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Cannot find nutrient pack on Wyeast 1056

I cannot find the nutrient pack in the pack of Wyeast 1056. I can hear something moving inside but when I try to locate the inner pack inside the package I don’t find anything.

Any advice?

This is my first attempt at home brewing and this has become a pretty frustrating situation. :oops:

If you really, really can’t find it then it’s fine to make a starter from a non-smacked pack.
Whether it’s advisable to pitch it directly will depend on what beer you’re making. (What’s the OG?)

Thanks for the reply!

I’m making the Dead Ringer Ale from the kit and the package says the OG is 1.064.

What exactly do I need to do a starter? I assume by “pitch it directly” you mean just dump it in the fermenter. What other ways are there to do it?

Congrats on a good kit choice. My batch became ready for drinking last week and it’s very good. I’m going to apologize in advance for all the info and opinions I’m about to drop but you’ve selected a kit and yeast that do better with some intermediate skills not all first-timers have to deal with.

The nutrient pack feels like a ketchup pack inside the bigger pouch. I find it and center it on the edge of my kitchen counter. A moderate press with this method will usually pop it without the horror stories I’ve seen lately of some people popping the whole darn pouch. Yuck!

With a liquid yeast, either the Wyeast smack pack or a White Labs vial, it’s highly advised (required for the vial) to do a starter to build up the number of yeasties. This becomes more important with OGs above 1.055 or so.

A starter is just a mini-beer made with (generally) 1-2L of ~1.040 OG wort. You boil up a small batch of wort, pitch the yeast and let it ferment for a day or two. This can double or even triple the yeast count. See here (http://yeastcalc.com/) for a pitching calculator. When it’s done you can either dump the whole thing or put it in the fridge for a day or two to try and decant some of the unwanted beer off the top. I usually keep a pound of DME on hand for these.

All that being said, if you can’t find the activator you’ll probably be just fine dumping it into your fermenter after you’ve cooled the wort and added your top-up water. Try to get the wort in the 65F range or so. This being your first batch we’re going to tell you to relax, don’t worry and have a craft brew (since you don’t have any homebrews yet). There are many worse things than pitching a sub-optimal amount of yeast.

[quote=“enginir”]
With a liquid yeast, either the Wyeast smack pack or a White Labs vial, it’s highly advised (required for the vial) to do a starter to build up the number of yeasties. This becomes more important with OGs above 1.055 or so.

The cell count of White Lab’s vial is similar the Wyeast pouch. Only difference is the inflating pouch shows they are alive. Either product could be pitched directly to 5 gallons of wort with out making a starter. Or activating the nutrient pouch like you mention in the next paragraph.

All that being said, if you can’t find the activator you’ll probably be just fine dumping it into your fermenter after you’ve cooled the wort and added your top-up water. Try to get the wort in the 65F range or so. This being your first batch we’re going to tell you to relax, don’t worry and have a craft brew (since you don’t have any homebrews yet). There are many worse things than pitching a sub-optimal amount of yeast.[/quote]

Again, thanks for the very informative reply. :slight_smile: I didn’t realize that I chose a more difficult brew kit so I guess I will just have to do my best with this one and find an easier one for my second batch.

If you have a home brew supply location close by, you could just buy a second pack of yeast. That would do it.

There’s no reason to back down now! You’re on the accelerated learning track.
Just be careful with sanitation and not aerating when you siphon or transfer the finished beer and you’ll get there. I’m 13 batches in and am still learning and trying new techniques to improve and limit some of the off flavors I’m apparently cursed with a low taste threshold for. The IPA is either pretty good as masking them or my latest batch is actually better because I can’t find fault with it :slight_smile:

Also, when you get to the dry hopping stage, consider using a bag of some type to contain the pellets. It’ll make for slightly easier siphoning and clearer beer in the end if you have less debris at the bottom. Leave plenty of room for the pellets to expand.

We’re here for you, let us know if you have any other questions.

The kit isn’t any more difficult one to make than any other one.

Wyeast
http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_productdetail.cfm?ProductID=16
says that a pouch has enough yeast for a 1.034-1.060 strength wort and meet professional pitching rates. That’s a pretty big spread in sugar concentration. A number used often is anything above 1.040 should have a starter.

You could use dry yeast, which have a higher cell count. But then you are limited to the selection. US-05 is very close to 1056.

Don’t fret about this to much. I know some guys that never make a starter and they make great beers.

In reality, this beer will be one the be best thing you have tasted even with out a starter. Just keep the fermentation temps in the low-mid 60’s. See my signature line for ideas.

If this is your first one, diving into the whole world of yeast starters may add just that much more complexity then you need right now.

I agree with the posts above. either

  1. Most likely you are ok with the one pack
    BUT
  2. To be safe, if you have a nearby home brew shop, easiest solution is just by a second yeast pack

in regards to your initial question of finding the nutrient pack - I have done 30 + batches and for some reason I never seem to be able to locate exactly where the nutrient pack is. I just try to shake the thing so that it ends up down in a corner then smack it. I will admit I end up hitting it in multiple places on the pack a bunch of times (all still not that hard) and have not had a split foil thing yet. seems to work - you will know in 2-3 hours if you got it

It is not always easy to find but I have always found it. I always worry I didn’t break the nutrient pack, or I am going to damage the yeast from smashing it 3-5 times between my hand and the counter. In the end I have never popped a pack & it always swells in the 2-3 hour time frame.

I did end up finding the packet. It was much larger than I was expecting and I think that threw me off.

I put everything together and in the fermenter on May 30 and I am getting some activity but not a ton. The air lock bubbles apx once every 3-4 seconds. Is this normal or should I be seeing more activity?

The yeast was from December 2012 and I obviously did not do a starter as I had no clue what a starter was when I was ready to go so I just want to make sure everything is ok with the beer. I did smack the pack about 18 hrs before brewing which I probably game the yeast some time to get healthier I think.

I am pretty confused as to what temperature I should be pitching at. The instructions that came with the kit say 78 deg or lower but everything I keep reading says anything in the 70s is way too hot. Then again NB came up with the kit so you would think that they would know…

At what temperature should I be transferring the wort to the carboy? The procedure with the kit says 100 deg but that doesn’t seem right as it left me waiting for about 45 minutes for the wort to get to even 80 deg before I decided to just go ahead and pitch the yeast.

When fermentation temp are warm/hot, off flavors can/will form. Alcohol and estery/fruity flavors. http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

It’s best to pitch at/below the temp you want it to ferment at. It’s difficult to bring the temp down after fermentation has started. As fermentation generates heat.

I’m guessing your are doing partial boils and adding water to the fermenter? If so, plan ahead the night before and put some water in the fridge so you have cold water, instead of tap water, to add. Helping get the temps down. Also, make some blocks of ice to put in the boil pot to chill it down faster. If you are fermenting in a pail, you can add the ice to the pail.

A good temp to keep off flavors at bay is the mid 60’s. See my signature line for ideas to help maintain cooler temps.

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