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Old 08-30-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
hexmonkey
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Default Is culturing lager yeast from a bottle harder than ale yeast?

On my recent trip to Switzerland, I was able to bring back two bottles of unfiltered beer, Appenzeller Holzfass Bier and Eichhof Klosterbrau. They're both lagers, all I could find in the limited time that I had.

I'm hoping to culture and bank the yeast from them. I've successfully cultured Pacman yeast from a bottle of Shakespeare Stout, as well as some yeast from a growler of a local brewpub bitter.

Has anyone experienced any difficulty in culturing lager yeast? Is culturing lager yeast any harder than ale yeast?


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Old 08-31-2009, 04:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by hexmonkey View Post
On my recent trip to Switzerland, I was able to bring back two bottles of unfiltered beer, Appenzeller Holzfass Bier and Eichhof Klosterbrau. They're both lagers, all I could find in the limited time that I had.

I'm hoping to culture and bank the yeast from them. I've successfully cultured Pacman yeast from a bottle of Shakespeare Stout, as well as some yeast from a growler of a local brewpub bitter.

Has anyone experienced any difficulty in culturing lager yeast? Is culturing lager yeast any harder than ale yeast?
I have never done it but in my research to get in to yeast culturing and ranching, I have never read that it would make a difference when trying to get yeast from a commercial brew. The only caveat is that some commercial breweries add a second yeast to promote the beer's effervescing in the bottle. The question is whether you are culturing the fermentation yeast or the effervescing yeast?
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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The only caveat is that some commercial breweries add a second yeast to promote the beer's effervescing in the bottle. The question is whether you are culturing the fermentation yeast or the effervescing yeast?
Have you heard this about lagers in particular, or just breweries in general? I had read about certain breweries (I think Chimay was the example given) doing this as a response to people culturing their yeasts from the bottle. There is a list here that has information on what yeast is in the bottle for certain breweries (it contradicts what I'd read about Chimay).

Also, I've heard in podcasts by The Brewing Network that beers like hefeweizen are sometimes dosed with lager yeast in the bottle. The reason given was that it doesn't flocculate well and stays "powdery" to give the cloudy appearance appropriate to the style.

I'm hoping that these smaller regional breweries are keeping it simple (traditional?) and only using one strain of yeast for everything.

Honestly, whether it's really the primary yeast of the brewery it came from is a pretty low priority to me. I'm mostly doing this so I can say, "hey look, this beer was made with Swiss yeast from when I went to Switzerland".
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