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Old 11-15-2006, 05:57 PM   #1
Reverend JC
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Ok, my last brew i pitched a smack pake of Pilsner yeast and ended up having to repitch some more yeast.

I do not want this to happen again. I have a german ale smack pack waiting.

So i will attempt a starter.


My questions is do I smack it, shake it, then pour right away into my starter vessel(a 22 oz bottle) and then cover with plastic wrap, or do i wait to put in bottle and cover after the smack pack swells?


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Old 11-15-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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I've never used a starter with a smack pack, I've always (only 5 brews now) smacked, shaken, allowed to swell, then pitch. I'd imagine you want to let it swell before you make your starter with it. The swelling, from what I understand, is what indicates that you have good, live, viable yeast. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me. I've always done fine with the simple, smack, shake, let swell and pitch though.


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Old 11-15-2006, 06:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend JC
do I smack it, shake it, then pour right away into my starter vessel(a 22 oz bottle) and then cover with plastic wrap, or do i wait to put in bottle and cover after the smack pack swells?
Wait til the pack swells, then make your starter and pitch it into the starter, loosely covering with aluminum foil (which can be sterilized over an open flame). I wouldn't use plastice wrap for sanitary reasons.

On a side note, you'll likely want to make a 32-64 oz starter to achieve better results. (more yeast=shorter lag phase)

 
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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I usually smack the morning before making the starter, this gives the yeast time to warm up and start getting active. Then I make the starter in the evening (say 8-10 hours after smacking), by the time I'm ready to brew the following morning everything is ready to go.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:34 PM   #5
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I'll jump on the pile here---they're right, you should wait until the pack swells, indicating viability, before you pitch into the starter. If you see no swelling after a day, then you can be pretty sure that they aren't viable, and that you should use another pack.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:35 PM   #6
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As others have said, I also smake, shake, wait for swell, then make starter. I went ahead and bought a fancy flask, so I use a rubber stopper and airlock on the starter.

 
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
I'll jump on the pile here---they're right, you should wait until the pack swells, indicating viability, before you pitch into the starter. If you see no swelling after a day, then you can be pretty sure that they aren't viable, and that you should use another pack.
I've had plenty of packs that haven't swelled noticeably after a day, but they usually swell just fine after two to seven days. I've only had two packs that didn't swell at all, and the LHBS refunded my money on both of them

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Old 11-16-2006, 01:14 AM   #8
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I wonder if there's a clear trend between yeast strains and how quickly the packs swell. I've been using a lot of 1056 and some 1272, and those blast off very quickly. This weekend at the GRABASS brewfest, I made a hefeweisen with 1010, and it was a slow starter. After 24 hours, the pack was maybe an inch thick. I didn't have a chance to make a starter, and fermentation took 24+ hours to start.

Fortunately, I remembered to Relax, have a home brew... That worked wonders!

 
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Old 11-16-2006, 04:05 AM   #9
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I'm sure that different varieties have an effect, but so does the age of the yeast, and the conditions under which it was shipped. My two non-viable packs were almost certainly fried by shipping during a heat wave. I now only by liquid yeast during the cooler months, and keep it in the fridge until required. Older yeasts take a bit longer to start, but still work fine when called into action.

-a.

 
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Old 11-16-2006, 05:21 AM   #10
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Smack? Shake? Wait for it to swell?! Are we still talking beer here?


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