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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Am I bottle harvesting wrong?
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:01 AM   #1
mrmekon
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Default Am I bottle harvesting wrong?

I'm trying to harvest pacman from Rogue bottles, but it isn't looking like I expected.

I pitched the last .5" of two bottles of Rogue (Hazelnut and Santa's Reserve) into 150ml of water with 12g DME in a covered glass bowl. There was no visible sediment in the bottles. I shook it every time I passed to give it some oxygen. After 2 hours there was a very, very thin layer of white sediment. I kept shaking it up into suspension and it kept flocculating back out.

After 24 hours, I added another 200ml water with 24g DME. More of the same, and 24 hours later the sediment is slightly larger, but still very small. No visible fermentation, no krausen.

Another 24 hours later I added another 200ml + 24g. With each step the sediment gets a little larger, but it always flocculates out in an hour and there's no sign of the krausen I was expecting.

Am I doing something wrong? Does the growing sediment imply that the yeast is at least alive? Do I need to wait longer? Change DME ratio? Pitch as it is? It's for a 1 gallon batch, so I don't need much.

Thanks!

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:24 AM   #2
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bump. Anyone?

More sediment then ever, all flocculated out, no krausen. Smells like beer. Should I step it up again?

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Old 03-20-2010, 01:48 AM   #3
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Are you boiling the malt?

What are you covering the bowl with?

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Old 03-20-2010, 02:13 AM   #4
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When making a starter from bottled beers, you have very little yeast to start with. You started with a very small starter, which is good. I assume that you boiled the DME in the water and cooled it before adding it to the yeast. Because you have so little yeast to start with, I doubt you will see any visible signs of fermentation. After a day or two, you can increase the size of the starter by adding more wort (again boiled and cooled). You can safely increase the size of the starter by a factor of 10, but increasing the size by a smaller amount won't do any harm providing you are careful about sanitation. I wouldn't make a starter in a bowl. I'd use a bottle, flask, or growler because I think they would be easier to cover and prevent nasties falling into the starter, but a bowl should be OK providing it is properly covered. After stepping up the starter a couple times, you should be able to see the yeast in the starter, although you probably won't get any noticeable krausen because of the small size.
I can't imagine that Pacman would flocculate very heavily, so you should just see the starter getting progressively more cloudy as the yeast population increases.

-a.

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Old 03-20-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
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I boiled the malt each time, for about 5 minutes. Everything gets coated in star san when I touch or open it. It's in a 1L plastic gladware container with a snap-on lid.

There is definitely a growing cake of white sediment. I can't imagine it's DME, so I guess it must be yeast.

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:33 AM   #6
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GOOD NEWS! I brewed a batch, had excessive boil-off, pitched the seemingly inactive Pacman starter into the beer at OG 1.120 (was supposed to be 1.080...), and after 24 hours there's a nice big krausen and the thing yeast are swirling around like madmen.

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Old 03-24-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
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Very cool. One day I'd like to give this a try.

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