Smack Pack

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    The Czech Pilsner Smack Pack that I used today did not expand the way they always did. I bet it was about 4 hours, and the pack didn't seem to expand much at all. The inner pack was broken when I pitched it. How concerned should I be? This is the first time I've seen this.
     
  2. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    don't be concerned. i can't tell you how many times me and she tried to smack the pack and found out when it's time to pitchh that we missed one of the condoms inside. Just cut it all open, make sure everything goes in the fermenter, you;ll be good....

    ....yes, we do call Wyeast condom yeast.


    edit: it should have a date on the pack too i THINK. what does it say?
     
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  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    #3 jeffpn, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
    Like you said in your other post I just read, you're drunk. Like I said in my first post here, the inner pack DID break. (And I have never failed to break the inner pack.) I do seem to have a little activity this morning, but not much. And it is currently at room temperature. The yeast had a manufacturer date of May 23, just a bit over 90 days old. No idea what the shelf life is supposed to be. The reason for my question is that I have doubts about the yeast's viability. Has anyone had a smack pack fail to swell, after successfully breaking the inner pouch, and have the yeast ultimately perform well?
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    So I do have a bit of krausen and a floating bobble in the airlock. I bet this is the slowest start fermentation I've ever had. As long as it works. I was going to pitch some dry yeast tonight, but I'll hold off and see what happens. If it doesn't look better in a few days, I'll try again. At least by then I may get an indication if I have any baddies getting into my wort.
     

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  5. Kimaw

    Kimaw New Member

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  6. Kimaw

    Kimaw New Member

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    How did it do jeffpn? I am curious because I had one that failed on me but I saved it with a dry yeast. Hope yours does well.
     
  7. LlewellynBrewHaus

    LlewellynBrewHaus Active Member

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    Since Nosy is still sat asleep I'll jump in here and point out that at 110 days old ur smack pack was potentially 80% dead leaving only 23 M cells for fermentation (325 M short) ; leading to the lack of swelling prepitch and sluggish start post pitch. I would be rehydrating a pack of dry yeast to get fermentation up on the big sprocket .
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I usually use dry yeast, but for some recipes, like this one, I'll splurge. I've used smack packs a few times in the past, all swelled. I have never paid attention to the dates, though. Shame on me, I guess. I will from now on. How old is too old?
     
  9. LlewellynBrewHaus

    LlewellynBrewHaus Active Member

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    I'm a devoted Wyeast user and I believe I remember reading that anything 2months and fresher from manufacturers day ur "good to go"for 5gal < 1.060 (I always do s starter...process nerd) and from 2-6 months a starter was recommended . Seems like viability within the smack decreased by 15-20%/month or close to that .

    Prost
     
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  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Several hours later, I don't think I have any more krausen. I plan to brew tomorrow, so I'll pick up some dry yeast to help it out. The bad part is I plan to brew a beer that uses Kolsch yeast. That can't be bought dry. Now I'm a little gunshy. And I can't complain to the LHBS because I hurt the employee's feelings when I once told him I was disappointed that they didn't have all the ingredients I was looking for. The manager of the store chastised me. I felt like he wanted to write me up!!
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    lol I feel your pain but I know a few good people that run an LHBS and you would not believe the money it takes just to stock one extra specialty grain, 55 gallon drums don't come UPS they come on a truck, truck delivery fees are expensive and 2 to 10 55 gallon drums of grain on top of that can put a bite into your budget if its not a good selling product

    you might be talking yeast but I had the same issue with grain and got the low down lol
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Here's my notes (Oktoberfest brewed 8-7, drinking as I type)

    "Used S-23 yeast instead of Octoberfest 2633
    Used Muntons Crystal 60L instead of Munich 60L
    Store was out of both ingredients."

    The Munich 60L they buy in bulk and store in bins along with all of the other specialty grains behind their register.

    I wouldn't consider either of those ingredients slow sellers. But enough about that. They'll probably cry if they see my post here. I don't even think I'll complain to them about the old smack pack they sold me.
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    thats home brewing, my recipes always have some sort of substitute , I stock grains and hops at the house and refuse to pay for 1 pound of something when I have 5 pounds thats close of another, it always works out in the end, some times even better.
    example I was out of Mittelfruh but had Liberty, came out great
     

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  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I've substituted before, too. My plan of attack usually is to verify that they have everything I need before they get my grain bill together. (I don't have any ingredients at home.) If they're out of too much (or anything), I usually have a backup beer I wouldn't mind brewing. But I wanted to brew an Oktoberfest, and for timeliness reasons, I substituted.
    I had forgotten about stating my disappointment until I went in there the next time for a brew day. It was weird, because the manager approached me and said, "You were in here a couple weeks ago about some Oktoberfest yeast that we didn't have." I said, "Yeah, it's no big deal. I used S-23. I've sampled it and I like it." I thought he was going to apologize for being out of stock with it. He floored me when he told me that I offended the employee. I wasn't belligerent, wasn't cussing. I wasn't even raising my voice. My usual comment to a store that's out of stock of a product I want is something like, "Tough to sell something you don't have." I probably said something like that. Did I mention it's the only store within 50 miles of my house?
     
  15. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    good thing i read this ! first time using a smack pack for my Kolsch , date is 59 days ago and was thinking i'd wasted time and effort with building up a starter .
    kinda dozed off an hour after smacking it , checked it 6 hours later and it was swollen but not hugely so .
    how firm do they normally get ?
     
  16. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I've had some get like they're about to burst. Quite round, like my wife!! :D
     
  17. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    i just spent 10 minutes looking for whats making kitchen smell weird ... 2565 starter is throwing some stink already
     
  18. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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    I actually prefer Wyeast when using liquid yeast.... easy peasy.
     
  19. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    thats why for the last year I brew with dry yeast
     
  20. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what you're saying. I'm not really a YouTube watcher, so I don't know what it's point is. I know how to use the yeast. I've used it many times. This time it didn't expand. I was wondering if anyone has ever had it not expand, but still do a good job in the beer. Time has answered that question. I think I'll be pitching in some dry yeast tomorrow.
     

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