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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Westvleteren Yeast
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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Default Westvleteren Yeast

I had the good fortune of getting one bottle each of Westvleteren blond, 8, and 12 during a recent trip to Belgium. I drank the bottle of blond and immediately wished I had tried to harvest the yeast.

Does anyone know if it's the same yeast used in the 8 and/or 12? If it is, can I use the yeast from the 8 or 12 to make a clone of the blond, considering the blond is a lower ABV?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 04-10-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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Same yeast for all their beers, yeah.

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Old 04-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Westvleteren uses the Westmalle Strain, I believe (WLP 530).

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Old 04-11-2012, 12:23 AM   #4
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Yup. Wlp 530 or WY3787

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:08 AM   #5
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I figured there was a commercial version, but I'm interested in harvesting from the bottle. Good to know that its the same strand in each of the beers.

So will I have any trouble harvesting from a single bottle of the 8 or 12 since they're 8 and 10% ABV respectively?

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobrien View Post
I figured there was a commercial version, but I'm interested in harvesting from the bottle. Good to know that its the same strand in each of the beers.

So will I have any trouble harvesting from a single bottle of the 8 or 12 since they're 8 and 10% ABV respectively?
It's definitely not recommended with big beers like that, but it's possible.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:01 AM   #7
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You'd need several bottles of high ABV beers like the 8 or 12 due to the high alcohol content. Also, some Belgian breweries bottle condition with a different yeast (sometimes lager yeast) than is used in primary fermentation. Not sure about Westvleteren, though.

They get their yeast from Westmalle, which as mentioned is the same exact thing as WLP530 or WY3787, for all intents and purposes. A romantic notion to brew a beer with yeast straight from the bottle, but really unnecessary.

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Old 04-11-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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You may have a different mutation of the yeast if you get it out of the bottle. Yes they use westmalle but the yeast has probably mutated over the years since white labs or wyeast sourced their cultures. Now WL and WY are probably kept in a cryogenic state from 10 years ago or something. Westmalle probably keeps a master strain in a cryo freezer too but they likely refresh the cryo storage from time to time sourced from the brewery as long as they're happy with is performance. So the yeast is evolving and changing all the time. This is why they don't advertise the yeast as from Westmalle or Chimay. It may have been from there but I'd put my money on that it's not the same yeast any longer.

If I were you I'd streak the bottle sediment on to an agar plate containing malt extract if you can do that. Then you pick the best colony from the bottle and transfer that to another plate. Pick the best colony there and start going a liquid culture. The interesting thing would be to do a split batch and ferment with WLP530 and the grown up culture from the Westvleteren bottle.

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole
If I were you I'd streak the bottle sediment on to an agar plate containing malt extract if you can do that. Then you pick the best colony from the bottle and transfer that to another plate. Pick the best colony there and start going a liquid culture. The interesting thing would be to do a split batch and ferment with WLP530 and the grown up culture from the Westvleteren bottle.
this is an interesting idea. I haven't tried slanting yet, I'm still new to harvesting from bottles. I think I'll do some reading and I might go this route
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:25 AM   #10
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I have a westy 12 that i brought back from the source and was thinking about doing the same, did you end up doing slants with this? I'm new to bottle harvesting too (have been batch harvesting since batch 1, some ten batches ago).

Cheers,
Steve

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