Smack Pack

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

  1. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    that packet inside isn't magic it just sugar and nutrients, easy to replicate, the real thing your looking for is yeast and its still there and will ferment just fine without that packet, it will just take a day or 2 longer
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I get that, but it doesn't matter have much sugar and nutrients are in there if most of the yeast is dead of old age. Yours is the best answer I've got, but I still haven't heard if anyone has had a pack fail to swell but still perform well anyway.
     
  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    yes, i smacked a pack of Scottish Ale three weeks ago that didn't turn into a balloon. We've had some packs that really swell huge, but I'd say it looked like half of that. It took off like normal and looked like it finished ferm in 9 days.
     
  4. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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    Sometimes they don't expand. Point is, all the stuff in the pounch. One could really not even bother with the "smack", just tear the sucker open and use the stuff. The whole expanding thing.... meh, whatever.
     
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  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with you. Like I said earlier, I usually use non-rehydrated dry yeast for pitching. But if the smack pack doesn't swell, to me it could indicate a problem with the yeast, like it's dead. That's what I'm asking. Anyway, I just checked, and I did see a bubble go through the airlock. I don't have much more krausen than I had 2 days ago. I'm considering letting this go without adding more yeast just to answer my own question.
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Give the beer a roust as in rocking the vessel a rock back and forth a couple of times. Let that yeast know you expect it to propagate.
    Funny, Scottish ale comes out of the pack slow with little swelling for me but the second time around from the cake it goes nuts quickly. Lagers take a while to swell but always at least get a little puffy. Always check the date. on yeast before you buy it. No different than checking the date on chicken, etc.
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, my bad for not checking the date for sure. But it's supposed to be good for 6 months. I bought K├Âlsch yeast today for my Spotted Cow, and it was made the middle of last month. It swelled very nicely.
     
  8. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Kinda funny if ya think about it ... We go through all kinds of processes and ingredients and the obvious always comes up, fresh ingredients handled and stored properly are the way to make great beer, along with consistency. We order online, German malts for our Oktoberfest and have for 5 years. If we substituted grains (have played with hops and could tell) I bet we would notice.
    Cheers!
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    This morning I woke to a full surface of krausen on the beer. I think it'll be ok. No supplemental pitching required.
     
  10. TheZel66

    TheZel66 Member

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    Main reason to use the new White Labs yeast packs. Wonderful fermentations from all packs i've used so far. Usually starts in 4-6 hours, and hit target gravity in 3-4 days.
     
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  11. wolfie7873

    wolfie7873 Member

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    I've had most of my Wyeast packs swell up like balloons. I one not swell and work just fine. I had another not swell and did *nothing*. I was making a starter anyway, so that didn't screw me up too bad, but 72 hours in a starter and ZERO fermentation. The LHBS replaced it for free and took up the guarantee from Wyeast on my behalf.

    On Friday, I pitched a 4 month old Wyeast pack of 4184 four hours post-smack with no swell into a cider. As of this morning (~60 hours), I *FINALLY* have reasonably steady bubbles in the airlock. (Yes, i added yeast nutrient). The line I usually give it is 72 hours, and always make a starter. (I skipped this starter this time because it's a cider and didn't want any possibility of malt products in it so that my super-gluten-sensitive friends can't complain when I serve it to them.)
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I took it from one extreme to the other. While the first smack pack is finally showing signs of life in the lager, the smack pack I pitched in the ale yesterday blew through the air lock. It made a bit of a mess under my workbench. I actually knew something was up when I opened the door to go downstairs. I immediately smelled beer. The carboy is around a couple of corners from the bottom of the stairs in another room. The bobble and the cap for the airlock are MIA. There's a nice little splash mark underneath my workbench just above the carboy. I wonder how long it was plugged before the airlock blew off. I didn't really lose much volume, so that's a good thing.
     
  13. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    The Kolsch i put down 48 hours ago is charging along too , i don't use carboys or blow off tubes but that 2565 has dropped it from 1.048 to 1.022 in 2 days .
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm awake - spent a week or so in Western Kentucky without Internet. But thanks!
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I've been to Paducah. Why didn't you stop by my house? Only 5 1/2 hours away! :D
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If I go to Paducah, I have to take SWAMBO to the Quilt Museum. No bueno, way too much estrogen there...
     
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  17. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    quickly on the smack pack, has anyone accidentally let the little condom fall into the fermenter? And, are there are down sides to this?
     
  18. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Ummm...you get little baby beers?
     
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  19. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    It must be sterile. Don't get it caught in your valve or racking cane!
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If it's sterile, how do you get the little baby beers.... but I agree with Jeffpn: It's sterile, as long as you don't get it caught in something or plugging up an outlet, you're fine.
     

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