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Old 05-03-2010, 03:26 AM   #1
fatherbigfoot
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Default Oberon Yeast

I was drinking a Oberon by Bell's in Kzoo michigan the other day and noticed a lot of yeast in the bottom of my glass. So I used some of the extra DME i had laying around boiled a quart up and put it in a sanatized growler with the bottom inch and a half of my beer just to see if I could grow some yeast. After about four days its finally starting to form a krausen on the surface of the beer.
The question I have is this I was planning on making a wheat beer this coming friday which i want to turn into a blueberry wheat once it goes into secondary. Should I use the oberon yeast? or will it make the beer more citricy? Also if I use the oberon yeast do I just dump the beer from the growler into the wort or should i drain off the beer and only add the yeast cake?

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Old 05-03-2010, 03:31 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this question, fatherbigfoot. I am going to make an oberon clone in a few weeks and want to use the yeast in the bottle of oberon. Is is really that easy to do?

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Old 05-03-2010, 03:49 AM   #3
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Many breweries bottle with a different yeast than what they brew with (for better carbonation control? To keep their strain a secret?). That Oberon yeast may not give you what you're looking for. Just sayin'. I wouldn't put it past Bells.

If you didn't want to take a chance, then you'd be best starting with fresh built-up liquid yeast, like White Labs American Hefe. Two quarts of 1.040 with light DME should do it, though you may want to use wheat DME if you're going to dump this into a wheat ale.

As for what to do to build up that Oberon cake... You're making a starter from a very small amount of yeast. You don't know how old that yeast is (though it's probably pretty dang fresh, as Oberon just hit the shelves a couple of weeks ago), so it's hard to say how well a certain amount of cake will perform. Don't worry about that small amount of beer, though if you want to be certain, you can settle it in the fridge usually overnight. Carefully dump it off, but not all, as you'll want a small amount to resuspend the yeast with.

If I were doing this, I'd start it in a quart of light DME at about 1.040 or slightly less. Keep shaking the daylights out of it for a day or two. Boil up another two quarts, and drop it into the first batch. Keep shaking it for a day or two. Toss it into the fridge and settle it; a day should work.

Check the amount of cake; should have at least a cup in there. If not, build it up one more time with another two quarts of DME wort (dump off the last wort first). That should be more than enough cake to make a wheat ale of 5.5-6% ABV.

EDIT: I should mention that it's not a good idea to use too much yeast. If you've got a cup's worth, that'll be fine for a 5-6 gallon batch. Beyond that, you could keep some in the fridge for up to a month (for more info, look around for posts on yeast farming). I'd see what the yeast does first, though.

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Old 05-03-2010, 12:37 PM   #4
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I already have 1/2-3/4 of an inch of yeast cake on the bottom of my growler by the time friday comes around that should be enough right?

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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Do a search about using the yeast from an Oberon bottle...I think some people have had good results and felt they were really close to the actual product...I haven't harvested any Yeast from a bottle yet but good luck and hope it turns out great! Let us know!

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherbigfoot View Post
I already have 1/2-3/4 of an inch of yeast cake on the bottom of my growler by the time friday comes around that should be enough right?
Well, that's what I get for answering posts and watching the Red Wings lose. I missed that you said GROWLER, not a standard bottle. My bad. Yes, a half inch of cake would make approximately a cup, so that should be enough for a standard batch.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:19 PM   #7
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There is really only one way to know for sure how it will turn out....... Go for it.

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Old 05-03-2010, 04:10 PM   #8
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This is part of an email to a member here from Bells concerning doing a hopslam clone. Considering all the beers listed use the fermentation yeast I would also believe they do the same with Oberon.

"You can culture yeast out of one of our bottles if you're comfortable with that; it's certainly the preferred option for a solid flavor match. The yeast in the Hopslam bottle is the yeast used for fermentation, but at 10% abv, but the yeast that isn't dead will be severely stressed. I would recommend culturing from a lower gravity beer such as Amber Ale, Best Brown Ale, etc.: the yeast is the same & likely to be in superior condition. Winter White Ale is a completely different strain, so don't use that. Otherwise, the local homebrew supply shops around here have found that most people looking to clone one of our recipes lean towards ale strains with a straightforward ester profile & good attenuation."

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Old 05-03-2010, 05:08 PM   #9
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will this work for a blueberry wheat beer or should i change my plan to make make a oberon like beer

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Old 05-03-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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will this work for a blueberry wheat beer or should i change my plan to make make a oberon like beer
I would absolutely use the Oberon yeast in a blueberry wheat! If you like the Oberon flavor, then go for it! I've harvested yeast from 2-hearted and used it in IPAs. Most of the yeast they use is the same, but I think that the Oberon yeast is different from the rest.

You could split the batch into 2 parts. One with blueberries, and one without.
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