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Old 07-17-2014, 01:06 PM   #1
TimFarAway
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Summer vacation! But I'm leaving my baby behind, a 24 hour old Hef with no sign of life. The smack-pack didn't swell after 4 hours but I pitched it any way. I'll be gone 10 days. Should I re-pitch now? or wait until I get back? It's sitting in my ferm chamber in a better bottle with airlock.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:20 PM   #2
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No swelling means low to no viability. Even if there are viable cells (and there probably are), the lag time is going to be longer than normal. For a Hef, this isn't such a bad thing, fortunately.

You definitely don't want to let it go 10 days without fermentation, so be ready to re-pitch tomorrow if there are still no signs that fermentation is starting. However, if there is the slightest bit of krausen starting to form or yeast coming up to the surface then you should be okay. Wait until tomorrow just before you leave and then make the decision.

 
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:25 PM   #3
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I would think about picking up some yeast tonight. Worst thing that happens is you pitch it tomorrow morning if no signs of life. Best case it takes off on its own and you can keep it in the fridge. Cheers!
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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Thanks, is there a danger of over-pitching? Is that a even a thing? I'll grab some while I'm out today, and see how it's doing in the morning. Driving from Texas to Florida, so leaving early early early.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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According to Wyeast, overpitching will cause a reduction in banana esters and will increase the perception of clove phenols. My personal experience is that overpitching reduces/eliminates both banana and clove.

 
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:56 PM   #6
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But if you straight pitched a smack pack without a starter, I don't think 2 packs will be overpitching at all, two pennies.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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Thanks again, It's just 2.5 gal, so I will definitely wait until the last possible second to see if there is any activity.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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Go on vacation and come home to beer. It will have a few more esters than you probably wanted but it will probably be fine.

 
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