So I completed my first batch of homebrew this morning, but I forgot one potentially (okay, not potentially, definitely) important aspect of the whole process: the yeast. I didn't forget it, per se, but I forgot that I was supposed to smack the smack pack three hours in advance (per the instructions on the Wyeast Activator package, it says three hours in advance or pitch immediately). Being a beer wunderkind, I split the difference and smacked it 90 minutes before pitch time. It had expanded some before I pitched it, but it wasn't quite full. Should I be concerned? More importantly, if I don't see fermentation activity in the next 24-36 hours, can I just put in more yeast (properly prepared this time)?

2 Answers 2


Relax & have a homebrew. The pouch in the smack pack contains a little food and nutrients which gets the yeast going. You pitched the yeast (and pouch contents) into a sea of food and nutrients. Your fermentation will lag just a little but should take off.

  • That's all the reassurance I need. Thanks for that! Jan 2, 2010 at 6:41
  • My airlock is bubbling away merrily this morning. Unfounded worry on my part, I guess. Still, thanks for the answer. Jan 2, 2010 at 14:06
  • Good news. (-: Keep it up Jan 2, 2010 at 16:21

Smacking the pack only gives you a way to assess the viability of the yeast. It does not "activate" the yeast nor increase the cell count.

  • Do you have a source for that? Jan 19, 2015 at 19:00
  • Yeah, straight from Greg Doss at Wyeast.
    – Denny Conn
    Jan 20, 2015 at 16:32

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