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Wyeast smack packs

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HomeBrewMatt

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Sorry I havent gotten the chance too introduce myself but im having a slight problem with my Wyeast smack pack and could use some help. Ive used the Wyeast products before but never expierenced a problem. The problem that im having is that the pack hasnt expanded yet and its been close to 12 hours. I made sure the pack was at 70 degrees before activating and usually ill see the pack expand within 8 hours. The pack has expanded slighty but not what I think is normal. The date of the pack is good im curious if anyone has had the same problem?

Your help is greatly appreicated!

Thanks,

Matt :confused:
 

bikebryan

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HomeBrewMatt said:
Sorry I havent gotten the chance too introduce myself but im having a slight problem with my Wyeast smack pack and could use some help. Ive used the Wyeast products before but never expierenced a problem. The problem that im having is that the pack hasnt expanded yet and its been close to 12 hours. I made sure the pack was at 70 degrees before activating and usually ill see the pack expand within 8 hours. The pack has expanded slighty but not what I think is normal. The date of the pack is good im curious if anyone has had the same problem?

Your help is greatly appreicated!

Thanks,

Matt :confused:
If you are talking about the 175 ml XL starter packs, the packaging mentions that you don't have to see the pack swelling, and just because it isn't swelling doesn't mean it won't work. Just as a side, are your sure you hit it correctly and hard enough the break the inside pack?
 

SwAMi75

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The very first batch I brewed, the internal pack didn't burst, so naturally it didn't start at all. I didn't discover this until time to pitch, so all I did was cut the pack open, mixed it with the starter, and pitched it. Worked just fine!
 

D-brewmeister

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Sam75 said:
The very first batch I brewed, the internal pack didn't burst, so naturally it didn't start at all. I didn't discover this until time to pitch, so all I did was cut the pack open, mixed it with the starter, and pitched it. Worked just fine!
Yeah, getting that little internal pouch to rupture is sorta tricky sometimes. When in doubt, just pitch the contents of the smack pack into a starter of some sort, to feed those yeast and give them a chance to get going. That is all that the activator does anyway.
 
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HomeBrewMatt

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Thanks for the help. I think it just took some extra time for the pack to swell ive never had that problem before but I read in my recipe book that shipping conditions can cause lag time for activation. I finished my wort last night and added my yeast just now, hopefully all will turn out well. Im currently making an Imperial Stout :) My last batch came out amazing not to brag hehehe I made a Irish Red and everyone loved it im planning on making it again soon.
 

OBX

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HomeBrewMatt said:
Sorry I havent gotten the chance too introduce myself but im having a slight problem with my Wyeast smack pack and could use some help. Ive used the Wyeast products before but never expierenced a problem. The problem that im having is that the pack hasnt expanded yet and its been close to 12 hours. I made sure the pack was at 70 degrees before activating and usually ill see the pack expand within 8 hours. The pack has expanded slighty but not what I think is normal. The date of the pack is good im curious if anyone has had the same problem?

Your help is greatly appreicated!

Thanks,

Matt :confused:

I just started my 1st Smack Pack from Wyeast today. It was a little difficult to find the internal packet not to mention popping it. Once you do it is easy to tell the yeast is working because you can easliy hear it if you put the pack up to your ear. It sounds a little like a bowl of cereal in milk popping and snapping.
 
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I had trouble finding the packet inside also. I never did get it to burst. If I tried anything more than I did, I'm afraid the whole thing would have burst open. I ended up making a starter from it and just opening the inner pack and dumping the contents into the starter. I'm not impressed with the 'smack pack' concept. Starters will be just fine for me.
 

OBX

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
I had trouble finding the packet inside also. I never did get it to burst. If I tried anything more than I did, I'm afraid the whole thing would have burst open. I ended up making a starter from it and just opening the inner pack and dumping the contents into the starter. I'm not impressed with the 'smack pack' concept. Starters will be just fine for me.
After trying the hand slap I finally got the wife's poultry mallet out. After cornering the inner packet I whacked it 3-5 times, on the counter, before giving it a really good whack. That must have worked. It swelled up in 2 hrs really well. It isn't as easy as the instructions say.
 

bikebryan

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I've never had any trouble with the smack packs. I lay it flat on the counter and smack it hard with a flat, rigid hand, basically hitting the entire surface of it. The inner pack doesn't have anywhere to go and has to burst open.
 

Buddhabuddha

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Funny you posted this thread.....
were you by chance using # 1098?? I just brewed a batch of "Brown Ale" on Saturday and had the same "non-swelling problem".... but I had read on here before that they don't necessarily need to swell So no biggie (and I had actually smacked it right, it just didn't go) But alas, by sunday morning it was bubbling along quite nicely.. and was going even stronger this morning. i was talking to a friend on sunday, he then said OOohh... you used 1098?? Everyone I know who has used it has been dissappointed.. and he suggested using the wyeast "london Ale" instead next time... SO, we will see how this batch turns out. His warning was the with 1098 the attenuation is poor... has anyone else experienced this?

Other than this though, i usually have no problem at all with the wyeast smack packs.

Anywhooo! Hurray for Beer!
 

attym

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I got one of these yesterday...i was expecting a vial, but I'm open to giving this a try, sound interesting...

My question:

I'm planning to brew Friday around 2:45 (Summer hours on friday!) Should I take my smack pack out of the fridge before I leave the house at 7:15am? If I am to take it out, should I "smack" it before i go? Should i just wait until I get home, take it out and smack it at room temp?


I like the vials!
 

brewhead

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i've really never had a problem breaking the inner pouch yet at least. in fact the last one i smacked - i apparently worked that poor lil pouch over pretty hard... 'cause when i cut the outer pouch open to pitch the inner pouch was ripped in two pieces...
 

Toilet Rocker

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Are the smacks any better than WL? I can't locate them near me and would have to mail order...is it worth the extra effort or are the vials just as good?

Thanks.
 

cbotrice

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I used my first wyeast smack pack last nite. I chased that little thing around in the pack for a couple of minutes before I cornered it and just pressed it with my thumb and felt it go. The pack puffed up in 2 hours and then I proceeded to kill the yeast in too warm a wort, think thermometer was off and I was in high 80's vs high 70's. Will get another today and pitch it tonite. MPW
 

andre the giant

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If you pitched into wort that was in the high 80's your yeast shouldn't be dead. they may have been shocked a bit by the high temps, but they should snap out of it and start cranking away. Having another packet of yeast on hand isn't a bad idea, but I don't think you'll need it for this batch.
 

cbotrice

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Thanks Andre, I came home early to run the HBS and took a look before I left, I have a light white cream on top and the airlock is ticking over like a race car idling, chuck, chuck, chuck every 10 or so seconds, it is quite cool in the basement right now so I think fermentation is being retarded a wee bit.
MPW
 

TheCheatOSX

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I used my first "smack pack" (1084 for some oatmeal stout) this morning and now I'm a little worried. I didn't have any trouble popping the inner bag, it fizzed right up and was nice and big after 12 hours. But before I pitched it I sanitized the package per directions. Stupid me had the hot water running in the sink and rinsed the pac off in it for a split second before I realized what I was doing. I checked the wort tonight, about 10 hours after the pitch and don't see any activity or airlock action... Am I just impatient or did I kill my yeast? I also had a nice boil over, but that's another story...

Thanks for the advice, it's been about 5 years since I brewed any beer...

-TheCheat
 

Dude

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TheCheatOSX said:
I used my first "smack pack" (1084 for some oatmeal stout) this morning and now I'm a little worried. I didn't have any trouble popping the inner bag, it fizzed right up and was nice and big after 12 hours. But before I pitched it I sanitized the package per directions. Stupid me had the hot water running in the sink and rinsed the pac off in it for a split second before I realized what I was doing. I checked the wort tonight, about 10 hours after the pitch and don't see any activity or airlock action... Am I just impatient or did I kill my yeast? I also had a nice boil over, but that's another story...

Thanks for the advice, it's been about 5 years since I brewed any beer...

-TheCheat

Cheat...if you don't see any activity in 24 hours, repitch. 10 hours is no need to worry...yet.... :)
 

TheCheatOSX

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No worries! Lots of bubbles this morning!

Thumbs up for the Smack Pack.

-TheCheat
 

brewhead

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just some more notes from the smack pack users. all the above are good advice...in my recent experience here's hgow the schedule went:

friday 11:00 PM smacked pack
sat 7:00AM Pack visibly plump though not "fully expanded"
sat 11:00 AM pitched yeast
sun 1:09 PM bubbles starting to be more frequent - signs of ferm starting to be visible such as krausen.

i asked on another board what was the longest lag time ever experienced. i think 40 hours was the max.

i usually brew on sat - my thinking that if by monday i see no signs of ferm then i can always drop by the hbs and get some more yeast, or use some that i have on hand that i have collected.

i always get kind of anxious even after many brews - that's my nature. but to date of all the many brews i've done i have yet to have a wyeast smack pack fail to produce.
 
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