Originally Posted by torque2k
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.
I'm so sick of hearing this old chestnut....Very few breweries swap out their yeasts.
And it's mostly Belgians to disguise proprietary strains.And those that filter, and then bottle condition using something clean and neutral.
But the truth of the matter is just the opposite, there is a vast amount of bottle conditioned beers out there (including Bell's) do NOT disguise their strains. And are readily useable.
I know of several brewers that have harvested the yeast from Bell's Amber to use in their clones. Some claim to be successful with harvesting oberon yeast, same with Two hearted.
This is a pretty decent list of bottle conditioned beers, that tells whether or not the fermentation strain is in the bottles.
(it's not complete, but it's one of the best sources we have.
But often times you can actually google and find out whether or not the fermentation strain is still in the bottle, and often even what strain they use.
Using the simple google phrase "Bottle Harvesting (beer name) yeast" will usually net you enough information as to whether or not it is. It usually takes you to a thread on here, but even the brewery websites will often tell you.
One Belgian brewery website even has a "for the homebrewers" notice on some of their beer info stating whether or not you should harvest the yeast or not. They actually say "Beer x is conditioned with a different strain." "Beer y can be harvested."
It's been my experience to actually assume the yeast you are harvesting IS the fermentation strain, rather than dropping the old "Many breweries bottle with a different yeast than what they brew with" line that someone inevitably says whenever someone posts a question like this. Or volunteer the information if you actually know whether the beer being asked about is.