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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Oberon Yeast Harvesting – Multiple Bottle Dregs?
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
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This Saturday morning I brewed up 10 gallons of a Two Hearted Ale clone. I had intentions of splitting the batch between US05 and WLP029, but my wife brought home a case of Oberon around lunchtime. So I got the brilliant idea to harvest the yeast from the dregs of the bottles. I’ve done this before but had a full week to properly step up a starter from a six pack.

I knew that I didn’t want my chilled wort sitting for that long without having any yeast in it, so I decided to try to harvest as much yeast as I could. Had a couple friends over and we killed all but about 4 bottles. Each bottle was carefully poured into a glass until the sediment was just starting to get ready to come out the bottle. I flamed the bottle lip and poured into a 1 liter starter with OG of approx 1.030 (ambient temps were around 68 and I had been swirling the starter enough that my wife was mad at me for loving yeast more than her).

The last bottle dregs probably got poured around 8 PM Saturday. Yesterday morning I didn’t see many signs of fermentation (other than a thin layer dusting of yeast/dregs at the bottom of starter) but decided to made up another 1 liter of 1.040. I then mixed everything together into a gallon jug and went back to the swirling. This morning I still didn’t see any real krausen or many bubbles forming but I got nervous and just pitched the entire starter in my 5.5 gallons of 1.064 Two Hearted clone set at 63F. I also applied pure O2 for about 1 minute 30 seconds.

So my questions:

How much active yeast did I get from 20 bottles of Oberon?

Is there a chance that the yeast was multiplying in the starter even though I saw very little signs of fermentation?

How long should I wait before dumping my backup of US-05 cake in the fermenter?
I want to try to keep the bells strain going for at least a couple generations of brews but I may just have to abandon this batch and start a properly stepped up starter with the four remaining bottles.

I’ll be sure to update this thread with my results as this brew progresses.

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Old 04-02-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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Well this morning there still was no krausen (just a small ring of bubbles around the perimeter). It did seem like the wort changed color slightly so maybe the yeast is going into log phase.

(fingers crossed)

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Old 04-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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Daily update: this morning there was a nice layer of foamy Krausen, similar to what I've seen before with the Bells strain. I'd imagine I have probably under pitched and may get some off flavors, but it looks like its working at least!

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Old 04-04-2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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100+ views and no comments yet… oh well, I continue my log of info:

The yeasties were really working hard this morning. I was happy to see a nice swirling of gunk/yeast/break material as they caused a nice convection current in the carboy. It seemed like fermentation temps were rising since the thermoprobe temperature was not dropping as quickly in the ferm chamber (located in unheated garage).

Krausen was approaching the neck of carboy so I affixed a blow-off tube (and added 5 drops of Fermcap). It should be worth noting that the other carboy, which received a healthy quart of WLP029 yeast slurry on Saturday night, was already approaching the end of vigorous fermentation (krausen was falling, yeast seemed to be flocc’ing a bit).

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Old 04-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Wow, cant believe its been three weeks since I brewed this. Life's gotten busy and I havent had as much time to obsess over my beer

I did take a peek into the ferm chamber last night and it looked like all the krausen had fallen out of suspension and the beer is fairly clear so I am assuming its done fermenting. I'll take a hydro sample tonight to see where it ended up. If all is good I am going to cold crash and try to keg/dry hop it this weekend since my previous IPA (Nugget Nectar clone) just kicked.

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Old 04-24-2013, 05:55 PM   #6
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I harvest dregs from Oberon last year, only a 6'er. Had to step it up several times before I had any real quantity of yeast, then brewed a TH clone with 1/2 the yeast and saved the rest for another batch. Have used it twice since then. Each time I build up a large starter (more than I need) and pitch some and save some. Works great so far!

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Old 04-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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This is the first time I saw your thread. Looking forward to hearing how it turns out.

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Old 04-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
I harvest dregs from Oberon last year, only a 6'er. Had to step it up several times before I had any real quantity of yeast, then brewed a TH clone with 1/2 the yeast and saved the rest for another batch. Have used it twice since then. Each time I build up a large starter (more than I need) and pitch some and save some. Works great so far!
Yea I saved a portion of the yeast starter in an old (sanitized) white labs tube. I also plan to wash the yeast from this batch but I wanted to keep some from the get-go in case I ended up with some sort of infection or otherwise undesired effect.

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This is the first time I saw your thread. Looking forward to hearing how it turns out.
I will definitely keep ya updated! Hoping to have this on tap by mother's day. Its one of my wife's (recent new mommy) favorite beers!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:16 PM   #9
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Nice! I recently brewed an Oberon inspired American wheat using Wyeast 1272 that I fermented warm and dry-hopped with saaz and cascade. It came out great. I would love to get my hands on some Bell's house yeast, but they don't distribute to my neck of the woods.

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Old 04-24-2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLBeanJ View Post
Nice! I recently brewed an Oberon inspired American wheat using Wyeast 1272 that I fermented warm and dry-hopped with saaz and cascade. It came out great. I would love to get my hands on some Bell's house yeast, but they don't distribute to my neck of the woods.
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