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Old 09-12-2006, 05:51 PM   #1
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Default My Yeast Died.

I made a porter last weekend. For the most part, everything went ok. Nothing was unusual.

Except, my smackpack of Wyeast 1028 London Ale never puffed after I smacked it. I pitched it anyway, and as one would expect of a smackpack that failed to puff, my wort failed to do anything as well.

So now I have a carboy full of porter wort just sitting in my closet. I'm worried that it's going to get infected. The brew store is closed until tomorrow. I have some champagne yeast, but pitching champagne yeast into a porter just because you have nothing else to pitch seems kind of crazy.

Should I wait and make a special trip to the brew store tomorrow or throw caution to the wind and get the porter fermenting with something/anything(champagne) before it gets infected by something that I don't want in there?

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Old 09-12-2006, 05:56 PM   #2
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Get some yeast in there quickly! If you have a local brewery or brewpub go ask them for some yeast. Explain what is going on and see if they will help you out. If they don't, well toss them onto the dung pile!

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Old 09-12-2006, 11:14 PM   #3
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OK, Crazy Idea #2:

What if I dropped by the store on the way home and bought a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada Porter, cool one down to room temp and pour it into the carboy? Would the active yeast in the beer begin to ferment the wort?

Seems so crazy it just might work...!

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Old 09-13-2006, 01:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prez
OK, Crazy Idea #2:

What if I dropped by the store on the way home and bought a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada Porter, cool one down to room temp and pour it into the carboy? Would the active yeast in the beer begin to ferment the wort?

Seems so crazy it just might work...!
It *might* work, but what kind of yeast is in that porter? I recall reading that Sierra Nevada uses a sifferent strain to bottle condition than they use for primary fermentation. If that's true, you might be adding something strange.

Oh... one more thing..... I've had zero luck harvesting yeast from a commercial bottle, but it's worth a shot.

If you are comfortable using the yeast in the SN porter bottle, give it a shot. if it doesn't work, go buy some yeast tomorrow and the LHBS and pitch it (and complain that your previous pack waqs DOA.)
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:37 AM   #5
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It has been done. Pitched a room temperature Sierra Nevada porter into the mix. I called the SN brewery today just to make sure that they didn't do something screwy before bottling. They said the yeast in the bottle should be active.

I got home and noticed that the wort had white foam spots on top. At least, I think it was foam. I don't think it was mold. Looked weird. Its possible that I was wrong and fermentation has begun.

1 yeast could work, they could both work, or they could both fail. We'll see what's up tomorrow. Thanks for your advice, guys.

I have no idea how to culture yeast from commercial bottles, but I know it can be done. New Belgium's Abbey Ale yeast was cultured from "bottles" of Chimay in the 80's, before Chimay "cleaned up" its yeast in the 90s. A lot of the professional cats have degrees in Microbiology now, so it naturally follows that science nerds make the best beer. I'm sure petri dishes and Q-tips are involved in some way, I just don't know how!

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Old 09-13-2006, 03:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I called the SN brewery today just to make sure that they didn't do something screwy before bottling. They said the yeast in the bottle should be active.
Sure, it's active, but is it the same strain of yeast that i sused for fermentation?

Quote:
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I have no idea how to culture yeast from commercial bottles, but I know it can be done. New Belgium's Abbey Ale yeast was cultured from "bottles" of Chimay in the 80's, before Chimay "cleaned up" its yeast in the 90s. A lot of the professional cats have degrees in Microbiology now, so it naturally follows that science nerds make the best beer. I'm sure petri dishes and Q-tips are involved in some way, I just don't know how!
I'm a science nerd, but just never had any luck with it. Granted, I only tried it 3 or 4 times with as many different types of beer, but.... no dice.
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:57 PM   #7
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It worked! Like Walker says, I have no idea what strain is fermenting in their, but it's fermenting today. If the porter sucks because its fermenting a bottle conditioning strain, we'll know in a week or so.

Thank you for your sage words of advice!

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Old 09-15-2006, 06:36 AM   #8
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you will have to make sure to tell us how it works.
I love SN beers, and if I can jsut use their beer to pitch that could be fun when making a clone.

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Old 09-15-2006, 01:24 PM   #9
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I have my first batch just sitting @ room temp and no action yet! Could I apply one the beforementioned ideas but instead of SN could I use a Schlafly's Stout?

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Old 09-15-2006, 02:25 PM   #10
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While this may have worked, I don't think it's a really great practice to get into. Under-pitching that severely will stress the yeast pretty badly, resulting in lots of fusel alcohols and headaches. Pitch a quality dry yeast instead, it pays to have a couple packets on hand at all times.

Here is a link to the list of bottle conditioned yeasties as well: http://www.nada.kth.se/~alun/Beer/Bottle-Yeasts/

(Since you're going to do what you want to anyway )

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