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Old 11-30-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default Which Bell's yeast should I culture?

Which is the better choice - Bell's Amber Ale (5.8%) or Bell's Christmas Ale (5.5%)? I'm making a Two Hearted clone.

I'd use Oberon if I could find it.

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Old 11-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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Oberon is seasonal, so that'll be tough. I was going to use their Pale Ale yeast built up for a 2 Hearted clone. I instead bought Best Brown Ale (5.8%) since it was on sale and I had not tried it before. I HOPE it's the same yeast (fingers crossed, can anyone confirm?). It was active almost immediately with a October mfg date. I'm ahead of schedule on my starter.

Back to your question I know the Amber Ale uses the yeast you're looking for. Not sure on the Christmas Ale. Pale Ale is lower yet at 5.2%.

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Old 11-30-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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All Bell's beers use the same house yeast, (except for Sparkling Ale, Hell Hath No Fury, Winter White, and Oarsman. )

Use any modest gravity beer you like. Check the batch number on the back, though. A higher number means a more recent batch. Fresher is better here. Cheers!

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Old 11-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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The lighter styles will likely have more viable yeast in them.

However, I have cultured a few two-hearted batches simply because that was the beer I most wanted to drink!

I've gotten it from Oberon and I think Amber before.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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I used the dregs from 4 bottles of amber ale in a pint starter with a half cup of dme on a stir plate. After about 3 days I cold crashed in my fridge, poured off the beer and pitched the yeast into a 2 liter starter with 1 cup of dme. 3 days later I cold crashed, decanted, and pitched into my THA clone. It took off and I had my first blowoff. In the third week of primary now. Go for it!

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:14 AM   #6
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I've successfully harvested Bell's yeast from their amber ale in the past.

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Old 12-01-2011, 05:19 AM   #7
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Rumor has it that Bell's yeast is relatively close to American Ale II/California Ale V. I'd be interested to taste a beer brewed with a bottle harvest and one of the aforementioned yeasts side by side. Feel free to send me what you have if you decide to perform said experiment for me!

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Old 12-01-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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Bell's Pale Ale is actually a blonde ale (low gravity / hopping) and if you let them sit extra cold, plenty of yeast.

Definitely worth harvesting. Super clean, flocculant strain.

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
All Bell's beers use the same house yeast, (except for Sparkling Ale, Hell Hath No Fury, Winter White, and Oarsman. )

Use any modest gravity beer you like. Check the batch number on the back, though. A higher number means a more recent batch. Fresher is better here. Cheers!
According to Bell's site, Oarsman uses their house ale yeast. With an ABV of 4%, do you think this would be the best yeast to culture?
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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Here's a pic of my starter made from Bells Best Brown Ale. 1/2 pint, 1 pint, and 2 pint for wort additions. Nice healthy krausen, eh? I'm hoping it finishes today so it can cold crash tonight and be pitched late Saturday.

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