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WYEAST smack pack popped open

Its been a while since I last used a WYEAST smack pack (I usually use US-56 for just about everything now) but I wanted to brew a lager so I picked up a pack of 2206 Bavarian. I brewed last night and cooled the wort down to 50F. I grabbed the yeast out of the fridge and gave it a light smack to pop the packet inside and the whole thing popped open and spilled EVERYWHERE.

I have to say the new packaging looks fancy but sure doesn’t hold up. I didn’t give it any more of a smack that I used to do back when I used it for every other batch.

I have about a third left in the pack. Think I should use it or get a new one?

I’d make a good sized starter with what’s left and brew on. You were going to make a starter for a lager anyway, right?

Well that was my other thought. I wasn’t going to but this one is starting out at about 1.065 which is much higher than I initially projected (dang decoction mashing).

I don’t have any LME for a starter…could I just pull a small amount of the wort and use that? Or is that defeating the purpose?

This exact thing happened to me a week and a half ago. It didn’t help that it was my first all-grain batch ever
, and my first return to brewing after a year long hiatus.

Thankfully our hosts were still open and replaced it no questions asked. If they had been closed, I probably would have just pitched what I had – I was more worried about contamination than pitch rate.

Yeah I live 40 minutes away from NB. Costs more in gas than the yeast. I’m not sure if its a defective packet, or if I gained a lot of muscle in a year.

Anyway, could anyone give me a heads up on using the wort I have for the starter?

Cannibalizing the wort for the starter is perfectly fine. It doesn’t require enough wort to defeat the purpose. I had to do it recently with my Belgian Tripel.

Well the wort is 1.065 which is higher than what you really want for a starter right?

My wort is to the TOP of a Soda Keg so I think If I pull off 1/4 gal and dilute it to 1.040 and boil it that should make a decent starter wort and also lower the volume in my keg so it doesn’t all come spewing out the airlock.

The issue of real concern is after the pack burst open how did you at the time contain the yeast from becoming cross contaminated from the now exploded open pack? And also how are you currently handling contamination control? I would be very leery to use a yeast exposed for a decent period of time, it is awful easy to contaminate pitching yeast even under normal condition If not handled properly. I would suggest picking up some new yeast quite possibly. Maybe consider 1 to 2packs of 34/70 if time is fleeting on getting the wort going now and skip the starter altogether.

It sounds like you make starters already and will quite possibly create one now. But if I understand correctly you were going skip one. The effectiveness of a proper starter is huge especially in lagers where lower temps inhibit growth, dont misunderstand-----anaerobic fermentation will carry itself perfectly at 45-55f after a LONG aerobic growth stage(lag period) with one pouch. Plus your gravity is 1.065? There is much else to say on this topic of course, but I’ll leave it as short as possible.

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