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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Dry yeast starter for harvesting from commercial beers
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
atakanokan
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Default Dry yeast starter for harvesting from commercial beers

Hi guys,
I want to harvest yeast from a commercial beer that is unfiltered however I have a question. Is it possible to harvest yeast from a commercial beer without making a liquid yeast starter with wort. Can't I just do a starter for the harvested yeast as I would to a dry yeast? I don't have DME or any cooled wort available right now.

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by atakanokan View Post
Hi guys,
I want to harvest yeast from a commercial beer that is unfiltered however I have a question. Is it possible to harvest yeast from a commercial beer without making a liquid yeast starter with wort. Can't I just do a starter for the harvested yeast as I would to a dry yeast? I don't have DME or any cooled wort available right now.
You mean add water? Like you do to rehydrate dry yeast? That's not a starter, that's water.

The reason for using DME or wort when you harvest yeast is to increase the cell count. The amount of yeast in a bottle conditioned beer is a very tiny amount, and not enough yeast cells to ferment an entire batch. That's why you use a wort with it- to get yeast reproduction. Adding water to it just adds water to it.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yooper
You mean add water? Like you do to rehydrate dry yeast? That's not a starter, that's water. The reason for using DME or wort when you harvest yeast is to increase the cell count. The amount of yeast in a bottle conditioned beer is a very tiny amount, and not enough yeast cells to ferment an entire batch. That's why you use a wort with it- to get yeast reproduction. Adding water to it just adds water to it.
Yeah. I'm a tad confused by the question, actually...
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick answer. No not that. Rehydrating it first and adding sugar solution. I saw it in How to Brew by John Palmer. As stated in the book, the sugar does the same thing as DME or wort, helping the yeast to reproduce. Is it possible with just sugar, the yeast will be able to reproduce to an adequate number?

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by atakanokan
Thanks for the quick answer. No not that. Rehydrating it first and adding sugar solution. I saw it in How to Brew by John Palmer. As stated in the book, the sugar does the same thing as DME or wort, helping the yeast to reproduce. Is it possible with just sugar, the yeast will be able to reproduce to an adequate number?
I wouldn't recommend using sugar. Is DME hard to come by?
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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I wouldn't recommend using sugar. Is DME hard to come by?
Yes it is really hard to find DME. What is the reason behind not recommending sugar?
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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Yes it is really hard to find DME. What is the reason behind not recommending sugar?
Because while the yeast will ferment the sugar, the idea behind making a starter is to grow yeast that will ferment maltose.

In Palmers book, he's not making a starter- he's proofing the yeast. (Which is no longer recommended, by the way). Adding enough sugar to actually get enough yeast reproduction to ferment a batch would mean a TON of sugar and unhealthy yeast.

I'd make a batch of wort by mashing and boiling, or getting some DME or LME, or forget about trying to get enough yeast out of a bottle conditioned beer to ferment a whole batch.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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Because you'll end up with a big colony of yeast that are really good at eating plain old table sugar, but perhaps not so good at eating maltose.

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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Not sure of your location, atakanokan, but all of the online homebrew supply stores will gladly sell a pound or two of DME - Even though I brew with grain, I always keep DME in my freezer for starters. You might consider that....

good luck!

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:48 PM   #10
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I did not know that was an out of date information. I will make a wort then. Thanks for the help. Another question that just popped up: if I find a maltose solution or a pure extract, can I use it as written in palmers book? I thought it was for a starter, what is "proofing" anyway?

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