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Wyeast Liquid Activator: Did I use it right??

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WiscoKyle

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So I used a Wyeast liquid activator, and I smacked the pack and everything as the instructions said. I noticed that the packet had broke and I poured it into my wort about 3 hours later, no problems there. 9 days later as I am bottling, I notice that the activator is actually 2 PACKS attached to each other and I had only broken one of them. One was still completely intact with the brownish liquid in it...so I start to wonder whether my beer received a healthy amount of yeast during fermentation...then I wonder...

Is my beer screwed?!
 

SkewedBrewing

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RDWHAHB...

Your beer is fine, from what I'm reading you put two smack packs in? If so then that can't hurt at all, its just more yeast added to the mix.

If you're saying that you only used one then you're still fine. If it tastes like beer and there are signs of fermentation (krausen, trub, etc.) then everything is fine.

FWIW, though, I would have waited longer than 9 days to bottle...
 

llazy_llama

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Your beer is fine, from what I'm reading you put two smack packs in?
Negative. The Wyeast smack packs are two packages in one. One is the yeast (I think that's the smaller inner pack) and one is nutrient. If I'm understanding correctly, the inner packet of yeast is now floating around unopened in the wort. You know what wort without yeast turns into over time? Wort.

I don't know if that inner pack will dissolve over time or not. IMHO, I wouldn't take the risk. I would just pitch another packet of yeast.
 

obezyana1

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I wouldn't say your beer is screwed and you shouldn't need to pitch more yeast. Basically the way Wyeast packs are set up is they have a little packet of wort (the thing that pops when you put pressure on the outside package), which is what you are supposed to try and get to a corner of the pack and pop. The yeast is actually in the outside part (the main pack itself). If you don't pop the inside wort bag then you basically pitched 100 million yeast cells that were dormant. It's not optimal, since you should pitch about twice that amount for 5 gallons, but it just means the yeast will take a little longer to get started. The two main things about the smack pack are to get a larger yeast culture and to test for viability. You can easily check to see if the yeast are doing or did there job by checking the final gravity using a hydrometer. If it's where it should be or near where it should be then the yeast did their job.

Hopefully this makes sense. You can also check out this page Wyeast Activator and get a little more info.
 

llazy_llama

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After reading obezyana1's post, I retract my previous post. I've never really tinkered with Wyeast smack packs, but the link he listed does say that the yeast is on the outside and the nutrient is within the inner pack.

That being the case, you should be fine as is. Give it some time, RDWHACBWYW (Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Commercial Beer While You Wait) and you should be okay in the end. Granted, the beer you made probably won't take 1st place in a major competition, but it will be drinkable. Assuming that your recipe was a good one, it should also come out pretty tasty.

Next time, you'll know to be more careful. Lesson learned. :mug:
 

Boondoggie

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My last brew I failed to break the inner packet altogether....

Pack swelled a tiny bit from just being at room temp. Pitched anyway. Vigorous fermentation within 12 hours. It was a very fresh pack though.
 

fastricky

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I was surprised by the double packs too! Out of curiousity I ripped one open after pitching.

I'm not sure what the difference is between the 2 - I assume they both contain nutrient. I had a similar situation happen where one popped and the 2nd one didn't quite as much and everything turned out fine.

However, I don't get the whole 'smack' thing... I find I need to lay the pack down on the counter, corner the inside pack and punch it (usually a few times!)
 

obezyana1

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I was surprised by the double packs too! Out of curiousity I ripped one open after pitching.

I'm not sure what the difference is between the 2 - I assume they both contain nutrient. I had a similar situation happen where one popped and the 2nd one didn't quite as much and everything turned out fine.

However, I don't get the whole 'smack' thing... I find I need to lay the pack down on the counter, corner the inside pack and punch it (usually a few times!)
That's why "smack" is a bad word to use, but Smack Pack sounds much better than Squish Pack, or Put Lots of Pressure on it Pack, or Punch Pack (actually I kinda like this one).
 

SkewedBrewing

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I'm understanding what he was saying now. I still stand by my first statement of:
If it tastes like beer and there are signs of fermentation (krausen, trub, etc.) then everything is fine.

FWIW, though, I would have waited longer than 9 days to bottle...
That's whats important at this point...
 
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WiscoKyle

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Thanks for all the responses! I feel a lot less nervous now about my beer.

However, in response to SkewedAle's comment regarding my fermentation time, I admit, I am very new to brewing and have always simply heard "ferment for 7-10 days" but not much beyond that. What are the advantages/disadvantages to waiting longer before bottling?

I do know of secondary fermentation, but considering I don't have access to a different temperatures, I don't know whether fermenting a second time at the same temperature would make much of a difference. Any thoughts?

WiscoKyle
 

SkewedBrewing

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Thanks for all the responses! I feel a lot less nervous now about my beer.

I do know of secondary fermentation, but considering I don't have access to a different temperatures, I don't know whether fermenting a second time at the same temperature would make much of a difference. Any thoughts?

WiscoKyle
A secondary fermentation makes a world of difference. The secondary is for clearing out the beer and letting everything settle out as well as other reasons.

There are plenty of advantages to a longer primary and utilizing a secondary fermentation. A quick search on here will give you all the answers you are looking for...
 

D-Ring

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That's why "smack" is a bad word to use, but Smack Pack sounds much better than Squish Pack, or Put Lots of Pressure on it Pack, or Punch Pack (actually I kinda like this one).
The last one I used was more like the beat the hell out of the little SOB and it still won't break pack. :drunk:
 
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