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Old 12-29-2009, 06:28 PM   #1
psychobrawler
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Default Harvesting yeast for use in a high gravity fermentation?

I've had a lot of success culturing yeast from some of my favorite local Michigan breweries (Bells, Founders, etc.) I'm considering doing a barley wine that would be signicantly higher OG than the beers I typically get these from.

My thought is to do a quick brown ale and ferement it out using a cultured strain from a Bell's Amber ale, then pitch the barleywine onto the cake. Has anyone tried something similar with harvested yeast?

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Old 12-29-2009, 07:31 PM   #2
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I think that would be great if you washed the yeast first. I am not a fan of pitching onto the cake. For what it is worth I used WLP001 in a large starter and I went from 1.108 to 1.022 in my Barley Wine. This was 2 vials pitched into a 3L starter.

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Old 12-29-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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actually i believe thats more or less the recommended procedure for making a barley wine. i think the fact that its harvested yeast is really a non issue. just so long as its healthy, clean, and you have enough of it.

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Old 12-29-2009, 11:27 PM   #4
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I guess my main concern is using a cultured strain. Since I don't really have a good way of knowing the attenuation, flocculation, or alcohol tolerance characters of the cultured yeast.

I've had no problems using a starter with cultured strains on batches around 1.050, and have actually gotten some really vigorous fermentation this way. I've never carried over the cake to try a bigger brew with a cultured strain though. Will simply using that large of a starter make it a pretty safe bet, or am I taking a risk without knowing more about the strain?

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