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Old 12-19-2011, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Sierra Nevada Yeast Harvest

I'm trying to get a yeast harvest from a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is my first time attempting something like this.

I boiled about 1/3 cup LME in a pint of water, let it cool to room temperature Sanitized a quart mason jar and added the wort, then drained the bottom sludge from 3 bottles of the PA. I covered the jar with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature. The original "head" on top of the wort went away after a couple days, then a small layer of white bubbles showed up on top of the wort.

It's been sitting at about 68 degrees for 6 days or so.

So my question is: now what? Am I right so far? How do I tell if this is any good? Am I going to be dumping a cesspool of bacteria into my full batch? I didn't get an OG reading, but can probably get a calculated estimation. I've heard the term "decant" with this process, how much should I be pouring off the top?


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Old 12-19-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Before you decant, you need to chill it overnight to get the yeast to settle. I'm assuming you're not using a stir plate, do you have a pile of yeast sediment growing at the bottom? Sometimes it's just a leap of faith, but you can usually tell if it's any good or not by the smell. Anything nasty will smell nasty.

Your process seems solid, and this process can take a while depending on the age of the bottles. You should be able to see a buildup of yeast sediment if they're growing.

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Old 12-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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You may also need to step it up a little to get a bigger starter culture, i've be wanting to do this for a while but i was going to try it with pacman yeast! The other thing to consider is some breweries use lager yeast to bottle condition but i think your alright with sierra pale ale! Post to let us know how it goes.

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Old 12-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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The Sierra Nevada yeast in the pale ale is US-05, WLP001, Wyeast 1056.

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Old 12-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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What you have described above it the general process however there are a couple of different ways. I like to plate the yeast out of a bottle and isolate a single colony with the idea that I can spot any bacteria to avoid the cesspool situation.

As a side note SNPA uses WLP001/WY1056/US05 so although it is a good practice the yeast you capture can be easily purchased.

There is a list floating on this forum of what people how found yeast in what beer.



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