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BeerTools Discussion Forum • View topic - First Time Using a WYeast Smack Pack -HELP

First Time Using a WYeast Smack Pack -HELP

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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First Time Using a WYeast Smack Pack -HELP

Postby BelleroseBeerGuy » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:50 pm

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Postby jawbox » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:22 am

take it out of the fridge and let it raise to room temperature before smacking it. People that start it a few days before are more than likely making a starter to increase their cell count.

Check out the yeast calculator at
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Postby BelleroseBeerGuy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:51 am

Is there any advantage to making a starter and increasing the cell count of the yeast? I need a better understanding of why I would do this process. Also if there is an advantage to using a starter, what is the starter? How do I mix it with the smack pack? Thanks for your help
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Starters are advantageous

Postby billvelek » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:04 am

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Postby slothrob » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:07 am

Last edited by slothrob on Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BelleroseBeerGuy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:33 pm

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Starter

Postby slothrob » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:50 pm

1) You don't need 2 packs or a starter, but the beer may be better. 2 packs would be better than 1 pack, but a starter would be better than 2 packs.

2&3) You can get away with a 2 liter flask for most normal sized beers. I use a 1 gallon wine bottle that only cost about $8 with the wine included. I can't heat it on the stove, so I cook the starter wort in a small pan, cool it, and pour it into the sanitized gallon jug. Then I cover the top with some sanitized tin-foil and swirl it every time I walk by.

A 5 liter flask will cover a broader range of beer sizes, and you would need something about that big if you ever wanted to make a Lager, but they're pretty expensive. Those big flasks are awfully fragile, and the gallon jug is a lot cheaper to replace.

4) Any DME is fine. Light is better if you add the starter wort to the beer, but many of us make the starter about 3-7 days before brewing. We let the starter ferment for about 2 days, then stick it in the fridge. The yeast drops out in the cold. Then, on brew day, we pour off as much of the starter wort as possible without losing yeast, swirl the remaining liquid and yeast into suspension, and add that to the beer.

5) You can buy yeast nutrient. I don't use it, so I can't recommend one.

6) The breathable stoppers are great. Foil will work just fine. An airlock will prevent oxygen from getting in, so don't use an airlock. You definitely want to cover it after you pitch the yeast, though.

Another way to avoid making a starter is to use dried yeast, as long as you don't need a specific liquid yeast for a specific beer style. US-05 and S-04 are both good dry yeast with enough yeast in 1 pack to safely ferment 5 gallons of most beers.
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