cells are viable, but you don't know that with a White Lab's vial either. If you have viable cells, you will have a starter in about the time it takes for a smack pack to fully swell.


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Old 08-31-2006, 02:22 AM   #16
Beer is good
budbo's Avatar
Feb 2006
La Plata, MD
Posts: 2,315
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts

I usually smack my packs (when using them and not making a starter) right before I set up the Mash then put them on top of the fridge where they get to 75-80 ish.. they are usually swollen by the time I'm ready to pitch.. I haven't had any issues or excessive lag using the larger smack packs witholut a starter.

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Old 08-31-2006, 05:26 AM   #17
Aug 2006
Posts: 101
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I don't know what brand puts 2 bags inside the outer bag, but I've always used Wyeast, and can count on 2 fingers how many times a bag wasn't fully swollen in less than 12 hours, and 1 of those was like 3 months old. I made a batch tonight, and my Wyeast Activator has 1 bag inside. Why would anyone put 2 packs in, just put 1 ingredient in the main bag, and one in the inner pouch? I always assure the inner pouch is broken by laying the pouch on the counter, and kneading the liquid through my fingers, holding the far end down about 1/3 of the way. If you can't push it all through, the inner bag ain't broken. I never use a starter, and my beer is always going within 8 hours, and ferments out fine.

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:00 PM   #18
Brew-boy's Avatar
May 2006
Lapeer, Michigan
Posts: 2,280
Liked 16 Times on 13 Posts

It was a Wyeast 1214 Propagator that had two small bags in it.
Next:Smoked Pilsner.
Primary:Belgian Red, American Stout w/Roeselare
On Tap:Pale Ale, English Bitter
Aging: Imperial Oatmeal Stout on Vanilla beans.

I rather owe you a dollar than cheat you out of it.."Dad"



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Old 08-31-2006, 05:18 PM   #19
Exo's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 768
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

All of them have two bags. It almost looks like one bag folded in half and sealed on 3 ends.

The Activator XL is the only one you should be pitching directly into low-grav worts.

I recently goofed and bought a Propagator Pack for my IPA. This "forced" me to pour my Horny PA's yeast/trub slurry into a starter container then clean the primary. Then I pitched the yeast/trub back into the wort and added the Propagator Pack for good measure...then I stood back and watched the magic show...lag time was about 30min and full krausen w/in 2hrs.
Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
Dead Guy clone
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*

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