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Old 02-05-2011, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Microscope for yeast

Has anyone bought a microscope for yeast count? If so, what's the best bang for your buck? I was looking around the white labs site and there is alot of information about cell count and healthy yeast cells. This peaked my interest and I was interested to see if anyone has given it a shot.

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Old 02-05-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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I'm interested to see what responses you get. I've heard 400x is the minimum you need... probably looking at around $150-$250.

I saw another thread where someone wanted to set up a lab for their homebrewing. They were going to buy all this equipment EXCEPT FOR a microscope. Their rationale was that they would still be doing plate streaks and trying to culture up from a single cell so they didn't really need a microscope to check the health. Personally I'd rather save a culture and look at it to determine its health and contamination. I hope somebody responds to this.

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Old 02-05-2011, 05:14 PM   #3
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measuring yeast in ML is much easier than counting billions of cells, but if youv'e got a lot of time of your hands....

I dont think on a homebrew scale it is necessary, commercially it is a must. But if you are into the microbiology then go for it.

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Old 02-05-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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I have been brewing beer and have neglected the yeast portion of the process. This partly because I have primarily brewed ales and now I am fermenting my first lager. That being said I am at a stuck fermentation and realized that I have been under pitching Everything.

I have ordered a stir plate and will begin using a starter on all of my beers. I am in the early stages of researching cell count and everything else that goes with it.

I am also interested to see what kind of responses I get because I know I'm not the only one wig the "all or nothing" bug!

Thanks
J

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:16 AM   #5
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Having a microscope is only part of the battle. You need to know how to use it properly. You need to know how to stain for bacteria and what that those results mean to your brewing.

Seriously, I would love for more people to buy microscopes and learn more about the natural world around, but a microscope doesn't help a homebrewer in any way.

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:24 AM   #6
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I picked up a very nice B&L 900x at a yardsale for $20. It used to belong to a local college, from what I was told. The person selling it was the widow of a bio prof.

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Old 02-06-2011, 03:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
Having a microscope is only part of the battle. You need to know how to use it properly. You need to know how to stain for bacteria and what that those results mean to your brewing.

Seriously, I would love for more people to buy microscopes and learn more about the natural world around, but a microscope doesn't help a homebrewer in any way.
I don't think he'd need to know about differential staining. Learn to recognize the difference between bacteria, yeast and mold cells first. Look for a used college microbiology text and maybe a lab book that will have some pictures of different cells. Once you know how to recognize yeast cells, learn to tell the healthy ones from the mutated and unhealthy ones. Then you need gridded colony counting slides or plates. I'd recommend the new Yeast book by Chris White, has a lot of lab practice info in it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I don't think he'd need to know about differential staining. Learn to recognize the difference between bacteria, yeast and mold cells first. Look for a used college microbiology text and maybe a lab book that will have some pictures of different cells. Once you know how to recognize yeast cells, learn to tell the healthy ones from the mutated and unhealthy ones. Then you need gridded colony counting slides or plates. I'd recommend the new Yeast book by Chris White, has a lot of lab practice info in it.
Not sure how he would tell yeast mutations from a slide, or how it would be possible to discern bacteria from fungal without stains. Morphology is only discernable when plating at that goes waaaay beyond the homebrew level.

Not trying to say don't buy a microscope, by all means buy one and learn about the surrounding enviroment , just don't expect it to affect your homebrewing.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
Not sure how he would tell yeast mutations from a slide, or how it would be possible to discern bacteria from fungal without stains. Morphology is only discernable when plating at that goes waaaay beyond the homebrew level.

Not trying to say don't buy a microscope, by all means buy one and learn about the surrounding enviroment , just don't expect it to affect your homebrewing.
Yeah. If we're talking microscopes and differential staining, we are getting into the realm of quality control...which is fine if that's what you're after, but if you just want to know if something is contaminated, plate it and count CFUs.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
Not sure how he would tell yeast mutations from a slide, or how it would be possible to discern bacteria from fungal without stains. Morphology is only discernable when plating at that goes waaaay beyond the homebrew level.

Not trying to say don't buy a microscope, by all means buy one and learn about the surrounding enviroment , just don't expect it to affect your homebrewing.
Let's just say I disagree with your conclusion that plating is way beyond homebrew level. Not only do plenty of people try it or do it, but it is talked about extensively in a book targeted directly at homebrewers relating exclusively to yeast.

I have spent plenty of time telling people not to waste their money on 150 dollar microscopes if they think they are going to do a methylene blue stain and viability counts on it, but I would not say it's beyond the homebrew level.
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