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Old 02-18-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default St Bernardus bottle cultured yeast for ABT 12 attempt

Stan Hieronymus states in BLAM that St Bernardus utilizes a second yeast for bottle conditioning.

After culturing from a bottle of Pater 6 I suspect that the yeast used to carbonate the 33cl bottles, which again according to BLAM are bottled at the brewery (unlike the 75cl which are bottled offsite) is in fact the primary strain.

I recently used this yeast to ferment a quad based closely on the westvleteren pious new world recipe and so far the test batch tastes and smells much more like St Bernardus ABT 12 than other beers I've brewed to the same recipe using Wyeast 3787 (Westmalle).

I'd be interested to know whether others have used bottle cultured St Bernardus and what the results were like.

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Old 03-07-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
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Hi Sid Marx, I am going to do a similar test. I will let you know what happens. Jasper

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Old 03-07-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
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Interested to hear what comes from this. Was planning on brewing a big quad to age in a barrel for next winter and just cultured some bernardus. Subd

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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ok, so I have three cultures growing, the Prior, the Pater, and the tripel. Since they came from a bottle, I dumped them in some media and have them shaking at 30 C to revive the dregs. If I look at them under the microscope, the strains all look identical cell-wise. This is on a 200000 dollar microscope, so I have a good view what is going on. Not just cell-shape but also inner-cell contrast. Some yeasts have lots of intracellular structures that are easily visible, some are almost transparent. These fall in the latter category. I would find it surprising that this brewery would bottle with another strain, especially when we are talking about a lighter beer like Pater that would obviously totally change character if some other yeast is doing its thing when its bottle conditioning. To be continued.

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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Very interested in this too, because I've been saving a bottle of this to culture the yeast myself.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #6
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Quick bump, preliminary analysis of colonies seems to indicate that Prior and Pater are the same (are visually similar) and that Tripel stands out. Tripel grew a little faster it seems, but to be sure Ill wait until after the weekend to make definite conclusions. I also grew up Westvleteren from the blonde, and the cells are kind of elongated. I will post pictures of the cells, and of the colonies, next week.

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Old 03-12-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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Ok as promised some info on the cultures. The St. Bernardus tripel I want to do again because it looks kind of bacterial - I could not find any normal yeast. The culture never really took off, I will give it one more shot. The St. Bernardus Prior colony can be found here and a micrograph of the cells here; the St. Bernardus Pater colony can be found here and the cells here. The "Westvleteren Blond" (So actually the westmalle strain) can be found here. Sorry if the contrast is a little shoddy I did not subtract any background. Obviously the cells are different between the westmalle and the St. B strains - I do not dare to go any further. I am going to ferment some, and as Sid Marx pointed out, St. B has a very specific flavor/aroma. I would be really surprised if they decided to bottle ferment their lighter (Pater) beer with another strain, but who knows. To be continued.

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Old 03-13-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Yes its me again trying to keep this going. This weekend a new startup brewery in the DC area is going to brew a pilot batch this weekend (Belgian Pale Ale) and ferment with the St. Bernardus Pater strain. I grew up a 2L culture whilst shaking and cell numbers are very high. I could not smell the typical smell when it grew aerobically, but I hope it will be clear soon what is going on.

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Old 03-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #9
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Hi Jasper,

I'm really pleased that someone else is working on this and am really interested to hear more about your results - especially the pilot batch of Belgian Pale Ale.

I cracked my first bottle of quad from the 5 gallon batch made with the pater 6 cultured yeast a couple of days ago.

I really like the flavour of this beer. In fact I've brewed similar recipes using Westmalle, Chimay and Unibroue yeasts and I like this more at just 3 weeks in the bottle than any of the others I've done. Which is weird since the others were still quite green at 3 weeks.

Can post the recipe if anyone is interested. It's not a clone of St Bernardus ABT 12 but I think that it has the hallmarks of the yeast if not the base.

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Old 03-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #10
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I really appreciate your work on this Jasper. I'm really interested in yeast and trying to learn as much as possible, and am obsessed with some of the Trappist ales and St. B ABT 12.

Thanks for keeping us posted (as well as your blog)!

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