Yet another Yeast question but with bonus!

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GreenDragon

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Background: The very first batch I ever brewed I used a slap pack yeast on and had to re-pitch due to zero activity going on. I repitched with dry yeast that I primed. Now I'm fairly gun shy of slap packs.

Are there any REAL advantages to using a slap pack over dry yeast? I'm in Wichita, KS and everything has to be shipped in here, but we're not too far from major cities (KC and OKC are both about 2.5 hours away). I think my LHBS gets fairly fresh slap packs in but I didn't check the date on the one I did.

One advantage, at least here in Wichita, is the selection. They carry a huge selection of dry yeast, but only about half of a sliding-glass door refrigerator worth of slap packs.

One possible advantage to slap packs is I've heard that slap packs are less "explosive"?? The dry yeast I used on the batch I have bottle conditioning right now shot krosen out the airlock and some krosen even made it 5ft or more from my carboy.

Next batch I'm going to try to increase the alcohol content a bit by aerating for 30 mins right after I pitch. If dry yeast is that explosive just off a normal pitch I can't imagine what it would do with an aerated batch.

While I'm asking questions. I have the fermentation temps down and understand them (65-72F BEER temp) but I could have swore I read multiple places that bottle conditioning should happen at 75-80F. Am I crazy?
 

unionrdr

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Well,they say bottle conditioning has to be at at least 18C (about 67F). I keep mine at about 70-72F in a cardboard case taped shut. Keeps the light off it,& I think,helps slow down temp variations a little bit,anyway. I'll know on 3/13 how right I was.
 

wonderbread23

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Smack packs aren't less 'explosive'. The do however contain less yeast than a dry pack which means comparing them on a one-to-one basis isn't really accurate. If you pitched two smack packs to one dry pack, then you might be able to compare fermentations. It is also highly strain dependent; some go nuts, some are fairly restrained.

Aerating won't increase alcohol. It might do this in a round about way by improving your attenuation, but in order to increase your final alcohol, you must increase the potential alcohol in the wort, ie - more sugar fermentables.

I prefer liquid yeast namely because I can source a wider variety of strains. Note however that I always build a starter with it, and tend to pay close attention to O2 levels, nutrients, fermentation temps, and pitching rates.
 
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I wouldn't say dry yeast is "more explosive" than smack packs or liquid yeast, but some strains of yeast are more "active" than others. The benefit of a smack pack over dry yeast is being able to proof the yeast. Smack it at the beginning of the brew day after warming it up. By pitching time it should be swelling. This means it's working on the little bit of starter wort and nutrients that are in there.

Your comment about increasing alcohol content by adding more oxygen is just incorrect. The alcohol content is determined by the gravity of the wort, amount of fermentables in the wort and the yeast strain you choose. Now sure you will have less alcohol if you don't aerate your wort, but that's because you're not providing good enough conditions for proper fermentation.

If you are unhappy with your attenuation (amount of fermentation) then look into aerating better and look at making a yeast starter to pitch the right amount of yeast.
 

whatsleftofyou

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Regarding selection, my experience has been the exact opposite. I use S-04 and S-05 all of the time, but the fact is that there are MANY more different liquid yeasts than dry. I'm sure that your LHBS carries more dry because it doesn't expire as quickly.
 
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