Author Topic: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035  (Read 1711 times)

Offline phillamb168

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%#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« on: February 28, 2011, 03:46:50 AM »
Got a smack pack of 2035 last week to use for my Brew Day sunday. Smacked it sunday morning, and there was almost no swelling. Pitched to a 1000ml Erlinmeyer of wort anyway, hoping for the best. Put it in the fridge overnight since it's a lager and whatnot, this morning there's -zero- activity.

Is it dead? What can I do to check?
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Offline tygo

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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 04:53:22 AM »
Warm it up and give it some time.  Maybe it's dead but I bet there are a few cells left in there that you can grow up.  If you're pitching a questionable pack it's better to go with a smaller starter and step it up.  I routinely do a 0.5L starter just to get the beasties awake and then pitch to whatever my full volume starter is.
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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 05:02:04 AM »
Did you let the starter ferment @ room temp before you put it in the fridge? If not warm it up.
Don't know if this will be of much help but it is a way to see if the yeast  is fermenting in starter.
I just had a similar experience with Wyeast 1026 British Cask Ale.
Smacked the pack and got very little swelling after a day.
But if I put it up to my ear I could hear it fizzing , so I figured something was going on.
I pitched into a starter and stuck it on the stir plate. Again I didn't see any action, no foaming, it looked dead and flat.
What I did was turned off the stir plate and stuck an airlock on it. After a few minutes I saw pressure on the air lock, and eventually it started bubbling. Removed the airlock and turned the stir plate back on. It's working away now in 5 gallons of bitter.
I looked around on the  internet for some advice of what to do if the smack pack doesn't swell or the starter looks dead.
I saw a lot of folks saying basically " it doesn't matter". One of the reasons for smack packs, and starters is to make sure the yeast is viable. If it doesn't matter then why go through the trouble?
OK that was kind of long and probably didn't help much.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 05:04:51 AM »
Did you let the starter ferment @ room temp before you put it in the fridge? If not warm it up.
Don't know if this will be of much help but it is a way to see if the yeast  is fermenting in starter.
I just had a similar experience with Wyeast 1026 British Cask Ale.
Smacked the pack and got very little swelling after a day.
But if I put it up to my ear I could hear it fizzing , so I figured something was going on.
I pitched into a starter and stuck it on the stir plate. Again I didn't see any action, no foaming, it looked dead and flat.
What I did was turned off the stir plate and stuck an airlock on it. After a few minutes I saw pressure on the air lock, and eventually it started bubbling. Removed the airlock and turned the stir plate back on. It's working away now in 5 gallons of bitter.
I looked around on the  internet for some advice of what to do if the smack pack doesn't swell or the starter looks dead.
I saw a lot of folks saying basically " it doesn't matter". One of the reasons for smack packs, and starters is to make sure the yeast is viable. If it doesn't matter then why go through the trouble?
OK that was kind of long and probably didn't help much.

Nah that helps for sure. I waited about 5 hours before I put it in the fridge, but I'll ask the wife to take it out now and we'll see what happens tonight. Thanks guys! Super annoying though.. I hope it's not a problem with the package they sent, because I've got five other wyeast smack packs for my new brew days...
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Offline tygo

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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 05:10:02 AM »
One of the reasons for smack packs, and starters is to make sure the yeast is viable. If it doesn't matter then why go through the trouble?

It's nice if it swells up but if the pack is rough shape for whatever reason (age, partially frozen on delivery, etc) you might not get much swelling and still have viable yeast.  I don't even bother to let it swell.  I smack it while I'm boiling the starter and dump it in once it's cooled.  

I just stepped up a year-old pack of Thames Valley and it was very slow to start, to the point where I was getting concerned.  But I just let it go and it was fine.  The batch of ESB I pitched it into just finished up primary fermentation about two days ago. 
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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 05:04:46 AM »
One of the reasons for smack packs, and starters is to make sure the yeast is viable. If it doesn't matter then why go through the trouble?

It's nice if it swells up but if the pack is rough shape for whatever reason (age, partially frozen on delivery, etc) you might not get much swelling and still have viable yeast.  I don't even bother to let it swell.  I smack it while I'm boiling the starter and dump it in once it's cooled.  

I just stepped up a year-old pack of Thames Valley and it was very slow to start, to the point where I was getting concerned.  But I just let it go and it was fine.  The batch of ESB I pitched it into just finished up primary fermentation about two days ago. 

I hear what you are saying but if the wyeast website says:
"Expansion of the package is an indicator of healthy (viable and vital) yeast."
and the package doesn't swell, one can't just ignore it. (I realize that that's not what you said) Maybe they should put something on the packs saying if "it doesn't swell this might be the reason and to take these steps"
I was ready to take that dead looking smack pack back to the store, not because I thought it wouldn't work, but because I payed for a pack of healthy yeast and if the pack doesn't swell I am not getting what I payed for.
Same thing with starters I see it often recommended to "pitch at high  krausen"
and then I read a bunch of "I never see action in my starters"
Just saying, it gets confusing sometimes.

Offline phillamb168

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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 05:49:41 AM »
One of the reasons for smack packs, and starters is to make sure the yeast is viable. If it doesn't matter then why go through the trouble?

It's nice if it swells up but if the pack is rough shape for whatever reason (age, partially frozen on delivery, etc) you might not get much swelling and still have viable yeast.  I don't even bother to let it swell.  I smack it while I'm boiling the starter and dump it in once it's cooled.  

I just stepped up a year-old pack of Thames Valley and it was very slow to start, to the point where I was getting concerned.  But I just let it go and it was fine.  The batch of ESB I pitched it into just finished up primary fermentation about two days ago. 

I hear what you are saying but if the wyeast website says:
"Expansion of the package is an indicator of healthy (viable and vital) yeast."
and the package doesn't swell, one can't just ignore it. (I realize that that's not what you said) Maybe they should put something on the packs saying if "it doesn't swell this might be the reason and to take these steps"
I was ready to take that dead looking smack pack back to the store, not because I thought it wouldn't work, but because I payed for a pack of healthy yeast and if the pack doesn't swell I am not getting what I payed for.
Same thing with starters I see it often recommended to "pitch at high  krausen"
and then I read a bunch of "I never see action in my starters"
Just saying, it gets confusing sometimes.

Well, the stuff at the bottom of the flask is a very, very dark brown - not a typical yeast color - so I'm sending it back.
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Online Thirsty_Monk

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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 09:55:19 PM »
You probably have some live yeast there.
Just keep it in the flask and at some point you will see activity.
I had a few experiences like yours so I start with smaller starter and step it up if I suspect any problems.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: %#*!^ Wyeast 2035
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 08:52:00 AM »
A fridge is pretty cold, around 4°C/38°F typically. I haven't tried it that low, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that 2035 would drop out at those temps.
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