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30 Smack Pack Starter With Multiple Strains - All Expired

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sudbuddy

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Hey everyone,

I've relied on HBT for years but never got around to joining til just recently. Thanks for being so awesome.

So, I run a LHBS in the Chicago area. One of the issues with running a shop is that yeast has a relatively short shelf life and it's hard to sell when it "expires." Long story short, this weekend I pulled 30 old Wyeast smack packs out of my inventory and was trying to think of something fun to do with them. My business/brewing partner was like, "why don't you make a bigass starter with them?" Seemed like a good idea, so that's what I did.

I used about 3 gallons of water, 5 lbs of DME, some nutrient and the aforementioned smack packs. The strains broke down as follows:

1084 x 2 (Irish Ale)
3056 x 6 (Bavarian Wheat Blend)
3787 x 5 (Trappist High Gravity)
1028 2 4 (London Ale)
1388 x 7 (Belgian Strong Ale)
3724 x 4 (Belgian Saison)
1768 x 2 (English Bitter, a seasonal version of 1968)

I'm hoping to nurse these babies along and get a wacky house yeast out of it, which I'm guessing will be fairly Belgian-y. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm guessing this isn't the first time it's been done, so if anyone has any experience please share.

Cheers!
 

Mike_kever_kombi

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While I cannot say I have done this exactly, my house saison is a mix of various bottle dregs and commercially available options. It is a couple years old now, and has bastardized and mutated so much who knows what it is now....one thing is for sure, it's delicious.

I also use a mixed bag for my belgian Goldens. One version is 570 with 002, the other is 575 with 097. They are both tasty, but again mutated into who knows what. Those are on about their 5th generation.

A couple things to keep in mind is that the different yeasts will compete and some are better at doing certain things than others are, and as a result, your yeast will be continually evolving, and as such, changing flavor profiles almost every generation.
 

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no idea...... but it is certainly intriguing, I am interested in hearing what comes of this and I am subscribed.

I suppose some of it will depend on which yeast packs held up best to the age, and which ones get off to the best start as a result. In addition, I would think different conditions (temp, gravity) etc might favor different strains. should be interesting to see what you get out of it. Keep us posted.
 

hanuswalrus

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I laid eyes on this beast yesterday when I stopped in for a few things. Definitely never saw such a humongous starter. Interested to hear what becomes of it.
 

Hello

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I'm very interested. I do have some crazy old yeast and wondered if I could at least try to make a step up starter.
 

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I would guess that some of the yeast would simply out compete the others, just because you have a forest it doesn't mean you make new types of trees. The faster growing maples will always out compete the slower oaks. Any idea of what you are going to brew with it? Sounds like fun :)
 
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sudbuddy

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I would guess that some of the yeast would simply out compete the others, just because you have a forest it doesn't mean you make new types of trees. The faster growing maples will always out compete the slower oaks. Any idea of what you are going to brew with it? Sounds like fun :)

I think I'll start with a basic pale ale to see what the yeast tastes like and just take it from there. I'll brew it this weekend and report back.
 
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sudbuddy

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I would guess that some of the yeast would simply out compete the others, just because you have a forest it doesn't mean you make new types of trees. The faster growing maples will always out compete the slower oaks. Any idea of what you are going to brew with it? Sounds like fun :)

I think I'll start with a basic pale ale to see what the yeast tastes like and just take it from there. I'll brew it this weekend and report back.

Here's a photo of what it looked like last night:
View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1417730544.939866.jpg
 
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sudbuddy

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View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1417831586.859121.jpg

I decanted the starter beer off of the main yeast cake this afternoon and this is the slurry I got from the original starter. I tasted the starter beer and the Belgian and wheat strains definitely won out. HUGE banana and clove flavors with a little citrus thrown in for good measure. This is pretty exciting!!
 
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sudbuddy

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View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1417831816.450039.jpg

Then I added 3 lbs of wheat extract in a couple gallons of water. It looks like my yeast mutant liked that a lot. I'm thinking I'll brew a SMaSH with it on Sunday. 10 lbs of Pilsner and 1/2 an ounce of magnum at 60 minutes. Anyone have any other ideas? I'm gonna have a lot of this bad boy left to play around with
 

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Can I ask which LHBS?

I'm in Chicago (NW Suburbs & Evanston) about every 2 months and looking to move back in the next year.
 

kh54s10

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I would think that initially one strain would dominate, but if you reuse you will probably get mutations and end up with something new. It might end up with something good or something terrible.

Keep us posted on this.
 
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sudbuddy

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Hahaha yeah I guess it's a not so simple SMaSH.

@W0GWT my shop is called Perfect Brewing Supply. We're in Libertyville. Come see us sometime, we have a lot of fun and we've always got a few homebrews on tap
 

W0GWT

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@W0GWT my shop is called Perfect Brewing Supply. We're in Libertyville. Come see us sometime, we have a lot of fun and we've always got a few homebrews on tap

That's excellent. My MIL just moved from Arlington Heights to Milwaukee, so we're on 94 basically the whole way to Wisconsin. Wife's family has a house on Lake Geneva, so summers are a good bet too. I'll drop by on our next trip.
 
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sudbuddy

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****Update****

I harvested the yeast and put it into a bunch of mason jars to save. I brewed a beer with it last night that might or might not be a tripel, depending on what happens with the yeast, and it is going crazy!!

View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1418580395.461876.jpg

The slurry at the bottom of the carboy

View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1418580488.029973.jpg

All the yeast in jars

View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1418580549.833610.jpg

The yeast chugging away

View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1418580582.270885.jpg

Making friends with its neighbors

Thanks for everyone's input and interest in this experiment. I'll be sure to keep posting updates as it progresses.
 

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Pretty awesome science experiment. I was kind of expecting a little more carnage when I started reading this thread, but alas, yeast are pretty docile when it comes right down to it. I'll be a might bit curious how that beer turns out.
 
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sudbuddy

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Sorry, I should've specified. I only put one jar of the yeast in that brew. It would've gone buck wild if I added all of it!
 

tgmartin000

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Why not give a bunch out to your customers have make it into a contest of some sort? Then you'll also get to try a huge range of beers.

I'd like to try a stout with it for sure.
 
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sudbuddy

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That's a great idea! I'll get that going after the holidays
 

joety

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That's excellent. My MIL just moved from Arlington Heights to Milwaukee, so we're on 94 basically the whole way to Wisconsin. Wife's family has a house on Lake Geneva, so summers are a good bet too. I'll drop by on our next trip.
Not to take business away from the OP, but you know we have a Northern Brewer up here now as well...right off 894 near the Zoo.
 

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Not to take business away from the OP, but you know we have a Northern Brewer up here now as well...right off 894 near the Zoo.

My mother-in-law actually told me; she lives around 20 minutes from it. I wanted to drop by on the last trip, but ran out of time. Hope to have the time on this trip because I have a couple of gift cards I need to swap for kegging gear. NB is great, but I also like to support local shops.
 
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sudbuddy

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Not to take business away from the OP, but you know we have a Northern Brewer up here now as well...right off 894 near the Zoo.
Ahhh Northern Brewer, the Amazon of homebrew shops :cross:
 
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sorry it's taken so long to update this, it's been a crazy holiday season. I finally racked it over to secondary, and I think I'm just going to cold crash it and keg it at this point. It finished at 1.013 and tastes pretty awesome. Tons of banana and funk, but in a good way.

For anyone in the Chicago area, we are doing a contest with this yeast starting in a week. Bring in 2 cans of food for the local food bank and I will give you a slant tube of the yeast to brew anything you want with, then bring the beer back to our St. Patrick's day party on 3/14 to enter it into the competition. It's not a BJCP sanctioned event, but we'll have judges on hand to evaluate the beers and we'll be giving out prizes to the winners. Thanks to everyone who suggested doing the contest, I think it is a great idea and everyone has been very responsive so far.

:tank:
 

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sorry it's taken so long to update this, it's been a crazy holiday season. I finally racked it over to secondary, and I think I'm just going to cold crash it and keg it at this point. It finished at 1.013 and tastes pretty awesome. Tons of banana and funk, but in a good way.

For anyone in the Chicago area, we are doing a contest with this yeast starting in a week. Bring in 2 cans of food for the local food bank and I will give you a slant tube of the yeast to brew anything you want with, then bring the beer back to our St. Patrick's day party on 3/14 to enter it into the competition. It's not a BJCP sanctioned event, but we'll have judges on hand to evaluate the beers and we'll be giving out prizes to the winners. Thanks to everyone who suggested doing the contest, I think it is a great idea and everyone has been very responsive so far.

:tank:
Just stumbled upon this thread. I live nearby and have been to your store, but it was a couple of years ago and I think it was different ownership/management then. I've been thinking of making something belgian soon, maybe I'll give it a shot.

Hmm...
 
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sudbuddy

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Just stumbled upon this thread. I live nearby and have been to your store, but it was a couple of years ago and I think it was different ownership/management then. I've been thinking of making something belgian soon, maybe I'll give it a shot.

Hmm...
Go for it! Beer for a cause, plus the yeast is free, what could be better?

:rockin::rockin::rockin:
 

zeccahj

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I'm nowhere nearby but love the food bank<-->yeast exchange policy and as a lifelong "it'll be a good time or a good story" embracer I love where your head's at
 

hanuswalrus

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I'll be in tomorrow with some canned foods.. also been wanting to brew something belgian. This is a great idea
 
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sudbuddy

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Just put together another 20 vials, lots of people have been picking up this yeast. For everyone subscribed, I will post an update after the competition in March. Cheers!
 
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sudbuddy

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Guys, I'm trying to come up with categories for prizes for this contest. Anyone have any ideas? BJCP styles and guidelines are kind of a no-go for this competition because of the nature of the beast. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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I think 3 categories:

1. Strong Ale to cover Imperial anything, big Belgians and anything high ABV
2. Lagers, Pale Ales & Wheat Ales to cover IPAs, PAs, session beers, Heffes, wits, etc.
3. Fruit/Sour/Hybrid/Specialty to cover pretty much anything else.

You can get 3 first place finishers from that group and do a BOS & runner up BOS if you need to give away more prizes.
 
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sudbuddy

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I think 3 categories:

1. Strong Ale to cover Imperial anything, big Belgians and anything high ABV
2. Lagers, Pale Ales & Wheat Ales to cover IPAs, PAs, session beers, Heffes, wits, etc.
3. Fruit/Sour/Hybrid/Specialty to cover pretty much anything else.

You can get 3 first place finishers from that group and do a BOS & runner up BOS if you need to give away more prizes.
I like that idea a lot, thanks! The yeast is an ale yeast though so I don't expect any lagers or sours, but I did add Strong Ale and Session Ale categories based on your suggestion. Keep em coming please!
 
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sudbuddy

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sorry for the bump, I'm really looking for advice on this.
 
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