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Old 11-29-2009, 03:44 AM   #11
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@Rushis: You are correct, it would be easier. Maintaining sterility is a PITA. The method you suggested is fully capable of generating a new strain. The only reason that we attempt this crazy sporulation/starvation technique is to get strain with the favorable characteristics of two strains. Also it speeds up the evolution of a strain. By providing a yeast strain two genetic backgrounds to choose from, we are almost garunteed a new genetic strain. If we select on one strain, we have to be confident that we are seeing evolution, not adaptation. So to address that issue, we just keep on selecting for that trait over and over again, until we are confident they are different. (Test this by splitting a batch between the parent and the super-grand-son yeast.)

But both methods would work. And I agree- if we weren't looking for two characteristics from two different strains, then I would never torture myself by trying to be that sterile in my brewing environment.


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Old 11-29-2009, 03:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by toastermm View Post
5.) Drop a very small amount of the results of 3 on the 'plate' from 4. Now you are aiming for a very small amount, so just a drop from the beer, not the yeast cake might work. The point here is to isolate individual yeast cells on plates.

6.) These individual yeast cells will grow up on the 'plate' after 2-5 days and you hopefully can assume that these are isogenic- meaning they came from just one cell. Now to test what these strains are, we don't have to do DNA testing, what we can do is just brew several 1-gallon batches of similar beer and taste the outcome of what the yeast will do to each beer.

7.) Hopefully you will have about 3 slightly different tasting beers with different attenuations. And knowing your original two yeast strains and their effects on the beers, maybe you have a new strain??
Toaster's point here is that every offspring will have a slightly different mix of genes from each parent, and you'll have to select the one(s) you like.


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Old 11-29-2009, 04:14 AM   #13
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I'm on the same page with you, toastermm. All of this would be relatively straightforward if we each had a microbiology lab next to the laundry room

Oh how I have wish for an autoclave and a large centrifuge. Washing harvested yeast would be so much easier if I could pellet it out.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:13 AM   #14
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I'm on the same page with you, toastermm. All of this would be relatively straightforward if we each had a microbiology lab next to the laundry room
HAHA!! Maybe we should ferry this conversation over to the DIY forum.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:04 PM   #15
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not sure swmbo's out there would be very happy with home-microbiology mine, as she put it "tolerates" my brewing and probably wouldn't be happy if I started bringing home larger more scientific equipment.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:15 PM   #16
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not sure swmbo's out there would be very happy with home-microbiology mine, as she put it "tolerates" my brewing and probably wouldn't be happy if I started bringing home larger more scientific equipment.
Not to mention the cost of lab equipment vs. homebrew equipment
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:03 AM   #17
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Sweet - It would be neat to be able for one to say "this is my yeast" not "this is american ale #blah blah blah"
I don't think breeding your own genetically distinct yeast strain is a feasible project at home. I think the best we can do is say "this is my beer" not this "american ale blah blah blah"
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:58 PM   #18
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Sorry to throw a wet blanket on this idea (which is a cool one), but I read somewhere that most of our domesticated brewing and baking yeast strains are not anywhere near normal - they are aneuploid (i.e. neither haploid nor diploid) - meaning they don't have a normal number of chromosomes.

"Normal" yeast have 16 different chromosomes, just like how humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Unlike humans which are always diploid, yeasts can live and reproduce asexually either haploid (having one of each of the 16 chromosomes) or diploid (having two of each chromosome - 16 pairs - 32 total).

Humans can rarely have aneuploidy - if you have 3 copies of chromosome 21, that causes the disease Down syndrome. Likewise yeasts can get the wrong number of chromosomes, which also causes disease (from the yeasts perspective, such as not being able to ferment some sugars and dextrins that wild yeast can). From the human perspective, as we domesticated these yeast over millennia, we preferred these mutant aneuploid yeasts because they made "better" beer. But, because they have the wrong numbers of chromosomes and are so severely mutated, they will never be able to reproduce sexually.


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