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Old 05-01-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
Spaceball1
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Default Bottle Harvesting Questions..

So I was at a store last night, and they had a pretty good selection of Rogue bombers. I saw one that I hadn't tried (somer ale: http://www.rogue.com/beers/somer-ale.php), and noticed that it actually said "Unfiltered" and "Pacman Yeast" on the label. Then I looked at the bottom of the bottle, and there was a nice little buildup of yeasties settled out. Cha-ching. I decided to buy yeast for brewing, and they gave me 22 oz of free beer and a great bottle to boot. What a deal!

So anyway..

From what I gather, harvesting from a bottle is similar to the yeast washing process except that the starting cell count is much smaller. So, after harvesting, I add a few small DME starters to build up the cell count before I put it in the fridge..

So my questions are..

What kind of DME should I use for my starters? I don't want to affect the taste of the next beer I brew with the harvested yeast..

From what I've read, the first starter needs to be "small" and then you progressively step up in to "larger" ones. Can I get some more precise instructions? i.e.

"1st round: __cup DME, __oz water, boil for __ minutes, cool to __degf, let work for __ hours"
"2nd round: __cup DME, __oz water, boil for __ minutes, cool to __degf, let work for __ hours"
"3rd round: __cup DME, __oz water, boil for __ minutes, cool to __degf, let work for __ hours"

Do I decant in between the addition of each starter, or do I just keep adding and decant once at the end?

I have a spare 1.5 gallon wine jug with an airlock & everything. Would it make sense to build my cell count in there?

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Old 05-01-2010, 04:42 PM   #2
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1st round: 1/4 cup DME, 8 oz water, build for 15 minutes, cool to 70 - 75F, let work for 48 - 72 hours.
2nd round use the same ration of DME to water (1 cup / qt), and make whatever size starter you need (I'd use 1 - 2 qt for most beers). Same boil time, same pitching temperature. For the second round, I'd let it work for 24 - 36 hours.
There is no third round, pitch the 2nd round starter in the beer.
If you want to decant and just pitch the slurry, then leave the second round for about 3 days, then chill for 24 hours and decant. Let the slurry warm to pitching temperature , and pitch.

-a.

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Old 05-01-2010, 04:45 PM   #3
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Awesome.. Exactly what I needed..

Any particular kind of DME?

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Old 05-01-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
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I use light DME. Anything would do, but preferably, you want something that is going to be fairly similar to the beer being brewed.

-a.

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Old 05-03-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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I like AJF's steps, except I would add one step before his first in which you only make 2-3 fl oz of starter.

Disclaimer: I've never built up from a bottle, but I get the impression from a lot of people that it's difficult, and you really have to work hard to get those yeast going. You don't want to provide them with too large an environment that they can't get started in. Maybe this first few oz you'd only let go for 24-36 hours, just to wake those guys up. Then pitch into AJF's 1st round.

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
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I had no problems using 1 cup of DME and 2 cups of water to get a starter going with the pacman yeast from 1 bottle of rogue stout. That yeast has since fermented many a beer and it's descendents are resting quietly in my fridge waiting to ferment yet again.

The yeast is amazing

1.095 RIS mashed at 155 deg FG = 1.018
1.095 double IPA mashed at 150 deg FG = 1.011

If you like your beers malty, with lots of body...look elsewhere cause this stuff is a buzzsaw.

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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Last month I took a bomber of Shakespeare stout and the RIS they sell in 8 ounce bottles. I drank the incredible beer and combined the dregs along with 3 ounces of starter wort. I couldn't tell if it did anything so I added 6 to 8 ounces on top of that 3 days later. Nothing happened for several days and I gave up hope. Then I walked by it at day 5 and saw a krausen ring! So... tonight I'm brewing up a 10-dollar 2 gallon extract pale ale to see how these yeast will do. N_G

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutty_gnome View Post
Last month I took a bomber of Shakespeare stout and the RIS they sell in 8 ounce bottles. I drank the incredible beer and combined the dregs along with 3 ounces of starter wort. I couldn't tell if it did anything so I added 6 to 8 ounces on top of that 3 days later. Nothing happened for several days and I gave up hope. Then I walked by it at day 5 and saw a krausen ring! So... tonight I'm brewing up a 10-dollar 2 gallon extract pale ale to see how these yeast will do. N_G
Never underestimate the power of the pacman
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #9
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i did the same with sierra, but did a 200ml starter for the first round, like i would do with a slant. it deffly takes longer to start from a bottle than a slant, but it fermented a whole 5.5 gallon batch of pale ale. people do say its hard to harvest yeast from a bottle, but i never understood why

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no_borders View Post
people do say its hard to harvest yeast from a bottle, but i never understood why
Agreed, it just takes a bit longer and requires some patience. I started brewing back in the 70's when liquid yeasts weren't available, and the dry yeasts were not at all good. I cultured yeast from Worthington White Shield or occasionally Guinness (which was naturally conditioned in England in those days. If it weren't for those beers, I would have given up brewing a long time ago.

-a.
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