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lalenny

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I brewed an amber ale a couple of weeks back, and after racking the beer to the second, I shook the remains and bottled it. Next, I threw the bottles in the fridge.



I was extra sanitary while doing this.



Yesterday I wanted to brew, so I pulled out one of the yeast bottles and set it on the counter. I was thinking that I would wait for it to get to room temp and then add it to a starter. As I was waiting it crossed my mind that there were probably fermentables in the bottle still and when they get to a certain temp they will start working. So, I made my starter real quick and I looked in the bottle and sure enough I could see the yeast churning in there.



When I opened the bottle it gushed out all over the place. There was still quite a bit left in the bottle, and it got my starter going, but I wanted to tell everyone that if you are going to try to save your yeast like that pop the top right out of the fridge and put it in a sanitized airlock container to warm up.:eek:
 
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I learned that myself. Room temp kicks it back in big time... I actually had a white labs liquid hefe just do this to me as well. First time and was surprised as all get out.
 

roverz

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Hmmm my current batch of Pale Ale was made with a yeast starter identical. I left if out at room temp before starting a starter for 72 hours. I piched it and it has been fermenting for 10 days now but I never got any explosion when i opened the bottled left over yeast...

Wonder why the difference.

I am worried now ?
 
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lalenny

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roverz said:
Hmmm my current batch of Pale Ale was made with a yeast starter identical. I left if out at room temp before starting a starter for 72 hours. I piched it and it has been fermenting for 10 days now but I never got any explosion when i opened the bottled left over yeast...
How old was your bottled yeast? Mine was only 1 week old. I believe that the older the dorment yeast is, the longer it will take to revive.
 

homebrewer_99

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You'd save yourself a lot of these mini-explosions if you would use an airlock on the bottles while in the fridge and coming up to room temp.

I bought several mini-airlocks from a guy selling off his stuff. They are about 1/2 the size of a regular airlock and 1/4 the size if the bubble type airlocks.
 

tnlandsailor

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This is a great way to save and reuse yeast. You can split the slurry into several bottles and keep them for up to a couple of months depending on the yeast strain. I use bottle caps to seal my bottles. I've had very good success with Wyeast 1056 and White Labs 001, but the British styles like 1098, 1028 and WLP 005 tend to settle out quickly and sort of die on you if you keep them too long this way. In any case, the key is to "burp" your bottles every couple of days to release pressure while they are cold. This is especially true with 1056. Just take a bottle opener and barely lift the edge of the cap. This will keep the pressure down in the bottle and prevent the spraying effect when you get ready to use them. As you let the bottles warm up, keep burping them, or remove the bottle cap and replace with an air lock . Unless you plan to use them in less than a week, I would recommend making a starter from the bottled yeast before you use it.

If you brew regularly and keep your yeast strains down to 1 or 2 favorites, you can brew for a year and only buy each strain one time. A single yeast purchase split into two bottles after each primary ferment will yeild 15 batches by the 4th use. If you split them into 3 bottles instead of 2, you can get 40 bottles by the 4th use.

Prost,
 

Padraig OCinnead

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I just returned a little disappointed from my local HBS. I was planning on brewing my first batch of trappiste but was unable as he did not have any belgian liquid yeast on hand. He'll order it for me. I told him that I had recently returned home from the liquor store with a bottle of Chimay trappiste and really enjoyed it. He then tells me that I could have kept the yeast from it to use. I just stumbled over this thread hoping there would be something here on homebrew talk about this. Can someone explain the best way I can re-use the yeast and how do I prepare it for pitching? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Slainte.
 
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I'm not sure how successful you'd be on trying to capture that Trappise yeast from a bottle. Typically you save it from the primary fermenter where you can get around 24oz (4 1/2 filled 12oz bottles) of slurry. Guess you could give it a go by saving a little bit of the beer in the bottle and shake the heck out of it and then try and put it into a starter batch of some DME and let that go through a 5 day brew process and see what you get. If it multiplies then I guess you've done well. If it doesn't ferment then its basically dead.

No expert, but if I was going to try it, this is how I'd experiment.
 
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When reusing yeast that was bottled from the primary and refrigerated for a few weeks or so, do you try to seperate any of the trub from the liquid that seperates to the top? I plan on making a starter from this and just figure if I used all of that from the bottle and then the starter did it's thing, there would be quite a bit of sludge being pitched into the beer. Wouldn't this be a concern since this could potentially be very old trub?I imagine the trub and the liquid which seperated out to the top would both contain yeasts. Which would have healthier yeast? Would one or the other not have enough yeast therefore requiring use of the whole bottle?

Thanks...
 
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lalenny

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What you will want to do is let the beer settle so that the yeast is all on the bottom. Then, pour the beer out into a galss and drink it. Save a little beer in the bottom of the bottle so that you can swirl it around and pour out the yeast that has settled on the bottom. Next pour that into a countainer with an airlock on it and let it warm up a bit. Then add your your DME wort to it.

Once this starts to ferment use it as you would a normal starter, or you can let it finnish which may only take a couple of hours/days, then pour the beer off the top of the settled yeast and add another batch of DME wort to it and swirl it around. You may want to repeat this step a couple of times to increase your yeast population.

I have never tried this, but I believe that I have read these same instructions in The Joy of Home Brewing.(I don't have my book with me or I would look it up!)

good luck and tell us how it goes!
 

D-brewmeister

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Culturing from professional bottle conditioned beers is possible, but not very easy, and unless you are trying to match a very specific or unusual style of beer, buying pre-packaged brewing yeast is going to be much easier, and produce better results. The main reasons it can be hard are numbers and viability. There just isn't a whole lot of yeast in your average bottle condtioned beer -- brewers try to have the minimum amount of yeast still in the beer to reduce the amount of gunk at the bottom of the bottle. Often, from what I understand, they actually filter out the yeast that was present from the original fermentation, and at bottling add in a controlled amount of yeast for conditioning. To overcome this set back, you would want to shwirl and collect the sediment from as many bottles of the brew as possible, probably at least a 6pack's worth.

The other issue is the viability of the yeast that are there. Yeast are really tough, and can survive some harsh conditions, but they do eventually croak it. And the pressure and alcohol content of a bottled beer are likely to at least put them into a quite dormant state (i.e. they will need some time to wake up, if they will at all). The length of time that the beer has been bottled is critical here -- if you are trying to culture a barley wine or trapist ale that has been in the bottle for over a year, chances are that most of the yeasts have either bit the dust, or at least mutated into something you wouldn't want to brew with.

Oh, and sanitation is VERY critical for this sort of culturing, since you will likely have to wait several days or even weeks for the yeast to become active and multiply, which translates into more time for nasties to take over.
 

homebrewer_99

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Padraig OCinnead said:
I just returned a little disappointed from my local HBS. I was planning on brewing my first batch of trappiste but was unable as he did not have any belgian liquid yeast on hand. He'll order it for me. I told him that I had recently returned home from the liquor store with a bottle of Chimay trappiste and really enjoyed it. He then tells me that I could have kept the yeast from it to use. I just stumbled over this thread hoping there would be something here on homebrew talk about this. Can someone explain the best way I can re-use the yeast and how do I prepare it for pitching? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Slainte.
I recommend you do a bit more research on Chimay before trying to duplicate it. I believe I read some time ago that they don't sell their beer until its been aged in the botle for 18 months.
 

tnlandsailor

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Dyer,

To answer your question from 4-24-05, don't worry about the trub from the bottled primary yeast. I have been using this technique for the past 3 years or so with no ill effects from using the entire contents of the bottle. I usually go 4 uses on a tube of yeast, so by the time I get to that 4th use, I have trub somewhere in the bottle that is sometimes over 6 months old. There are too many variables to worry about that affect your beer 100 times more than old trub. Don't worry about it.

Regarding culturing from a bottle, D-brewmeister is correct, most breweries do filter out the fermentation yeast prior to bottling. However, because they know that people try to culture yeast, they add a DIFFERENT yeast strain for bottle conditioning. Meaning, that even if you did successfully culture the yeast from the bottle, it's not the same yeast as they used for fermentation. I believe Belgian breweries are especially careful in garding their yeast stocks in this way.

Prost,
 

pilkinga

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I saved a bunch of the yeast slurry in four jelly jars (the small mason jars your grandma used to make preserves in) and I was wondering how long this slurry should last?? I have kept it in the fridge for three weeks already. How long is to long to keep it before it goes bad?

Because I will be making a starter I guess I should be able to tell if the yeast is still useable by how much activity is present. Unfortunately, I don't know when I will get to make another batch anytime soon as things are about to get real busy at my house.....expecting a first child any day now.
 
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lalenny

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Congrats on the new crumb snatcher! I have 2 of my own, and they are the best thing around; next to homebrew of course ;)

If you put wort into mason jars you will want to can them like you would a jam, jelly, pickles, fruit, or anything like that. I think that means bioling the jar with lid on and filled for like 20 mins or something. You will want to look into that process to be for sure. Once they have been processed in this fashion they should be good for quite a long time, maybey 3 years or more!
 

tnlandsailor

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Based on experience, I wouldn't let the yeast sit in the jars for more than 8 weeks. After that, it's really hard to wake it up and viability becomes an issue. If you are going to be longer than that, I would start with a fresh yeast pack.

Saving yeast in bottles or mason jars is good if you can brew regularly. If you are going to take several months off, perhaps you should look into yeast ranching....but that's a whole 'nuther topic.

Prost,
 

BitterRat

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As has been stated, some breweries filter out the primary yeast and use a bottling yeast, and some actually add the same strain at bottling, just a fresh dose. If you want to start yeast from a bottle, you have the right idea, but you need to have a lower OG for the initial starter, about 1.020 would be good, and aerate or oxynate it. The Trappists yeasts are almost all available through one or the other yeast companies, so you're better off just buying the strain. Here's a couple links that may help. One is for yeast from commercial beers, the other is where the yeast originated from. The first site is a little old, but still accurate. The last is a page that has these links and many others and if you scroll down, there are other links to similar pages about those topics.
http://www.nada.kth.se/~alun/Beer/Bottle-Yeasts/

http://www.brewrats.org/yeast.cfm

http://www.goodgulf.com/yeast.html
 

andre the giant

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lalenny said:
Congrats on the new crumb snatcher! I have 2 of my own, and they are the best thing around; next to homebrew of course ;)

If you put wort into mason jars you will want to can them like you would a jam, jelly, pickles, fruit, or anything like that. I think that means bioling the jar with lid on and filled for like 20 mins or something. You will want to look into that process to be for sure. Once they have been processed in this fashion they should be good for quite a long time, maybey 3 years or more!
Important note... You can can your WORT, but NOT your yeast slurry. If you boil that, you kill the yeast which pretty much defeats the purpose of canning it in the first place... A pretty obvious point, but one I thought should be made.
 

rixport

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Padraig OCinnead said:
I just returned a little disappointed from my local HBS. I was planning on brewing my first batch of trappiste but was unable as he did not have any belgian liquid yeast on hand. He'll order it for me. I told him that I had recently returned home from the liquor store with a bottle of Chimay trappiste and really enjoyed it. He then tells me that I could have kept the yeast from it to use. I just stumbled over this thread hoping there would be something here on homebrew talk about this. Can someone explain the best way I can re-use the yeast and how do I prepare it for pitching? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Slainte.
You have to be a little careful in this particular circumstance. A lot of trappist brewerys use a different yeast for bottling than they use for fermenting. I believe it would be best to use a tried and true Belgian strain from White Labs. Their website has extensive information about their Belgian strains and their produced flavors at various temperatures. Great stuff.

Ken
 
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