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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Dreg harvested yeast smells funny
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Dreg harvested yeast smells funny

I attempted to do my first attempt at harvesting yeast from a bottle. During a tasting last week I saved about 2oz of dregs from Ommegang Hennepin and pitched it into a small starter I made on Sunday at around 69F. I didnt see a sediment of yeast in the bottle but there had to be at least a little bit of critters. I left my flask double covered with a muslin bag to allow for more oxygen to come in contact with the wort. After about 30+ hours (when I came home the following day from work) there was some formation on the top of wort. I shook the flask and let it sit another day. 24 hours later there was still some formation on top but nothing like krausen. Now the whatever is growing inside has a distinct smell and its a medicinal smell, sort of like hospital smell of sanitizer or something similar. To me it smells more of medicinal than nail polish.

Is this overstressed yeast I am feeding or did I pick up some bugs? I never had this kind of smell from a brew and dont want to risk wasting a batch.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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I would say don't use it because yeast should not smell like that. What was the starting gravity of your starter? It should be small and pretty damn weak in order to get a proper starter from a bottle since the cell count is so dismal.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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i would be hesitant to keep a starter exposed to air like that, espcially when you are trying to grow a small amount of yeast-cheesecloth isn't going to do anything for bacteria.

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #4
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To harvest yeast from commercial breweries, you need to carefully harvest the sediment from several bottles and step up the volume to ensure healthy yeast.

Next time use foil, not cheesecloth.

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the answers. I made it a light starter but I didnt measure the gravity. The only reason why I didnt use foil or stopper was because I wanted to get more oxygen in.

Next time I try to harvest I will buy 2 bottles and harvest from both of them at the same time.

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
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Loosely wrapped foil will allow O2 to get in.

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Old 05-05-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerkrump View Post
Loosely wrapped foil will allow O2 to get in.
And keep the crap you don't want in there out. That is why it is mentioned in almost all articles and chapters in books on harvesting yeast.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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+1 on the foil and small starter volumes(2-3 oz) and gravity(like 1.020). Also, flame the foil with a lighter before you cap the starter. I actually just use the beer bottle itself as my vessel, add a small amount of wort, swirl, flame the bottle lip and piece of foil, loosely cap, then store on top of fridge. Wait a few days, decant, then step up with a slightly stronger and larger volume wort. Repeat until you reach your desired starter volume.

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