Harvesting yeast from commercial Weihenstephan Hefeweizen bottle?

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Gruel

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Has anybody successfully harvested yeast from a commercial Weihenstephan Hefeweizen bottle? Or are the bottles sterilized, and harvesting yeast is not possible?

I collected the yeast sediment from three bottles, and tried to revive it, but no luck. It simply wouldn't start. There would be a bit of foam after agitating the starter, but the yeast did not become active.
Under the same conditions (sugar & filtered water addition, temperature, watching it for 24 hours), some Wyeast 3068 that I had stored in the fridge from a beer I made a month ago restarted beautifully. Could it be the remaining alcohol with the yeast from the bottle? The liquid was about 1/2 beer and 1/2 filtered water.

Related question: can one derive the manufacturing date from one of the codes on the bottle? Nothing looked like an obvious year/week combination.
 
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Gruel

Gruel

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Thanks, ebbelwoi! They are heating the beer? Yikes! Couldn't they at least use their own research reactor? (TUM has one in Garching, just down the road.)

By the way, I haven't bought your namesake drink, but a mustard made with/from ebbelwoi at Frankfurt airport. Overpriced, but delicious. And it comes in a glazed stoneware pot, not completely unlike a bembel.
 

Vale71

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Even if it weren't pasteurized it's probably some lager yeast they only use for bottle conditioning so it would be useless anyway.
 
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Gruel

Gruel

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Vale71, I thought about that possibility, but I concluded that most of their customers would consider that practice deceptive. I think the general expectation is that the yeast that made the beer is in the bottle. Of course you could filter the yeast out, add a bit of dead baking yeast, and call it yeast beer.
I think it is also difficult to read their process description on Brauprozess in any other way than that they are leaving the original yeast in the Hefeweizen.
From the page: "
Die Filteranlage
Jetzt wird es in unserer hochmodernen Filteranlage von Trübstoffen wie Eiweiß und Hefe befreit (bei unseren naturtrüben Weißbierspezialitäten entfällt dieser Schritt natürlich), ehe es endlich abfüllbereit ist."


Same for the english version, Brewing Process
There it says:
Filter System
Now it is freed of impurities, such as protein and yeast, in our state-of-the-art filter system (of course, this step is skipped for our naturally cloudy wheaten beer specialities) until it is ready for bottling.
 

monkeymath

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I recall reading somewhere that quite a few breweries use a different yeast for bottling for improved aesthetics: when the main yeast strain flocculates and clumps together too much, it would otherwise result in large chunks and rafts of yeast in the glass, which would of course be unappealing. So they use a more "powdery" strain for bottling instead.

Nonetheless, there are a good number of Weißbiers from which you can easily harvest yeast.
 

jimmypop13

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You can get the yeast in dry form from mangrove Jack for fairly cheap. I just made a hefe with it. Lots of clove and banana. I'm so happy with. Very good yeast!
 

ebbelwoi

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Not many people think that M20 is the same strain as Weihenstephan 68. I've tried M20, and it's the second-worst yeast I've used for a Hefeweizen, the worst being WB-06. I won't use M20 again, and I do not recommend it to anyone.
 
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Gruel

Gruel

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I think I'm going to stick with the Wyeast 3068 'Weihenstephan Hefe'. I like the commercial brew, and I like how my beer turns out. Did I mention that I tested them back to back (ran out of homebrew, and had to buy commercial beer - Weihenstephan was on sale! Coincidence? I don't think so!), and the similarity was uncanny. And not just after the third half/pint... :bigmug: :bott::drunk:

Right now I'm trying to clone/revive/colonize/whatever-the-biology-word-is Paulaner Hefeweizen, but just out of curiosity. I don't like the beer that much. Now if one could clone Schneider Weisse....
 

ebbelwoi

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I think I'm going to stick with the Wyeast 3068 'Weihenstephan Hefe'. I like the commercial brew, and I like how my beer turns out. Did I mention that I tested them back to back (ran out of homebrew, and had to buy commercial beer - Weihenstephan was on sale! Coincidence? I don't think so!), and the similarity was uncanny. And not just after the third half/pint... :bigmug: :bott::drunk:

Right now I'm trying to clone/revive/colonize/whatever-the-biology-word-is Paulaner Hefeweizen, but just out of curiosity. I don't like the beer that much. Now if one could clone Schneider Weisse....
If you mean harvesting the yeast from the bottle, you can do it with Schneider, but not Paulaner.
 

Vale71

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Right now I'm trying to clone/revive/colonize/whatever-the-biology-word-is Paulaner Hefeweizen, but just out of curiosity. I don't like the beer that much. Now if one could clone Schneider Weisse....
Schneider does not pasteurize their beer (heard it from the mouth of Herr Schneider himself) so it should be possible to revive their yeast. Of course getting a fresh bottle to buy on your side of the pond might be a bit harder so that your results could be uncertain but it's certainly worth a try.
 
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Gruel

Gruel

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Thanks to both of you. And as a bonus I learned the good old german word "Hefestripping"!

update on my Paulaner Hefeweizen (from a can) 'stripping' attempt: dead as a dodo.
 
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