HBT 2015 Big Giveaway - Enter Now

Huge Supporting Membership Discounts - 20% Off

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Accurate cells counts w/o microscope...?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-04-2012, 12:55 AM   #1
spenghali
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 448
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default Accurate cells counts w/o microscope...?

Is there a way to get an accurate cell count for pitching rates without the use of a microscope? I am looking for something other than a pitching rate calculator such as Mr. Malty.

__________________
spenghali is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 03:38 AM   #2
MalFet
/bɪər nərd/
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
MalFet's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,277
Liked 1272 Times on 846 Posts
Likes Given: 584

Default

Much to the chagrin of lab drones everywhere, sadly there is not.

__________________

"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

MalFet is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 04:31 AM   #3
spenghali
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 448
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

I thought not...alas Christmas is near...

__________________
spenghali is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
MalFet
/bɪər nərd/
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
MalFet's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,277
Liked 1272 Times on 846 Posts
Likes Given: 584

Default

On the flip side, thanks to the massive cuts in basic science research these last few years, there are some amazing deals to be had on high-end microscopes on eBay. Good luck! I don't bust mine out too often anymore, but it's a lot of fun.

__________________

"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

MalFet is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
TNGabe
Feedback Score: 17 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,611
Liked 2235 Times on 1510 Posts
Likes Given: 2302

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by spenghali View Post
I thought not...alas Christmas is near...
Don't do it. Once you cross that line, there is no coming back. No longer a mere beer nerd, he's a nerd with a microscope! Watch out! If I'd have known how 'sciencey' making beer was, I'd have killed less brain cells in school.
__________________

The only thing worse than dumping beer is serving beer you should have dumped.

TNGabe is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 12:09 PM   #6
Obliviousbrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Benidorm, Alicante/Spain
Posts: 1,571
Liked 229 Times on 160 Posts
Likes Given: 168

Default

See now I want a microscope...

__________________
Obliviousbrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 12:34 PM   #7
ajdelange
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 7,034
Liked 823 Times on 675 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by spenghali View Post
Is there a way to get an accurate cell count for pitching rates without the use of a microscope?
Yes, but they are probably not practical for the home brewer. Nephelometers and spectrophotometers can be used for cell counting as can various pieces of biomedical equipment which can, for example, distinguish and count RBCs and the various types of WBC's.

A nephelometer measures the amount of light scattered by yeast cells (and any other particle so trub, protein globs etc become a factor and a photometer measures light absorbed so that the color of the broth must be taken into account but once either instrument is calibrated it should be useable to the level of accuracy needed for this application.
__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
MalFet
/bɪər nərd/
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
MalFet's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,277
Liked 1272 Times on 846 Posts
Likes Given: 584

Default

I've never used a nephelometer, but I have used a spectrophotometer. How would you calibrate them if not with a microscope and hemocytometer? Plus, wouldn't recipe formulation and idiosyncratic brewhouse parameters make calibration a moving target?

__________________

"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

MalFet is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
passedpawn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: ☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 20,786
Liked 4124 Times on 2528 Posts
Likes Given: 3555

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Yes, but they are probably not practical for the home brewer. Nephelometers and spectrophotometers can be used for cell counting as can various pieces of biomedical equipment which can, for example, distinguish and count RBCs and the various types of WBC's.

A nephelometer measures the amount of light scattered by yeast cells (and any other particle so trub, protein globs etc become a factor and a photometer measures light absorbed so that the color of the broth must be taken into account but once either instrument is calibrated it should be useable to the level of accuracy needed for this application.
Why count through inference when you can actually count? I've seen these Amscope microscopes for sale cheap (~$200 or less?). Cell morphology isn't possible but simple counting certainly is. A capable hemocytometer can be bought new on Ebay for $30.
__________________
- Andrew
passedpawn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
ajdelange
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 7,034
Liked 823 Times on 675 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

That's how I would do it (because I have a 'scope and hemacytometer) but you could use any particle counting system you trusted. It would be the same concept as in using a refractometer for measuring alcohol. You would develop calibration curves for individual beers in your portfolio in the lab and then use the nephelometer in the brewery when brewing that beer for a much quicker check. I might be able to come up with a few general curves e.g. one for lager yeasts and one for ale yeasts, which you an others could use that would give an approximate count. How accurate would you have to be?

__________________
ajdelange is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to step 100b cells to 800b cells alfista Fermentation & Yeast 15 07-25-2012 03:11 AM
microscope Jay1 Brew Science 1 03-30-2012 04:40 AM
Anyone using a microscope to count yeast cells? MaxOut Fermentation & Yeast 2 01-11-2012 09:30 PM
What could I do with a microscope? vinyl_key Brew Science 7 08-07-2010 11:44 AM
so I got a microscope killian Equipment/Sanitation 7 12-12-2009 04:16 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS