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Swollen smack pack right out of package

Good afternoon all:

UPS just dropped off my package of a NB Denny’s Wry Smile Rye IPA. Everything was ok until I opened the envelope with my yeast. It’s the Wyeast 1450 Denny’s Favorite 50 strain. The smack pack is already swollen. This is the first time that I ordered a smack pack. It was packaged on July 9, 2012. I called NB and they said this strain has a tendency to retain CO2 and it will come out of solution in transit. They said it should be fine. It’s in my fridge now.

Has anyone seen or heard of this. I plan on making my starter on Friday for a Sunday brew. I’m fairly certain that my LBHS doesn’t carry the 1450, so I hope it’s ok. Thanks for any help.

99.9% chance that you are ok, but why not make a starter today to be 100% sure.

Also, you may not of heard of this before, but it happens all the time. If you did a search with the right key words, you would find 1200 people with the same question about inflated smack packs.

It’s fine…I get those all the time. I’d advise you to make your starter at least 4-5 days ahead if you’re using a stir plate and 5-7 days if you’re not.

Thanks guys, I was just a little worried. We plan on brewing Sunday. I was going to start the starter on Friday. Should I start it sooner? Can I refrgierate it until I need it if I complete the starter early? Thanks again.

Yep. I make 2-3 qt. starters. I let them ferment out fully, then refrigerate them to drop out the yeast. That way I can decant the spent wort, keeping it out of my beer, and pitch only the slurry from the yeast.

Yep. I make 2-3 qt. starters. I let them ferment out fully, then refrigerate them to drop out the yeast. That way I can decant the spent wort, keeping it out of my beer, and pitch only the slurry from the yeast.[/quote]

Thanks Denny. I think I’ll do a two stage propagation and then pop in the fridge. The smack pack is strange. I can hear the inner packet inside the smack pack, but I can’t trap it to pop it. Once I cool the wort and pitch the yeast into the starter, can I cut open the inner pouch and pitch that too as an added boost?

[quote=“StarsBars Brewing”]Once I cool the wort and pitch the yeast into the starter, can I cut open the inner pouch and pitch that too as an added boost?[/quote]You can, but it’s not really going to have an impact compared to the volume of wort (it’s just wort and nutrients anyway, only there to show you that the yeast is active, not to do anything special for the yeast).

Yep. I make 2-3 qt. starters. I let them ferment out fully, then refrigerate them to drop out the yeast. That way I can decant the spent wort, keeping it out of my beer, and pitch only the slurry from the yeast.[/quote]

Thanks Denny. I think I’ll do a two stage propagation and then pop in the fridge. The smack pack is strange. I can hear the inner packet inside the smack pack, but I can’t trap it to pop it. Once I cool the wort and pitch the yeast into the starter, can I cut open the inner pouch and pitch that too as an added boost?[/quote]

Why a two step starter? Is your container too small to do it all at once?

Yeah Denny, I only have a 1 liter flask. And I also forgot that I have 4 empty growlers that I could have used as well. Damn!

UPDATE:

After all that worry,the inner packet was still intact. I cut that packet and poured it into the starter after I pitched the yeast. Next time, I’ll know better about the smack packs. I feel like a big dope.

SO the starter is happily sitting in my beer room. I’ll swirl it every few hours until Thursday. Thursday night, I’ll decant the spent wort and make the second stage. I think it’ll be good until Saturday and then I refrigerate until Sunday on brew day.

Make sure that the yeast is finished and that it has settled to the bottom before you decant. That is why it is better to give 4-5 days and then cold crash for a day or two. Otherwise, if you are pouring out cloudy beer, you are likely pouring out very good yeast.

Thanks. I’ve done a starter once before and that’s exactly what I did last time. I just checked it and gave it a swirl and all is well.

Gal. jugs make great starter containers. A glass jug from apple juice or even a plastic milk jug work well.

Yep. I make 2-3 qt. starters. I let them ferment out fully, then refrigerate them to drop out the yeast. That way I can decant the spent wort, keeping it out of my beer, and pitch only the slurry from the yeast.[/quote]

Denny, what’s your technique for getting the slurry into your wort? Do you use pitching temp water to loosen it up from the jar? Or do you get a little of your wort and use it?

Yep. I make 2-3 qt. starters. I let them ferment out fully, then refrigerate them to drop out the yeast. That way I can decant the spent wort, keeping it out of my beer, and pitch only the slurry from the yeast.[/quote]

Denny, what’s your technique for getting the slurry into your wort? Do you use pitching temp water to loosen it up from the jar? Or do you get a little of your wort and use it?[/quote]

When I decant I leave maybe a cup of wort and use that to swirl up the yeast.

When making a 1 liter starter I am pretty sure that the yeast is fully past it’s growth phase and probably almost done fermenting after 24 hours especially when using a stir plate. No need to let it ferment for days right?

I am brewing this same beer this weekend.(denny’s wry smile ipa all grain)

It is 1.079 so you need about 300 billion yeast cells. To reach that i made a 1 liter starter last night. It will ferment for 24 hours. Tonight I will put it in the fridge for 24 hours. Then I will make another 1 liter starter, decant the old wort off, and let it ferment for another 24 hours. That will give me approximately 350 billion yeast cells. I will then put in fridge and let it sit for 36 hours before brewing and decant right before pitching.

I have read and been told by numerous people that the yeast is past the growth phase after 24 hours. Why are you guys fermenting for so long?

Keep in mind this is will a stir plate. Maybe that is the difference?

I just recently saw a video of a guy at Wyeast saying no longer than 16 hours on a stir plate otherwise your just over oxygenating your wort/yeast. Full growth should be reached by 16 hours.

EDIT: found it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng0Ib7n4 … r_embedded

What do you use as an airlock on a growler? I only have a 1L flask so I would love to be able to use my growlers but I just worry about them getting infected since I have nothing that would fit the opening.

I never use an airlock on any starter container…and sometimes not even on fermenters. Some foil over the opening of your starter container works great.

Wow really? All this time I have been duped by Big Airlock. Those bastards!

Thanks Denny

Wow really? All this time I have been duped by Big Airlock. Those bastards!

Thanks Denny[/quote]
Airlocks are good for fermentation since you don’t want oxygen coming in contact with beer. When growing yeast, though, you want the oxygen exchange because it’s what the yeast use to reproduce. I use a foam stopper for my starters.

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