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Old 08-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
RogueVassar
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Default Pitching a wild yeast but wanting to save both

Hey, I tried searching but am terrible about what the terms are. I think of this as a secondary fermentation but all my searches just brought up racking to a secondary bucket or carboy. Anyway, here's my question:

My wife is brewing a Port Barrel-aged Belgian Brown Ale (which looks like it will be awesome and is a AG version of the recipe found in "Extreme Brewing") which startes of with a Belgian Strong Ale yeast. It says to pitch the Lactobacillus yeast about five or six days in as a secondary yeast.

I'm frugal and love repitching yeast so here I have two yeasts I haven't used before and would love to save them but didn't know if it would be alright to rack the beer to a different bucket before pitching the wild yeast so that I could then save the Strong Ale yeast. Then the yeast cake from the next bucket would be a way to save the wild yeast. My worry is that it might make the wild yeast stronger in the second fermenter if there isn't as much of the other yeast to battle it for the remaining sugars.

For all my urges to save these yeasts, I don't want to harm the beer (especially since it's my wife's).

Thanks!

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Old 08-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
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Your plan sounds awesome and is what I do most of the time. The only time I ever use a secondary is if I am souring, or adding other ingredients (dry hops, fruit etc). The reason I don't use dry hops in the primary fermenter is because I don't want the added trub for when I harvest the yeast!

One thing to look out for is saving yeast on a high gravity batch. Yeast tend to get stressed out with recipes resulting in high alcohol levels! But a strong ale yeast should be just fine to harvest from a high gravity batch!

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Old 08-15-2011, 03:08 PM   #3
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First thing, lactobacillus isn't a yeast, it's a bacteria.

Racking over before adding the lacto would be a fine way to save the Belgian Ale yeast. However, you're not really going to be able to "save" the lacto the way you're thinking. While I do remember hearing from someone from Wyeast that the lacto will settle out in a way, it's definitely still going to be mixed with some Belgian Ale yeast that's still in suspension, so you won't really be able to collect JUST the lacto without doing some plate cultures and things like that.

But, you could still save it, you'll just have a slurry of a couple of things instead of one.

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Old 08-15-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanecb View Post
First thing, lactobacillus isn't a yeast, it's a bacteria.

Racking over before adding the lacto would be a fine way to save the Belgian Ale yeast. However, you're not really going to be able to "save" the lacto the way you're thinking. While I do remember hearing from someone from Wyeast that the lacto will settle out in a way, it's definitely still going to be mixed with some Belgian Ale yeast that's still in suspension, so you won't really be able to collect JUST the lacto without doing some plate cultures and things like that.

But, you could still save it, you'll just have a slurry of a couple of things instead of one.
Good point. The lacto you harvest out will be mixed with the belgian yeast, but for souring purposes in the future I wouldn't worry about it. The bacteria will overtake the yeast when pitched into wort that has already been fermented.

OP if you are really frugal and want to actually use WILD bacteria instead of "domesticated wild" Lacto, you could add some crushed grains or dust from crusted grains to the secondary...malt is COVERED in Lacto
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for your help. Germelli, I am the same as you and have only used the secondary when I didn't want a bunch of dry hops in the yeast cake. I had forgotten that lacto is a bacteria! I figure that I would only reuse it with a belgian yeast of some sort so the "contamination" wouldn't run counter to any of the flavors I was going for, thanks for the heads up.

Does repitching the lacto involve a different process or can I go through the same motions of a yeast starter?

Experimenting with truly wild bacteria probably runs counter to my frugality since I'd probably have trouble drinking most of my creations.

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Old 08-15-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
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Starters usually wont work in the same terms that we use with yeast. The bacteria work at a much slower pace so unless you plan a starter months before your pitching date, you won't see much benefit.

My [not so] wild bacteria experience is limited to Brett C, but it should be the same concepts! If you harvest is back, I would store it in a bunch of half pint jars and just pitch them straight into the beer you want to sour!

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Old 08-15-2011, 06:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help!

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Old 08-16-2011, 03:53 PM   #8
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If you do decide to go for a starter, make sure it's an elevated temperature for lactobacillus production.

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