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Smack pack issues?

Hi all,

I spent today brewing up the La Petite Orange extract kit (OG: 1.052). Took the liquid yeast package out of the fridge and smacked it around 6 hours ago, and have not seen any inflation since then. Keeping in mind this is my third brew and the first time I’ve used liquid yeast, I’m wondering what is the appropriate next step?

Using Mr. Malty, it appears that, with a manufacturing date of July 24, the yeast packet might not be in its best possible state. And, after doing some research on here, it also appears that 1) I should make a yeast starter in this situation and 2) next time I’m using liquid yeast, just plan on making a starter anyway.

Sorry, I’m not being clear in my question(s). Here goes:

-It appears I should use this package to go ahead and make a yeast starter tomorrow morning (I have never done this, so I don’t know how long it takes or the steps involved). Does that seem to be the right move?

-My wort is chilling right now swamp-cooler style (I’m stunned at how low I’ve gotten my previous brew with a half-effort swamp chiller setup), but how long can I let that sit before pitching?

Hope those questions make sense. I may not know enough yet to ask totally clear questions. All guidance is appreciated.

(Happier note, popped open the first bottle of my first brew today, a saison. It was…not awesome, but it needs much more bottle time and there is still nothing like tasting something you’ve made yourself. Despite the odd flavors, which I figure will clear with time, I was still very pleased.)

Thank you very much!


Do you have some DME to make a starter?

If not, pull 1 quart of the beer out of your fermenter and put it in a 1/2 gallon container. A Ocean Spray juice jug would work fine. Add you yeast to this. Give it a shake/swirl when ever you pass by it. Hopefully you see activity tomorrow or Monday. If not, get a new pack of yeast.

After you put the yeast in the jug, check to make sure you broke the inner pouch. If not, open it and add to the starter.

Edit: I do not have DME, but some LME. Appears that might work fine with a slight change in proportions. I’ll head down that rabbit hole now; otherwise, I’ll go with your method. Thank you for the help!

Alright, took the LME and made some wort last night. Came out to 1.049, so I added some water and got it down to 1.040. Dropped the yeast in, let it sit over night, and shook the hell out of out it once every 30-45 minutes today. Pitched about an hour ago; looks like I got a good bit of yeast of out it. Picture attached.

Nighthawk, sorry, wasn’t ignoring your advice–I leave town for a few days tomorrow and didn’t think letting the wort sit long enough for me to get back and get a replacement yeast pack would be a good idea.

Thank you!

No problem JM. The forum is about bouncing ideas off other people. Someone post something. You can’t do that but have an idea that is very similar. Different paths to the same destination.

Did you get a krausen with your starter? If not, the yeast may still be “waking up”. Or dead, unlikely.

When you return home you should have clear signs of fermentation.

Sense you are leaving, I do suggest putting a blow off hose on the fermenter. Don’t want to come home to a mess.

Thanks! Yeah, don’t want folks to think they’re wasting time throwing advice my way.

In any case, no krausen. But, I was encouraged by two things, both rather anecdotal: 1) the wort had more haze when I got up fairly early today than it did later and 2) the volume of the yeast appeared to increase over time.

Of course, both of these things could be observed simply because it’s what I was hoping for, but either way, I’m optimistic.

I had thought about a blow off tube, but hadn’t done it. Considering your suggestion, I’ll put one on there tonight.

And otherwise, I will leave it alone. Will post later how it went. Thanks again!

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