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Old 06-24-2010, 10:16 PM   #1
Jan 2010
Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 202
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So I picked up a 4 pack the other day of some Ommegang Belgian Abbey Dubbel. Has anyone tried culturing yeast from this beer before? And if so, any comments about how well it works and how the flavors come out?

I have ingredients to brew a belgian IPA and am shooting for something similar to Flying Dog's Raging Bitch. In one of the Raging Bitch clone threads on these forums someone mentioned that Flying Dog claims to use an "el diablo" yeast and that this might be really similar to some of the yeasts Duvel uses so that also factored into this idea...any thoughts on that?

Finally, the instructions I have are for culturing the yeast out of a single beer to grow into your starter and eventually pitch. Would this be more effective if I were to say...drink 2 or more beers and use the sediment from the bottom of all of them when making my culture? Not that I'm looking for an excuse to drink 4 of these in one night but uh....you know it might work better, right?

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Old 06-24-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
Feb 2008
Middleborough, MA
Posts: 1,895
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No but have cultured their Hennepin yeast

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Old 06-25-2010, 02:38 AM   #3
ghpeel's Avatar
Jan 2009
Gainesville, FL
Posts: 1,214
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I'm thinking about trying to brew a Rare Vos clone soon, so if anyone has had luck culturing Ommegang's yeast from the bottle, I'd love to hear about it as well.

Kegged: Dunkelweizen
Primary: American Pale Ale

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Old 06-25-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
Barc's Avatar
Oct 2008
Posts: 669
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I've cultured it a couple of times without problems. I used it in a lighter (colored) ale and it was not bad. Pretty funky with a lot of Belgian phenolics and esters, even when fermented in the upper 60's. Also, from what I've read, Hennepin, Dubbel, etc from Ommegang are all the same yeast. I've also read that it isn't but I can tell you from experience, it is pretty close if it isn't the same.

I can't comment on the Duvel yeast vs. the El Diablo strain side-by-side other than to say that 1388 from Wyeast and bottle-cultured Duvel yeast side by side are more or less identical and that Duvel yeast seems to be a lot "milder" than a lot of other Belgian yeasts. Also, I've had luck culturing Flying Dog's yeast in the past so it shouldn't be too hard to get a culture going.

So far as creating a culture, I'm sure you've read about the procedure so I won't bore you. You are hitting the nail on the head regarding drinking more than 1 beer and combining it into a single container; the numbers just add up to a more successful culture if you've got more potentially viable yeast. If I don't drink all of them at once, I put the dregs back into the fridge. I've been known to also make a small starter with a single beer and then pour more dregs on top of it as I drink them and gotten good results that way, as well. It isn't rocket science but it does involve luck, sometimes, with some strains of yeast.

Hope that helps and good luck!

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