Not sure if this will work with your set up but it's an in-sinkerator flange for a disposal clipped to the kettle with a 5 gallon paint strainer bag inserted into it and clipped. Works great!
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As it says in your instructions, this is a wyeast smack pack. The smack pack allows you to "proof" your yeast before brewing, so that you know your yeast are viable before pitching. The pack swells and you know your yeast are viable. Sometimes during shipping the yeast will be subjected to high temps and maybe kills it, so they want you to proof it before you brew. It seems that the "few days before" recommendation is to cover their a$$. If you wait until brew day and you're mashed in and find that the yeast is dead, you're sort of screwed unless you can get more yeast, and someone would be on the hook for a wasted batch of beer. This seems to be a related to the mail-order side of it, as they seem to assume the worst case, that you have nowhere else to get yeast on brewday if yours are dead.
If I smack the wyeast at all, it's 3-6 hours before pitching. I wouldn't want to do it days ahead of time and let it sit around. Maybe that's fine, maybe not, I don't know. If you have a local shop that stocks that yeast, I'd proof it on brewday. In all liklihood it'll be fine but if not then at least you can run out and get a replacement and not waste your wort. If you have noplace nearby to get a replacement, it might be best to take their advice and proof before you mash in.
As others have said, you may need a starter anyway based on your volume and OG in which case you'll know days ahead anyway when you get your starter going.
Thanks for the response. So, if I do smack the yeast 3 days prior, should I let it sit at room temp until time to pitch it?
The correct answer is it depends. Water pH means little. Mash pH means a lot.So then for lighter beers with my water alkalinity being 100 would a little acidulated malt be beneficial in the mash to assist with the pH?byPrabably. Try a test mash with a small weight of the grist and your water before you brew. If it is too high, then formulate the recipe with acidulated malt. Weyermann says 1% will lower the pH 0.1, so start there and see where you end up. Adjust the mash up/down once you measure.
Cool, I'm working up a Belgian Wit/white recipe that this will probably be necessary for as I don't anticipate the grist dropping the pH to desirable levels
I'm trying to get something like Allagash White, looks like I might need to use about 5% but that seems like a lot? My normal pH is in the very low 6 range and my regular beers have always gotten me a good pH with out its use.
So then for lighter beers with my water alkalinity being 100 would a little acidulated malt be beneficial in the mash to assist with the pH?byPrabably. Try a test mash with a small weight of the grist and your water before you brew. If it is too high, then formulate the recipe with acidulated malt. Weyermann says 1% will lower the pH 0.1, so start there and see where you end up. Adjust the mash up/down once you measure.
Along with the pH problem, the alkalinity will make the light beers taste the opposite of crisp. My Pilsners tasted "muddy" in the finish, not clean and crisp like they do now that I brew with RO and adjust.I'm more concerned with the alkalinity presented by this water. At 100 ppm as CaCO3, it has the chance to adversely affect any of the lighter beers.
So in this vain, for lighter beers with my alkalinity at 100 would it be beneficial then to add some acidulated malt to the mash to assist in bringing down the PH?
Can you elaborate a little more on this statement? Particularly what role does alkalinity play on flavor perception. What role on pH. Then framing it in context of your worries about lighter beers. What effect exactly would you be worried about.
Now I just need to figure out how to do a two pack starter.You can still use 1 pack and then step it up.
How much DME
How much Water