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Old 03-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #1
riley484
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Default Bottom of Bottle Yeast for a clone?

I'm making a wheat clone and the recipe calls for the yeast to be the bottom 1/2 inch of 6 bottles of the beer I'm trying to clone. I haven't heard of this before (I am a pretty new homebrewer though).

Has anyone done this before? Is this common? Anything that I should be aware of to increase my chances of a successful fermentation? Thanks.

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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Do a search on yeast culturing. You'll need to make a starter and pitch that bottle yeast into the starter. May take a day or so to start up. You may also need to step up the starter to get a larger volume of yeast. But a basic starter will get you going.

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Old 03-24-2009, 02:27 PM   #3
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And make sure you pour off the beer into glasses before drinking. Hopefully you don't drink directly out of the bottle anyways, but if you're looking to culture yeast from the bottle drinking directly from the bottle is a big no no. You'll introduce all of your mouth germ friends into your starter if you do...

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Old 03-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice!

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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What clone are you doing? If it's a trapist beer, White Labs sells the same strain that is used at the trapist monetary.

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Old 03-24-2009, 04:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_g View Post
What clone are you doing? If it's a trapist beer, White Labs sells the same strain that is used at the trapist monetary.
There are 7 different trappist monestaries, and at least that many trappist yeasts.

* Westmalle monastery produces yeast used by Westmalle themselves, Westvleteran, and Achel. This is Wyeast 3787/White labs 530.
* Chimay has their own yeast strain. This is Wyeast 1214/WLP 500
* Rochefort has their own yeast strain. This is Wyeast 1762/WLP 540.
* Orval has several yeast strains. One of these is WLP 510 but they also use a Brett strain and reputedly several other variations. Some people report good results pitching 510 originally and bottle-cultured yeast (which is presumably a fuller blend) or Brett at secondary.
* Koningshoeven uses at least one and possibly more strains of their own. They are the only Trappist brewery outside of Belgium (located in the Netherlands).

In addition, the St Bernardus brewery did all the brewing for Westvleteran until 1992, when Westvleteran moved production. The St Bernardus yeast is apparently the traditional Westvleteran yeast, so that's a historically trappist yeast. Westvleteran outsourced their yeast production to Westmalle (as noted above) and no longer uses the historic strain.

EDIT: Orval is 510, not 500.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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I always heard that they used a different strain of yeast for the bottle conditioning and that you can't culture the primary yeast from the bottle of any trappist ale...

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Old 03-25-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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SumnerH,

Thanks for the clarification. I deliberately oversimplified my post. I was only making the point that bottle harvesting yeast may not be necessary. Actually, there's more like 170 Trappist monasteries. Only six of these brew beer.

woollybugger2,
I've head that too, but here is a quote from Brother Pierre of Rochefort (taken from Brew Like a Monk):
"Every brewer with some experience is able to copy our beers perfectly. After bottling, the yeast cells still keep living for about six months. Anyone wanting our yeast can remove it from the bottom and cultivate it."

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Old 03-25-2009, 05:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_g View Post
SumnerH,

Thanks for the clarification. I deliberately oversimplified my post. I was only making the point that bottle harvesting yeast may not be necessary. Actually, there's more like 170 Trappist monasteries. Only six of these brew beer.
Good clarification, there are plenty of non-brewing Trappist monastaries.

There are 7 that brew beer--Westvleteran, Westmalle, Achel, Rochefort, Orval, Chimay, and Koningshoeven.

Quote:
woollybugger2,
I've head that too, but here is a quote from Brother Pierre of Rochefort (taken from Brew Like a Monk):
"Every brewer with some experience is able to copy our beers perfectly. After bottling, the yeast cells still keep living for about six months. Anyone wanting our yeast can remove it from the bottom and cultivate it."
Yeah, the bottling yeast thing is a bit overstated. It's done occasionally, most notably by Orval (with Brett), but it's to add some sort of extra character to the beer (not to "hide" their yeast).

I know that at least Westmalle, Rochefort, and Chimay can be cultivated straight out of the bottle, and I'd assume Achel and Westvleteran can too (if not, you can easily get it from a bottle of Westmalle). Koningshoeven I'm not sure about.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:21 AM   #10
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SumnerH,

The Book Brew Like a Monk says there are only 6 that brew beer. Did they miss one? I did some investigating on Wikipedia, apparently while Koningshoeven does brew their beer in a Trappist monastery, they lost their right to call it an authentic Trappist product. I assume the book does not count Koningshoeven for this reason.

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