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Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:59 am
by Mattheus_Rex
Brewed up an English Old Ale the other day. I pitched Wyeat British Ale II but was concerned because the "smack pack" hadn't swelled very much. After 12 hours I still had no activity in the airlock so I pitched a White Labs yeast I happen to have for something else and now I have fermentation, but still seems a little slow. Anyone had similar?

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:02 am
by Denny
If you didn't make starters, that's pretty reasonable behavior. If you did, let us know.

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:21 am
by Mattheus_Rex
I did not make starters. It was my first time using the Wyeast and I was trying it specifically because it said it didn't need a starter. The white labs I just pitched because I had it it handy and wasn't really thinking about it. I'm about 50/50 on wether I use a starter, usually because I forget about it, but have never had this happen before. The Krausen has started to form so I feel ok, just a little surprised to find a yeast not really work and there's two of them in there.

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:19 pm
by Denny
Mattheus_Rex wrote:I did not make starters. It was my first time using the Wyeast and I was trying it specifically because it said it didn't need a starter. The white labs I just pitched because I had it it handy and wasn't really thinking about it. I'm about 50/50 on wether I use a starter, usually because I forget about it, but have never had this happen before. The Krausen has started to form so I feel ok, just a little surprised to find a yeast not really work and there's two of them in there.


Both Wyeast and White will really benefit from a starter for any beer over 1.045, no matter what they say.

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:53 pm
by tookalisten
I tried 2 of those smack packs in the past without starters and was disappointed in the fermentation lag time both times. I now only make a starter or go with US-05 dry yeast.

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:17 am
by BrewinProf
I haven't made starters in years -- instead I pitch an extra smack pack or two. I almost always have good activity in the fermenter the next morning and my beer comes out great. When you think about it, the cost of pitching extra smack packs isn't that much greater than the cost of the starter equipment and extra dme. Also, it's a hassle getting the starters ready several days ahead of time and I was always concerned about the possibility of contamination.

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:43 am
by Denny
BrewinProf wrote:I haven't made starters in years -- instead I pitch an extra smack pack or two. I almost always have good activity in the fermenter the next morning and my beer comes out great. When you think about it, the cost of pitching extra smack packs isn't that much greater than the cost of the starter equipment and extra dme. Also, it's a hassle getting the starters ready several days ahead of time and I was always concerned about the possibility of contamination.


All the starter equipment you need is a gal. jug. Buy some apple juice and you get the jug free. DME is pretty cheap. I buy a 5 lb. bag for $15-20 and it lasts me a year. And an experiment we're currently running at Experimental Brewing is showing that 2 smack packs aren't much better than one.

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:58 pm
by BrewinProf
Denny wrote:All the starter equipment you need is a gal. jug. Buy some apple juice and you get the jug free. DME is pretty cheap. I buy a 5 lb. bag for $15-20 and it lasts me a year. And an experiment we're currently running at Experimental Brewing is showing that 2 smack packs aren't much better than one.


I agree that the cost of the supplies isn't that much but it was mostly the extra time and hassle that I decided wasn't worth it. I made yeast cultures for many years before I decided to just pitch extra packs and didn't notice a dropoff in quality. However I am very interested in your experiment. When you say that your experiment is showing that "2 packs aren't much better than one" what aspect are you referring to? Lag time? Some measure of beer quality?

Re: Mixed yeast/delayed start

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:29 am
by Denny
BrewinProf wrote:
Denny wrote:All the starter equipment you need is a gal. jug. Buy some apple juice and you get the jug free. DME is pretty cheap. I buy a 5 lb. bag for $15-20 and it lasts me a year. And an experiment we're currently running at Experimental Brewing is showing that 2 smack packs aren't much better than one.


I agree that the cost of the supplies isn't that much but it was mostly the extra time and hassle that I decided wasn't worth it. I made yeast cultures for many years before I decided to just pitch extra packs and didn't notice a dropoff in quality. However I am very interested in your experiment. When you say that your experiment is showing that "2 packs aren't much better than one" what aspect are you referring to? Lag time? Some measure of beer quality?


The experiment isn't concluded. so I'm just talking about some preliminary data. But at this point, the data is showing similar lag times and FGs.