Author Topic: 1056 Smack Pack Viability  (Read 1255 times)

Offline In The Sand

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1056 Smack Pack Viability
« on: July 17, 2013, 06:58:42 AM »
I ordered two packages of Wyeast 1056 smack packs on 5/28/13.  When I received them they were inflated, so I followed the directions on Wyeast's website and put them in the fridge because I wasn't going to use them for awhile.  They subsequently deflated and there they have remained ever since. 

I am planning on brewing 10 gallons of an IPA on Friday, 7/19/13, and planning on pitching both packs.  I don't have any wort to make a starter and am concerned about the yeast viability.  Although I do have a pound of Gold DME, but have never made a starter.  Should I take them out of the fridge the day before and let them get up to room temperature?  Will the bags reinflate, or should I trust that the yeast is still good?  I have some dry yeast as well, but really wanted to use the liquid on this batch.  Projected OG is around 1.060 on this batch.
Trey W.

Offline goschman

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 07:02:05 AM »
I don't do it often because I mainly use dry yeast but I would do as most will probably suggest...make a starter. The times I have made a starter I used DME and it worked great. If the yeast is good you should only need to use one of the packs and save the other.

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 07:18:23 AM »
I wouldn't want to pitch dead or stressed yeast into an expensive batch of beer.  Boil  and cool around 200 grams of the dme and pitch the yeast.  That way if the yeast is dead you'll know before you brew.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 07:35:03 AM »
+1 to a starter. 200 grams of DME + enough water to make 2 liters boil for 5 minutes and chill to room temp. pitch both packs.

If you don't have a 5 liter flask or a gallon jug, use two .5 gallon or even 1 quart jugs and make 700 ml starters with 70 grams of DME each. pitch one smack pack into each.

If you got this yeast back at the end of may it's already getting somewhat elderly anyway. give it a pick me up.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 07:41:35 AM »
If you don't have a 5 liter flask or a gallon jug, use two .5 gallon or even 1 quart jugs and make 700 ml starters with 70 grams of DME each. pitch one smack pack into each.

Growlers work great for this.  They're what I used for my first starter.

Don't be afraid of the starter.  It's the easiest thing you'll ever do.  Shake the wort initially to oxygenate it.  Swirl it whenever you walk past after you pitch the yeast.

You don't need an airlock on the growler, just cover it loosely with foil.  If you want to use an airlock, go ahead but it's not necessary.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 07:58:47 AM »
If the yeast is good you should only need to use one of the packs and save the other.

pitch one smack pack into each.

Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...
Trey W.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 08:04:47 AM »
If the yeast is good you should only need to use one of the packs and save the other.

pitch one smack pack into each.

Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...

If you are looking to pitch 10 gallons of 1.050ish ale with packs with best by dates probably sometime in august as the latest you are going to need both packs in a 3 liter starter to approach ideal cell counts. I think you would be fine with both packs in two liters but that is under pitching according to best practices.

check out yeastcalc.com enter your batch volume and expected gravity. enter the production date which is stamped right on the pack of wyeast I think. if not that is the best by date and the production date is minus 4 months from there. Select intermittent shaking from the aeration method menu and you can play around with the steps and the starter volumes and see the cell count change.

I would pitch each into it's own 1 liter starter, when they are done on Friday morning or so put them in the fridge to crash. during the boil pull off 2 liters of wort and chill it as quickly as you can. decant the spent starter wort and add the fresh wort. Let that work while you finish your boil, chill etc. when you are at pitching temp just pitch the full volume.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 08:06:59 AM by morticaixavier »
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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 08:17:30 AM »
Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...

At this point you should have something like 50-80 billion cells per pack, and you want to get to 400-450 billion for pitching. On a stirplate, one pack in a 4 L starter or two packs in 3 L would do it - without a stirplate, I'd use both packs in a 4 L starter (or 3.5 L if all you have is a gallon jug to work with). You'll still probably be under-pitching, but it'll be close enough.

FWIW, this won't be ready to pitch by Friday.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 08:20:36 AM »
Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...

FWIW, this won't be ready to pitch by Friday.

How long does starter prep usually take?
Trey W.

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 08:26:27 AM »
Do I need one or two packs?  I'm not too familiar using pitching rate calculators...

FWIW, this won't be ready to pitch by Friday.

How long does starter prep usually take?

if you make the starter now and are able to give it a good swirl every hour or so for the next 36 it should be mostly done by tomorrow night, Friday morning at the latest. Then you have to crash cool it to decant the spent 'beer' that will take another 12-24 hours.

so you could pitch on Saturday morning or afternoon. I leave wort overnight without pitching all the time.
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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 08:28:14 AM »
How long does starter prep usually take?

For a large starter without a stirplate, I'd plan on 3-4 days to ferment out and 2-3 day of cold crashing before it's ready to decant and pitch. Allowing for a couple more days would be ideal, especially with a low-flocculating yeast.
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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 10:26:27 AM »
How long does starter prep usually take?

For a large starter without a stirplate, I'd plan on 3-4 days to ferment out and 2-3 day of cold crashing before it's ready to decant and pitch. Allowing for a couple more days would be ideal, especially with a low-flocculating yeast.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 01:03:21 PM »
Mr Malty says 4.5 liter starter for 3 packs date of 5/28 without stir plate on 10 gallons 1.060. With two packs I'd go 6 liters.

Didn't read every post, maybe someone already said that