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Old 09-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
robqualls
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Default Harvesting yeast from a bottle

I want to start cloning some of my favorite beers but I know for a fact that I will never be able to nail it unless I get that yeast out of the bottle. Anyone have a good method for harvesting yeast and saving it from the bottom of the bottle?

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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After pouring off a beer from a bottle conditioned variety I want to harvest, I'll leave the dregs in the bottle and recap or plug it and put it back in the fridge. It's best if you can collect up a few of those bottles. When you're ready to propagate, make a small, low gravity starter (about half cup 1.030 wort), let the bottles warm to room temp, and then pitch them into the starter. Put it on the stir plate, then slowly ramp up the volume of starter over the course of about a week. It usually takes a while to get an adequate volume of yeast, so the first time I pitch that into a recipe, I'll usually start with a smaller volume of wort (2-3 gallons.) I'll then harvest enough healthy yeast from the primary to use in larger batches.

It's work and it can be time consuming, but it's rewarding. I'm now using a Bell's strain as my house yeast, which all started a year ago as the dregs from one little bottle of their beer.

Note that the yeast from some breweries is already available commercially, so you can save yourself some time depending on what beers you are trying to clone.

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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Here ya go.... just find out if the bottling yeast matches the fermentation yeast.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/entries/...l-bottles.html

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CastleHollow
After pouring off a beer from a bottle conditioned variety I want to harvest, I'll leave the dregs in the bottle and recap or plug it and put it back in the fridge. It's best if you can collect up a few of those bottles. When you're ready to propagate, make a small, low gravity starter (about half cup 1.030 wort), let the bottles warm to room temp, and then pitch them into the starter. Put it on the stir plate, then slowly ramp up the volume of starter over the course of about a week. It usually takes a while to get an adequate volume of yeast, so the first time I pitch that into a recipe, I'll usually start with a smaller volume of wort (2-3 gallons.) I'll then harvest enough healthy yeast from the primary to use in larger batches.

It's work and it can be time consuming, but it's rewarding. I'm now using a Bell's strain as my house yeast, which all started a year ago as the dregs from one little bottle of their beer.

Note that the yeast from some breweries is already available commercially, so you can save yourself some time depending on what beers you are trying to clone.
Wow thanks for going so Indepth! I appreciate it. I'll be buying my first stir plate very soon. I'll make sure that the beer in cloning doesn't already have their yeast available commercially.
Thanks again!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsbeeryo
Here ya go.... just find out if the bottling yeast matches the fermentation yeast.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/entries/...l-bottles.html
This is a great article as well thanks for sending me the link. I'm loving these fourmes more and more.
Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsbeeryo View Post
Here ya go.... just find out if the bottling yeast matches the fermentation yeast.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/entries/...l-bottles.html
^ This
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:28 AM   #7
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You have to be a bit selective here. Be sure you are harvesting the fermentation yeast. Some brewers, like Sierra Nevada ferment with one yeast, filter and add back a yeast for bottle conditioning. If you cultured a yeast from a SNPA bottle, you would be very disappointed with the yeast you end up with.

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCuckerson
You have to be a bit selective here. Be sure you are harvesting the fermentation yeast. Some brewers, like Sierra Nevada ferment with one yeast, filter and add back a yeast for bottle conditioning. If you cultured a yeast from a SNPA bottle, you would be very disappointed with the yeast you end up with.
Thanks for the info. Does anyone know if Shorts brewery in Elk Rapids bottle conditions? Also wouldn't most true Trappist beers have good yeast to harvest?
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