Yeast activation times

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Rivercat96

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I bought a extract kit from Northern Brewer which included a Wyeast activator pack (smack pack) London 1028. I actually activated the package a week ago and had some things come up so I didn't actually use the yeast until last night. I didn't see any activity in my fermenter this morning so I was a little concerned that the yeast may have died or something due to the long wait. The pack inflated within 8 hours after I activated it last week. What's the longest someone should wait to use the Wyeast activator packs after they've expanded? If I don't see any activity in the next day I'm going to add some dry ale yeast.
 
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Rivercat96

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Nope, just left the pack on my counter after I activated it. Making a starter would have been a good idea. I need to read up on how to do that.
 

malkore

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Hell I'd wait at least 48 hours before doing anything. This time of year the yeast should be ok at room temp, but you lost some due to starvation, and the rest went back to sleep.

+1 for starters, especially in these situations.
 

RichBrewer

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If it ever happens again that you activate a Wyeast packet and can't brew for awhile, refrigerate the pack and then make a starter for it a day or two before you actually brew. You will just about be guaranteed a good fermentation.
 
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Rivercat96

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I'm happy to report that I noticed some activity this morning in the fermenter. There is the normal bubbling of the wort and the airlock is going crazy. I guess there were a few yeast left swimming around in the pack after all. Thanks for the ideas on creating a yeast starter if a similar situation happens again. I wonder if there will be some off flavors since I'm sure some of the yeast died and may have started feeding on themselves?
 
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Rivercat96

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It was a nut brown ale that I added a pound of clover honey to, OG was 1048. I'm gonna wait my usual 3 weeks in the primary so I think that should give it enough time to ferment.
 

david_42

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I've had several conversations about yeast viability with people from Wyeast and 2-3 weeks post-smack isn't a problem. It just takes a while for the cells to switch metabolic modes, from clean up to growth then fermentation.
 
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Rivercat96

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david_42, that's interesting to hear the smack packs being viable for 2 or 3 weeks. I figured waiting a week would be alright but when I didn't see any activity within 24 hours I was having second thoughts. That old dog brown beer in your beer section sounds pretty interesting, one of my favorites is down town brown, wonder if they're similar. Have a good one brewers.
 
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