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Old 03-31-2010, 03:32 AM   #1
fw11214
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Default Wyeast Belgian Abbey II Smack Pack

I'm brewing a Belgian Dark Strong Ale (5 Gal. - Extract) on Thursday and this is my first time using a Smack Pack. Do I need to make a starter first or can I pitch directly from the Smack Pack. OG is slated for 1.084.


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Old 03-31-2010, 03:39 AM   #2
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I brewed the same style last month. I made a starter and it turned out to be my best brew to date. It is the best tasting beer that I have made and I don't even particularly like the style, I made it for my wife. I can only attribute it to the fact that it was the first time that I made a starter. 1.084 is a BIG beer. I would highly recommend it.


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Old 03-31-2010, 03:58 AM   #3
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If I am brewing Thursday morning, should I leave the pack out overnight tonight and smack it in the morning? I haven't made a starter before. Can I do that tomorrow so it's ready for Thursday? Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:04 AM   #4
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+1 to yes for big beer.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

Says with 1.084 you need nearly 300 billion cells and the Smack pack has something like 100 billion new pets.

I would not make a 5 liter starter like Mr. Malty says, but priming the pump with a liter or 2 would give it a great leg up.

If nothing else it will reduce lag time.

Brew on.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fw11214 View Post
If I am brewing Thursday morning, should I leave the pack out overnight tonight and smack it in the morning? I haven't made a starter before. Can I do that tomorrow so it's ready for Thursday? Thanks for the quick reply.
I am not sure about the optimal smack time, but boil the starter tomorrow evening and you will be ready to rock Thursday night. 18 to 24 gets it started pretty well ( a bit more time will give you more cells ).

Check this walk through of making starters.

http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/0...ome-brew-beer/
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:13 AM   #6
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It is highly recommended to use a starter when using liquid yeast. Further, you are brewing a higher gravity beer so that is also another plus for using a starter. Normally I allow at least 3 hours after smacking the pack before adding it to a starter. If you are going to brew Thu. AM then you should get going on Wed. Shake the pack 60 times every few hours after you have broken the membrane to get the yeast going in the pack/swollen. I try to allow a minimum of 24 hours on the stirplate before pitching but it is not imperative that you follow this. Montanaandy
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:16 AM   #7
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I am making a high OG IPA, ~1.085 estimated and forgot to make a starter. I have one Wyeast British Ale II smack pack, & just started the 60min boil. With tomorrow being sunday (Homebrew store closed) and me flying to Denver for a week for business tomorrow as well, I have come up with a few options. Any suggestions? I'd hate to waste this batch! Comments please!
1) F it, pitch 1/3 the yeast needed.
2) SANITIZE the hell out of my carboy, put in fermentation box, wait until next week to make the starter when I get back, and do it right.
3) I do happen to have 5g of Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast. Try out a Frankenstein combo beer, champagne yeast mix??
4) Others? I'd really appreciate some help.

cheers,
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:11 AM   #8
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option 1. others options not that great. it may be slow to start but you can always repitch when you get back.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:28 AM   #9
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@ Small batch. Option number one for sure. The yeast may have to overwork a little, so I wouldn't reuse it. Just be sure to aerate well and start it fermenting like 5 degrees higher than you normally would to get it going well then lower the temp to where you want it to ferment. If it is stuck when you get back then add more yeast.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:32 AM   #10
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I ended up going with option 5. I whipped up a quick starter with a 1040 gravity dme solution that will have about 13-14 hours to get going before I have to leave tomorrow. It isn't the ideal amount of time but I think it was the best option. I didn't like waiting a week before pitching anything, I wasn't completely fond of underpitching for a week and then pitching again. Not because I don't think it'll work but then I thought of option 5 after a few brews, giggled a bit, and got to it.


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