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Problem with smack pack yesterday; hope it turns out ok.

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zippyslug31

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Brewed yesterday and started by activating a Wyeast Pacman smack pack.
It sat for a few hours but only got partially "puffy". Figured the house was just a little on the cool side so I wrote it off.

When it came time to pitch I openned the pack, pitched, and then noticed one of the little clear plastic bags had not been ruptured! It did not look like yeast.... looked more like tea. Was this nutrient?

Trying to save the process, all I could think to do was cut that bag open and pitched it in, too.

It's still a little early to see any real fermentation, but any guesses on the outcome?
 

Clonefarmer

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Brewed yesterday and started by activating a Wyeast Pacman smack pack.
It sat for a few hours but only got partially "puffy". Figured the house was just a little on the cool side so I wrote it off.

When it came time to pitch I openned the pack, pitched, and then noticed one of the little clear plastic bags had not been ruptured! It did not look like yeast.... looked more like tea. Was this nutrient?

Trying to save the process, all I could think to do was cut that bag open and pitched it in, too.

It's still a little early to see any real fermentation, but any guesses on the outcome?
It will probably have a bit of lag time, but don't worry.

Tossing the nutrient in shouldn't have any noticeable effect.

Next time make a starter, it's easy and avoids issues like these.
 

Chad

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Brewed yesterday and started by activating a Wyeast Pacman smack pack.
It sat for a few hours but only got partially "puffy". Figured the house was just a little on the cool side so I wrote it off.

When it came time to pitch I openned the pack, pitched, and then noticed one of the little clear plastic bags had not been ruptured! It did not look like yeast.... looked more like tea. Was this nutrient?

Trying to save the process, all I could think to do was cut that bag open and pitched it in, too.

It's still a little early to see any real fermentation, but any guesses on the outcome?
Was there more than one inner pouch? The pouch contains the yeast nutrient that wakes the yeast up and gets them going. I've heard of there being more than one in pouches of Wyeast but I've never experienced it myself. Kind of like a double yolk egg. If the pouch puffed, then you definitely had some action. You might have partially ruptured the inner pouch or popped one of the two. Either way, your yeast seem to be alive and working. Pouring the extra nutrient into the wort can't hurt and will probably aid in a more vigorous fermentation.

Chad
 

pompeiisneaks

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I did a starter yesterday, and it puffed well, but I've ALSO followed the instructions on the wyeast smack packs to either rupture and let sit for 3 hours OR pitch immediately. I.e. it can't hurt either way, the latter just does like Clonefarmer says, it causes the yeast to take a bit longer to activate and start eating sugars. This won't hurt the beer at all, just make it take a little longer to go. I am always lazy and just smack and pitch when not doing a starter. I need a starter on this beer, its a big belgian dubbel... but not to worry. You'll be fine.
 
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zippyslug31

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...but I've ALSO followed the instructions on the wyeast smack packs to either rupture and let sit for 3 hours OR pitch immediately. ...
Yeah, I did this. I started with smacking, then allowed it to sit while I brewed. After I was done (3 or 4 hrs), I got the pack and realized that it wasn't fully swelled; just a little puffy.
 
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zippyslug31

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Was there more than one inner pouch? The pouch contains the yeast nutrient that wakes the yeast up and gets them going. I've heard of there being more than one in pouches of Wyeast but I've never experienced it myself. Kind of like a double yolk egg. If the pouch puffed, then you definitely had some action. You might have partially ruptured the inner pouch or popped one of the two. Either way, your yeast seem to be alive and working. Pouring the extra nutrient into the wort can't hurt and will probably aid in a more vigorous fermentation.

Chad
It had a twin, clear plastic package thing. Sorry, that's not a very clear description.

It basically was two distinct "chambers" but hooked together. One of them was ruptured but I don't know what was in it.... maybe the yeast or maybe some nutrient? It was the other "chamber" that was not broken open that contained the 'tea colored stuff'. Just a guess that it was nutrient.

Maybe these are packaged with the yeast slurry in the main package, and then some wort or nutrient in this twin clear arrangement?
Guess I could tear one open before smacking it, but it's probably not all that important.

I suspect I'm ok, just thinking it's a bad design since I could not feel that I failed to rupture that one thing as it was pretty slim. And believe me, I squish around the pack once the obvious pack ruptured just to make sure I had it all. Wasn't terribly impressed that I missed this one.
I plan on washing and reusing this strain so I won't have to worry about it for a long time.
 
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zippyslug31

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let sit for 3 hours OR pitch immediately
Ya know... the more I think of this, and recall you are exactly correct since I've read this on the package too, why would they have this instruction?

I understand allowing it to "start" by letting it sit for a few hours, but how can it also be viable "immediately"? Furthermore, what's the yeast doing, say, 90 mins after you smack? Does it temporarily turn into "beer destroying anti-yeasts"? ;)
Just something I've wondered.
 
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Ya know... the more I think of this, and recall you are exactly correct since I've read this on the package too, why would they have this instruction?

I understand allowing it to "start" by letting it sit for a few hours, but how can it also be viable "immediately"? Furthermore, what's the yeast doing, say, 90 mins after you smack? Does it temporarily turn into "beer destroying anti-yeasts"? ;)
Just something I've wondered.
Letting it start gives you confirmation of the viability of the yeast. If you smack it and after a few hours it hasn't swelled at all it would be an indication of dead yeast so you'd better find a different packet of yeast to use. Plus it lets the yeast multiply in the starter wort (The Smack Packs are basically mini starters) before adding to your wort thus reducing lag time as mentioned above. If you pitch it without smacking it essentially goes through the same processes it would after smacking while in the wort.


So a test. In theory, if you smacked a smack pack, and let it sit for a few weeks, could you then CAREFULLY open it and have a fermented beer? although very basic and unhopped.
 
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zippyslug31

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So a test. In theory, if you smacked a smack pack, and let it sit for a few weeks, could you then CAREFULLY open it and have a fermented beer? although very basic and unhopped.
I like it! Kinda reminds me of a military MRE. Heck, the solidiers gotta have something to go along with their 'spaghetti with meat sauce'.
 

ifishsum

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It's not a starter wort, it's medium and nutrient to jump start the yeast's metabolism and to verify viability of the culture. According to what I've read from Wyeast, letting the activator pack swell does not increase cell population in the package, it just lets you know that they're alive, and feeds them so they should take off quicker after pitching.
 
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