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Old 04-10-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
billdog
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I bought a mead kit from NB on 1/25/2011. I've never made a Mead, this is a trial for my wife. So, 3 months later I smack the pack and go ahead and prep everything. 6 hours later and the bag has not expanded much at all. I go to Wyeast web site. A FAQ says that after 2 months you may not see expansion of the bag, but that the yeast is still there. It has now been 24 hours since addition and still no activity. Any one ever see this before? Should I be worried?


 
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
mccann51
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I've never had a smack pack of blow up significantly, and I've read it's not really a big deal if it does at all. If you're concerned you could make a starter. Or you could pitch it, and if nothing happens within 48 hours, you could pitch some dry wine yeast. Dry wine yeast is very reliable and makes you wonder why you ever worried over wet yeast.

 
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
MedsenFey
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What temperature are you maintaining? - that can sometimes cause a long lag phase.

I'd suggest aerating it well to help the yeast grow more, and give it another day or two.

 
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:33 AM   #4
billdog
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70F is the temp. I have seen signs of fermentation 48 hours after pitch. Very low floculation. Could be that the yeast I pitched was low in number and I am just observing a long lag phase.

FYI, I do not have a stone setup for airation, therefore I rely on "shaking" the fermenter.

 
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
MedsenFey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdog View Post
Could be... I am just observing a long lag phase.

FYI, I do not have a stone setup for airation, therefore I rely on "shaking" the fermenter.
Yep, that sounds like it.
Shaking (or opening and stirring) work fine for aeration, though I'm partial to a whisk.

 
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:35 AM   #6
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The Wyeast smack packs can be hit or miss as to the degree of swelling you will see depending on the strain...I'm not terribly familiar with that strain, but I've made beer and mead with smack packs that didn't bulge very much, and they've all turned out fine!

Out of curiosity (and if you haven't taken the trash out yet), what was the Mfg date on the pack? Sometimes you can see less than vigorous bulging if it's older than a few months (but I've still made good things with older smack packs)...if you're ever concerned about yeast viability with liquid yeast, you'd never be wrong to make a starter...when the starter takes off, then you know for sure you have good yeast! (Not to mention a better pitch rate and hopefully a faster start to fermentation...)
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:45 AM   #7
billdog
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the mfg date was dec 2010. It is humming along now. 4 good days of fermentation, giving off a good odor. Looking to do a late addition of fruit for added color and flavor. I bought some frozen rasberries I'll add on day 5. That yeast was probably at the end of it's shelf life, that could be why I saw what I did.

Thanks fellas!

 
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
billdog
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Stuff is still fermenting 33 days later!! That is sooo cool!!

Transfered it tonight too, sample was really nice!

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:19 AM   #9
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I've used this yeast twice, it's a slow starter, even if you make a starter, I think my lags were 36 and 48 hours pitching a fresh pack off the stir plate. It's a nice strain, produces a very solid fruitiness, especially at colder temps. I think you will be pleased with the results.
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