I bought a sierra nevada bigfoot clone a few weeks ago that came with the wyeast activator. My question is, is my yeast dead. The package sat at the post office for almost two weeks unrefrigerated, would this kill them?
As the others said, smack it at least a day before brewing. Actually, since Bigfoot is a barleywine with a big OG, you're going to want to make a big starter, so smack at least a few days early.Lets say on brew day that I smack it and nothing happens, would a packet or two of nottingham do the trick or do I need something special?
This raises an interesting tangential question - how do you determine what dry yeast substitutions are most appropriate?I'm guessing that's a 1056 smack pack. If that's the case, and it does fail to activate, Safale US-05 would be a better dry yeast substitution. It's the same strain.
I'm not aware of a yeast substitution chart, although I'm sure one exists somewhere. Basically, when searching for a yeast strain substitution, just go by the type of yeast. For example, Wyeast 1056 is an American ale yeast, so if you can't use 1056 use another American ale yeast like White Labs WLP001 or Safale US-05. Here's a chart with descriptions that can be helpful when searching for substitutions. Not all liquid yeast strains have a viable dry substitution, but having a few different dry yeasts available in your fridge just in case is a good idea because having the wrong yeast strain is better then having no yeast at all.This raises an interesting tangential question - how do you determine what dry yeast substitutions are most appropriate?
I'm definitely not experienced enough yet to be able to know how particular yeasts will impact a brew. To be able to look at a Wyeast pack or White Labs tube and say "if this doesn't activate in my starter, I'll need XX-YY dry yeast as a backup" seems completely beyond me.
Is there a handy yeast database resource?
High starting gravity. I'm guessing the Bigfoot clone is pretty high, probably around 1.096. (Which is the OG of the actual Bigfoot barleywine.)what makes a beer a "big brew"?
To continue with my vocabulary lesson: What does "smack" mean; Ive heard it a lot...thanksYour yeasts are very unlikely to be totally dead after two weeks at room temp, but they might be significantly weakened. If I were you, I'd take the thing out three days before brewing and smack it, then make a starter a few hours later. Starters are always a good idea for liquid yeasts, even for Wyeast.
Hehe, I can see how that might be confusing the first time. Wyeast packs have a nutrient pouch inside that must be ruptured, by firmly striking it. Therefore they are called "smack packs." Once "smacked," the pack will start to swell as the yeast consumes the nutrient wort. This takes anywhere from a few hours to as much as a few days with older packs.To continue with my vocabulary lesson: What does "smack" mean; Ive heard it a lot...thanks