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Old 01-30-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
OrdinaryAvgGuy
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Default Step up schedule for bottle harvest

Hey everyone - I've read over several threads on harvesting yeast from commercial beer and still had a couple questions that perhaps someone can help me answer.

My goal is to brew a Two Hearted Ale clone using yeast harvested from Bell’s Amber Ale or Pale Ale. It seems as if the general process is to start with a small volume of low gravity starter and gradually increase both the gravity and volume. Here is the process that I was contemplating using:

1. Save dregs from 4 bottles while practicing good sanitation.
2. Create initial starter with OG 1.020. Start with a 100ml starter. Place on stir plate.
3. Chill and decant. Add yeast to new 500ml starter @ 1.030. Leave on stir plate for 24 hours.
4. Chill and decant. Add yeast to new 1500ml starter @ 1.040. Leave on stir plate for 24 hours. Decant and pitch.

Does this step-up schedule appear to be correct?

When creating the first starter, doesn't the OG of the starter become greatly reduced when you add the bottle dregs? The dreges are likely going to add up to over 100ml by their self. Should I compensate for this by starting with a higher gravity starter? Perhaps 1.030?

How long should I leave the initial starter on the stir plate? Iv'e read 24 hours but elsewhere I read 3 days?

Will these three step ups create enough yeast for a 5 gallon batch of Two Hearted Ale?

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Old 01-30-2014, 07:34 PM   #2
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>>How long should I leave the initial starter on the stir plate? Iv'e read 24 hours but elsewhere I read 3 days?

I give my starters 5 days and I refrigerate them for at least a day then decant. In the Chris White Yeast book I think they mention either 18 hours, or 5 days.


>>Will these three step ups create enough yeast for a 5 gallon batch of Two Hearted Ale?

Thats a 7% beer so your starter size is fine.

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Old 01-30-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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I've only ever had one failure with this method, and it did ferment eventually, it was just too late. Leave about 30ml in the bottle when you pour it, and add about 30ml 1.04 dme solution. Cover with sanitised foil and give it about 3 days. Then add that to 300ml at 1.04 on the stirplate. After that you should be able to do the final step to pretty much whatever you want to reach your desired cell count. I only ever cool and decant if my flask can't handle the volume.

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Old 01-30-2014, 08:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riot View Post
I've only ever had one failure with this method, and it did ferment eventually, it was just too late. Leave about 30ml in the bottle when you pour it, and add about 30ml 1.04 dme solution. Cover with sanitised foil and give it about 3 days. Then add that to 300ml at 1.04 on the stirplate. After that you should be able to do the final step to pretty much whatever you want to reach your desired cell count. I only ever cool and decant if my flask can't handle the volume.
So you leave the last oz in the bottle and add an oz of 1.040 wort to each bottle? I'm assuming that you use 3-4 bottles then combine with 300ml @ 1.040?
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:35 AM   #5
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I harvested from 2 hearted ale. My step ups were.
250ml-1.020
500ml-1.030
1L-1.037
2.5L-1.040(only need a 2L starter, but made an extra 1/2L to save for another brew day.)
Harvested from 1 bottle very fresh though. Had plenty off yeast jumping from 1L to a 2.5L step up. Yeast does need room to grow. You really need to do the small step ups early so they are not stressed. Once they get going the bigger step ups create more yeast without as much of a stress on them.

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Old 02-01-2014, 12:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by OrdinaryAvgGuy View Post
So you leave the last oz in the bottle and add an oz of 1.040 wort to each bottle? I'm assuming that you use 3-4 bottles then combine with 300ml @ 1.040?
No, I only ever use one bottle. The first step leaves you with 50-60 ml of 1.020 substrate with a bit of alcohol. This is easy for the bottling yeast to colonize, never sacrificing the protective qualities of the alcohol. I keep it in the bottle until its active to try to avoid contamination. A new vessel could introduce new microbes, if they're in the bottle the sample is de facto contaminated.
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