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Old 06-21-2007, 09:04 PM   #1
sublimebrew
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Do i need to make a starter for a smack pack yeast, or can I smack it, let it swell for a day or two, then brew and pitch. it is my first time with the packs. thanks & brew on...

 
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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i would advise always making a starter, but no...you don't have to. if your beer is under 1.050 OG than you should be good to go letting it swell a day or even less. Still, you SHOULD always make a starter IMO
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:36 PM   #3
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If you're going to make a starter, then don't waste the money on the upgrade to a smack pack. The whole idea with the smack pack is just smacking and pitching.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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Not with wyeast propogator packs. You have to whack then make a starter. Acyivator packs can just be pitched once swollen.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrev
If you're going to make a starter, then don't waste the money on the upgrade to a smack pack. The whole idea with the smack pack is just smacking and pitching.
I disagree.

The idea behind a smack pack, in reality, is to find out prior to pitching whether the yeast is viable or not. Wyeast may claim that you can pitch it directly, but with that tiny amount of wort & yeast nutrient in the smackpack, you're not getting anywhere near the cell count you need.

Check out Mr. Malty's pitching calculator.

Plus, alot of places only carry the smack packs, and not the propegators. In fact, just now, I checked a couple places, and neither had anything but the 125ml XL's.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:08 PM   #6
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You don't need to make a starter, but starters are super kickin'

 
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:14 PM   #7
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...and I speak from experience here. Before I started the practice of always making huge 2L starters, I had several smack packs swell, then dump a freakin HUGE lag time in my lap. One even took 3 days to start. So, like I said, Wyeast may claim you can pitch it directly, but my experience is that you're asking for long lag times if you go that route.
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98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

 
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:25 PM   #8
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With good aeration I have had smack packs on 1.050 brews and lower take off withen 8 hours. I would not worry, although I tend to brew to batches now, about a week apart and use my yeast cake for the second brew. But thats just me, I dont like taking the extra chance of contamination by making a starter. No matter what though, your end result will be beer. Good luck

 
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #9
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I dunno, I've had great luck with the smack packs. Although I am making my first starter tonight for tomorrow night, so we'll see.

Do you really need to sanitize the outside of the smack pack when you rip it open?
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:22 PM   #10
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First isn't both the Propagator and XL packs, smack packs?
Popping the pack on an XL Wyeast package the night before should be sufficient but making a 1-2 liter starter a day earlier will ensure plenty of yeast cells. If you are going to do a starter a Propagator package is large enough and will save you some money.
mrmalty.com is a great site for references on yeast but you can make great beer with much less yeast than is recommended on that site.

Craig

 
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