Getting yeast from a commercial brew

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DankBrewHa

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I have read that you can save a little beer in the bottom of a bottle and add some DME to "re-grow" the yeast. I have also read that some commercial brewers add a different yeast at bottling time to hide the true type of yeast they use to ferment with. How often do breweries really do this? I was wanting to clone a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Would I be safe getting yeast from one of those bottles?
 

SumnerH

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I have read that you can save a little beer in the bottom of a bottle and add some DME to "re-grow" the yeast. I have also read that some commercial brewers add a different yeast at bottling time to hide the true type of yeast they use to ferment with. How often do breweries really do this? I was wanting to clone a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Would I be safe getting yeast from one of those bottles?
Yeah, you can. It's the regular yeast. Few companies actually try to hide their yeast (if they re-yeast it's usually because it's a high-gravity beer and they want fresh yeast in the bottle to ensure carbonation).

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Yeast from Commercial Beers
"There are many quality microbrewed beers on the market that are bottle conditioned, i.e. naturally carbonated and unfiltered, much the same as homebrewed beers are. The yeast layer from a bottle conditioned beer can be harvested and grown just like the yeast from a liquid yeast packet. This is a common practice among homebrewers because it allows for the use of some special yeast strains in homebrew that would not otherwise be available. This method can be used for cloning some of the specialty styles, such as Belgian Wit, Trappist Ales, or everyone's favorite - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. "

Sierra's yeast is Chico yeast (US-05/WLP001/Wyeast1056) so there's not much point in cultivating it except for the experience.
 

shamrock

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I don't remember where I heard this, but I don't think SN uses the primary strain of yeast at bottling.

Edit: I defer to Palmer... lol
 

MajorTom

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I have cultured the leftover yeast from a bottle of SNPA. I agree its more trouble than it is worth due to being a readily available and very cheap yeast. However, it was fun to do and very educational. And the beer I made with it tasted great!
 

chumprock

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I'll be trying this with a bottle of Brewer's Art Resurrection this month.

So I'll be resurrecting the resurrection yeast...
 

SumnerH

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Thanks for the help! I think I'll give it a try!
Since it's the same thing as US-05, I recommend buying a packet of that for $2 or whatever and keeping it on-hand. That way if your attempt to cultivate it out of the bottle doesn't work out, you can still go ahead and brew.
 
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