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Old 09-18-2011, 11:58 PM   #1
Beer Gnome
Teromous's Avatar
Sep 2009
Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 2,973
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I was watching the BrewingTV August episode, and he mentioned identifying two separate yeast strains from his harvest. Can any of you point me to a good resource on how to do this? Some things I'd like to try out:

-Figuring out how many strains are in a harvest
-Knowing what characteristics to look for to possibly identify the strain
-Ways to identify the health of the yeast
-Determining whether bacteria is present, and identify it
-Ways to tell if there is a good enough ratio of yeast to bacteria to survive
-Mild ways to kill off bacteria while the yeast is still in a vulnerable state pre-culture

I was thinking of getting the White Labs Yeast book, but I've read that it doesn't go in depth enough. Any ideas?

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Old 09-19-2011, 12:24 PM   #2
/bɪər nɜrd/
MalFet's Avatar
May 2010
NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,632
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You are talking about some fairly technical lab techniques here. If you can jump right into the scientific literature, you can certainly skip over the Christ White book. But, if you can't, it might be the thing that helps get you there. Certainly, it won't teach you to do all of the things you are talking about here.

The starting place for you will be to get some equipment to let you plate out single colonies of yeast. Once you've got pure cultures, there are some heuristics you can do to identify strains, measure healthy, etc. Recognizing the presence of bacteria is easy, but pinpointing a specific species is quite a bit harder and will usually involve some metabolic tests.

As for yeast:bacteria and killing off bacteria, many people will use acid washing, but if your lab samples are contaminated your best bet really is to just get new samples (or to harvest from single colonies on plates).
"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

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