I find myself always looking at ways to enjoy different aspects of brewing as a hobby. Recently I started getting into yeast ranching and harvesting my own yeast and creating banks. The cost of equipment may not be really justifiable, but as I found there is a whole new side of the hobby to enjoy!
I have always wanted a microscope, and given that most of the magic (good and bad) happens on a micro biologic scale, I finally talked myself into getting some lab equipment.
The following video's and pics were take with a basic "Student" level (4x - 100x - 400X) ($38 special off eBay) microscope and a cannon elf camera. Not bad IMO!
I recently had my first infection, and that got me interested in actually how EASY bacteria thrive in our world. Here's an example of how I got the bacteria in the first video (which I believe are Lactobacilli, aka create lactic acid and sour beer).
I took a plate (petri dish rather), sanitized it in BTF (Idofor), steamed it in a microwave sanitizer and let it cool. Did the same with a 50ml flask and brought 1g agar, 1g DME, and 30ml water to a boil. Let it cool and poured evenly on 2 plates. Sealed plates and stored in a ziplock bag. I was generally 10x more careful than my normal brewing habits, ie. flaming openings, working around a burner flame etc.
WITHOUT even streaking the plates I had a bacterial infection show up withing 48 hours. With a pin prick amount I I prepared the following slide with the growth and water. The shear numbers if Lactobacilli were astounding.
Well, enough of the scare tactices.
Here are some other things I captured. The whole Album can be viewed here;
deofol/Home Brewery/MicroBREWology - Page 1 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Yeast from the bottom of a bottle.