Quick - help!!! Is it ok to use Wyeast smack after an hour?

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MountainGoatBrewing

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Hey, guys...

I'm in the middle of a boil right now and totally forgot I was supposed to take out the yeast 3 hours ahead of time.

I just got it out with about 30 minutes to go on the boil, and I figure it will take another 30 to cool it down...will that be enough time for the yeast to incubate and come up to temperature?

And if not, what's my fix? I really don't want to have to throw this batch out...
I was thinking that I could wait until tomorrow night and see if fermentation started and then just add another batch then or the next morning...would that be ok?
 

kh54s10

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You are OK!

You should pitch a properly sized yeast starter. Look that up before your next batch.

In the mean time, The smack pack inner pack is just a nutrient. When you break it the yeast will consume some of it and off gas some co2 which will swell the pouch. This is mainly to give the yeast a bit of a head start and to assure you that the yeast is viable.

Your yeast will do the job regardless. Pitch it when ready, but be prepared to wait for a couple of days for the fermentation to get going. The yeast will increase their cell numbers to the amount required to ferment the beer then do the fermenting.

You are on track for a good beer. :mug:
 

MMJfan

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I did almost the same thing during my brewing last night but I had about 2 hours to let the smack pack swell and get to room temp.

It swelled nicely and I had bubbling on my air lock an hour after I pitched. And this morning, I had healthy bubbling going on. :rockin:
 

SledgeH

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Throw the batch out... Why would you do that? Before i got a wort chiller, I've had to let my wort cool overnight a few times (ran out of ice). There is no reason to toss a batch because you can't pitch immediately. Yes, it should be done sooner than later. But getting a starter going is a good enough reason to delay a pitch.
 

emjay

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You don't even need to smack it. It's a bit of a gimmick, really.

But I really recommend building up the yeast's health and cell count with a starter, rather than pitching directly from the packaging. It makes enough of a difference in the final product that it should be a total no-brainer.

Consider doing so in the future. There's a lot of info on this site, and if you want to really familiarize yourself with the process along with many other facts about yeast and yeast management, I strongly recommend the book "Yeast" by Chris White, the owner of White Labs. And you can find a great pitching rate calculator for making appropriately-sized starters at www.mrmalty.com
 

arnoldk2

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I typically wait 12 to 24 hrs after my wort is in the carboy before I pitch yeast. I do this to get my wort a couple of degrees below my fermenting temperature and if I'm making a lager 24 hours is enough time to let the trub settle out. I then I transfer my wort off the trub prior to pitching to get a cleaner beer.
 

homebrewdad

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Another vote for "you will be fine this time, but in the future, ALWAYS make a starter when using liquid yeast."
 

wherestheyeast

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I brewed a 2.5 gal hefe (extract only) on Friday. I smacked the pack prior to brewing & once I was ready to pitch I realized I didn't rupture the inner nutrient pack. So, I pitched the yeast and the nutrient into the carboy. It started fermenting within 12 hours & had been since.

Has yours started fermenting?
 
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MountainGoatBrewing

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not only is it fermenting, it's overflowing the airlock - according to AmandaK I should just clean and sanitize it...sounds simple enough.

I think it's time for a 6.5gal carboy and blowoff tube operation... :eek:
 

SledgeH

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You pretty much answered your own question there. Larger Primary container, which you can't do anything about right now. So a blow off tube it is!
 
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MountainGoatBrewing

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just curious as a follow up - is it possible for fermentation to be done in 3-4 days? As I mentioned, this yeast really took off at 12 hours and was going off pretty hard...but by the 4th day (possibly 3rd, I wasn't able to check) it looked to be done. I know it can still be fermenting even if the airlock's not bubbling, but since I can't see through the bucket, I have no idea if activity is going on in the wort like I've seen in glass primaries.

Should I take a gravity reading? It's been at a pretty steady 78-80º since brew night on Sunday.

Thanks!
 

arnoldk2

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Take a gravity reading. Then take another reading the next day. If both readings are the same then it is most likely done fermenting. That being said, if it is done just leave it alone for a few days. This gives the yeast a chance to clean up after itself. The result will be a cleaner tasting beer.
 

HawksBrewer

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just curious as a follow up - is it possible for fermentation to be done in 3-4 days?

It's been at a pretty steady 78-80º since brew night on Sunday.

Thanks!
If you fermented at this high of a temp w/ an ale yeast it is absolutely possible that it is done fermenting. You might also have some off-flavors from the higher ferm temp so work on controlling temps for the first week after pitching. Although in Chicago last week most a/c's couldn't keep up so a ferm chamber is the only option.
 
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MountainGoatBrewing

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If you fermented at this high of a temp w/ an ale yeast it is absolutely possible that it is done fermenting. You might also have some off-flavors from the higher ferm temp so work on controlling temps for the first week after pitching. Although in Chicago last week most a/c's couldn't keep up so a ferm chamber is the only option.
Well, I've heard/read that this particular yeast likes higher temps, and can get stuck at lower temps, only to finish when you jack it up to 85 or so...even the guy at the LHBS told me that. Seems kind of crazy, as it goes against all the other suggested ranges (65-72-ish), but I don't really know enough about yeast to question it. :/
 

HawksBrewer

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What was yeast strain that you used out of curiosity? Was it one of the Saison strains?
 

ICWiener

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The guy at your LHBS was right. 3724 can easily handle those temps, and actually seems to get sluggish under 80 degrees. I just bottled a saison last weekend that fermented out with 3724. It took more than 2 months to go from 1.066 to 1.010. It was in a dedicated ferm. chamber for the first month at about 85, but I had to move it out to make room....that's when it slowed waaaay down. Over the last several weeks sitting at ambient (76-80 during the day) the gravity only dropped about 4 points.

Just be ready to ride it out if you want it to finish dry.
 
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MountainGoatBrewing

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cool, man - thanks for the info.

Do you think it would be ok to leave it in the primary for that long? I really want to strain out the lemongrass and ginger and get some simcoe in there as well...
 

ICWiener

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Do you think it would be ok to leave it in the primary for that long?
Absolutely. Even if you did have autolysis issues, which you won't, the esters and phenols and crazy flavors in the saison are going to dominate the flavor of the beer.
 
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