Quantcast

smack pack

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

madegret

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Hattiesburg, MS
Little advise please guys,

Just got home, bunch to do, but dying to get a whit started to be ready for my next beer club meeting. I can probably find the time to brew tonight but this is a first smack pack for me.

I pulled it out of the fridge 30 minutes ago and need to know if I should wait until room temperature before activating and if that is stupid because I'll be up until midnight waiting for it to be ready?

I know someone is going to respond quickly - please be detailed with me (being a noob and all).
 

beersydoesit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Messages
330
Reaction score
6
Location
Madison, Wi
Yes you can smack and pitch. Waiting will confirm the yeast is active but it isn't necessary.

I'm hoping you have an Activator and not a Propogator pack.
You will get a lot of posts with good advice about making a starter.
But in a pinch the Activator will be okay.
 

ifishsum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
1,447
Reaction score
9
Location
Portland OR
You should smack it right after removing it from the fridge, because the main package will swell a bit as it warms up - making it easier to accidentally rupture the whole thing instead of just the inner package. I'd put it back in for 10 minutes or so so it's a little flatter before smacking. It's usually fully swelled within 3 hours or so at room temp.
 

Tech211

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
140
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
I'm sure it would work, but it wouldn't be optimal. I make a starter for all liquid yeast.

Why rush it though? My view is that rushed brews are likely to go badly.
 

dhoyt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
55
Reaction score
3
Location
Raleigh
Is it always best to make a starter if you can?
 

beersydoesit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Messages
330
Reaction score
6
Location
Madison, Wi
As a rule, I would say yes, but:
If it is a low gravity beer, <1.06, and the yeast is fresh and you are confident it was well handled (i.e. shipped properly) I have used the Activator pack successfully w/o a starter.

Wyeast will say the same thing.

Also if you are new, feeling overwhelmed, and are afraid you'll contaminate a starter and the above is true it might be better to make one next time.

In all other conditions a starter is pretty much needed.
 

syd138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
538
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
smack it right now.. let it sit out though for 2-3 hours before you pitch.
 

ifishsum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
1,447
Reaction score
9
Location
Portland OR
Is it always best to make a starter if you can?
With liquid yeast yes - it's always best practice. Even a 24 hour 1 pint starter will increase your cell count substantially (with good aeration), which means your beer will start fermenting quicker and often acheive more complete attenuation. You're just giving it more chances to succeed.

When it comes to lagers and higher gravity (1.065+) beers a starter is more of a necessity to get the desired result, unless you pitch multiple packets/vials.
 
OP
M

madegret

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Hattiesburg, MS
Thanks guys!

I smacked and pitched 2.75 hours later. A bit slow to start but I saw a small amount of activity at 6am this morning (9.5 hours later).
 

Dextersmom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
429
Reaction score
13
Location
New Haven, CT
off topic, but related (if thats possible). Smacked my Activator roughly 3 hours before pitching. Usually when I do this fermentation is visible by the next morning. This time I see no signs of anything. Hasn't been 24 hours yet let alone 36 so I'm not gonna freak yet, but I've just never had this happen with a smack pack. Anyone else experience this?

I don't think I'll be using Activators anymore. My last batch I did with a starter and had visible fermentation within a couple hours of pitching.
 

danorocks17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
932
Reaction score
37
Location
Indianapolis
off topic, but related (if thats possible). Smacked my Activator roughly 3 hours before pitching. Usually when I do this fermentation is visible by the next morning. This time I see no signs of anything. Hasn't been 24 hours yet let alone 36 so I'm not gonna freak yet, but I've just never had this happen with a smack pack. Anyone else experience this?

I don't think I'll be using Activators anymore. My last batch I did with a starter and had visible fermentation within a couple hours of pitching.
This exact same thing happened to me on saturday/sunday. I pitched around 4:30 pm on saturday, then sunday morning i didn't see anything. Sunday night it really started bubbling and now it's been at it like crazy for over three days. So I wouldnt worry.
 

Dextersmom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
429
Reaction score
13
Location
New Haven, CT
cool thanks for the reassurance. its weird some smack packs have expanded as the yeast starts working (between smacking and pitching) and some haven't seemed to do anything, but i've always had visible signs of fermentation within 12 hours. I haven't had a lag time like this since my first batch which I did with a dry packet of safale.
 

ArcaneXor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
130
It depends on the yeast strain and its viability. If most of the yeast are dead, it'll take them days to produce enough CO2 to make the packet swell.

Lag time also depends on how many yeast cells you have relative to how much sugar is in the wort, as well as how much oxygen is in the wort.
 
Top