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Old 01-18-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
Apr 2011
New York, NY
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I recently ordered 2 6-ers of bell's, Amer and Two-Hearted, since they're fantastic and you can't get them here in NY. I want to harvest the yeast, but i'd also like to enjoy the beers 1-2 at a time. Can I just sanitize a mason jar, pour out the dregs 1-2 beers at a time, and once I have 6-7 beers worth, pitch them into a weak starter? I figure the co2 released by the dregs (with maybe 1/2 oz of beer each time) will blanket the mixture in the mason jar and it should be fine. Will that work?

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
Feb 2011
Clemson, SC
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If you make a small enough starter, 2 beers should be plenty enough to start a culture. I'm talking no more than 100mL to begin with, then stepping up from there. That's how I start all of my commercial harvests and generally have pretty good success.

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
Jul 2011
Ramsey & Akeley, Mn
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I agree, 2 or 3 bottles should suffice. Maybe not worth the contamination risk to keep a jar of dregs laying around.

I harvested Bells from their Best Brown. I pitched dregs from 2 bottles into a 1 pint starter (maybe a tad too large). Then added the dregs from a third bottle the next day. That was plenty to get it going nicely. I stepped it up 2 more times (1 qt and 1.5 qt) and had a thick layer of yeast to pitch. Fermented my pale ale beautifully. From that I had lots of yeast to wash and pitch into my 2 Hearted clone.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
Apr 2011
New York, NY
Posts: 323
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In that case, guess what has two thumbs and is drinking a few Bell's tonight?


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Old 01-18-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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This is probably not the best practice, but I pour nearly all the beer into a glass, saving a bit of liquid, place the cap back on and set it back in the fridge.

After I get 4-6 bottles I swish them all up and pour them in a flask with some starter wort.

After a couple of days it's time to add more wort.

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Old 01-18-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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This old answer should give you an idea.

One thing I have found that helps in successful harvesting, is to use the slurry from multiple bottles of the same beer. I did a really successful Hoegaarden harvest from 12 bottles. What I would do is after pouring the beer into a glass, I would spray the lip of the bottle with starsan and then re-cap with a sanitized cap. Then store in the fridge until I had enough bottles. Then on harvest day I would spray the caps again with starsan, open them, flame the lip of the bottles, and re-spray with sanitizer, then pour the dregs into my starter. I started drinking on Monday, and had enough to make the harvest on Saturday.

I ended up with 2 good sized mason jars with yeast. It's made some really tasty wits since then.
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