"Stealing" yeast

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marshman

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So, I bought a 750 of beer last weekend and drank it last night. It was quite sweet and pretty big, over 10% ABV. Thinking it might be a useful yeast, I saved a bit of the beer in the bottle. Since it is a bottle conditioned brew, I am guessing that the yeast is pretty tough (surviving at the high ABV), and still alive and kicking. Is it plausible to think that I could make a small (quart-ish) starter, add the last 3 oz of the beer and let it rip and have a stash of that yeast for use in my concoctions?

I suppose it's possible that the brewers use one type of yeast for their ferment and then use something different for their bottle, perhaps to keep mooks like me from stealing their prized yeasts.

Is this a shady practice on my part? Should I honor the code and finish the bottle?
 

sirsloop

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Who's the brewer? Lots of companies filter the beer then repitch prior to bottling with a seperate yeast. As far as being shady, no. I know there's a list going around on the web with what yeast strains are contained in what bottles. If you got it, why not make a stater? Its free yeast. Even if a brewery gave you their exact recipe for one of their beers I think it would still be hard to duplicate the brew. A lot of how a beer tastes comes from brew technique, sanitation, temperature control, etc etc.
 
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marshman

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I wasn't planning to replicate the brew in question, I was just thinking that I could probably use it for my own evil purposes in the future. For the record, it's Victory V-12.

Mainly an experiment, actually. Just wondering if it were possible.

What does one use for a filter media to remove yeast? Aren't the yeasty beasties pretty tiny? I'm thinking a coffee filter ain't gonna get 'em, but whadda I know???
 
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marshman

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I found some useful stuff--I needed the right keyword for the search function ("starter" yields something like 500 matches--"culture" was a big help). I was predominantly concerned with the 'integrity' of the concept--is it frowned upon to 'steal' yeast from another brewer, or are we all basically doing that all the time anyway?

Having sifted through quite a few debates about starters, I got to wondering about ingredients--the concept is to make very small batches of unhopped wort, right? What would happen if instead of wort, I made a different 'wort', like say using honey (what is unfermented mead called...honey water?) instead? The yeast just wants a little sugar, right?
 

Blender

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I wouldn't call it stealing unless you plan to use it commercially. You are going to need to step the starters up in order to get a viable yeast count. Don't use honey or sugar.... use wort.
 

ohiobrewtus

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I say go for it. I've done this a few times with success - especially from Hoegaarden bottles.

I admit that I realize I may not be getting the yeast that actually fermented the beer, but it's still free yeast and only requires a minimal amount of work.
 

mrfocus

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Dude stop stealing all that yeast. The brewers went through all that hard time making that delicious beer and you STEAL their yeast... Wow, some people...

Ok seriously that was just a joke, I need to laugh a little cause I had a really long and hard brew day (damn Wyeast 1968...)

marshman said:
The yeast just wants a little sugar, right?
True, but so that the yeast keeps on wanting to eat normal wort sugar (maltose and maltotriose) you should feed it the same. Giving it just sugar (sucrose), you may lose the capability to have decent apparent attenuation in the future.
 

ajf

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You're not stealing yeast. You paid for it, and it's yours.
You would be recycling it, which is very environmentally responsible.
Back in the old days - before Internet, I used to use yeast from Worthington White Shield (now defunct) and English Guiness, and got excellent results from both of them. I also tried the yeast from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a couple of times, and got terrible results.

-a.
 

shafferpilot

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Just use some DME boiled long enough to kill nasties and disolve the sugar. Be sure to get the proportion right, so the OG of the starter wort isn't in the stratosphere.
 
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marshman

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OK, so I finally got around to it...boiled @ 3 Tablespoons of DME in some water for @ 10 minutes, ended up with @ 1 cup of 'starter fluid'. Added it directly to the bottle in question through a sanitized funnel and airlocked it. Left it in a dark corner of the kitchen to keep an eye on it to see if it runs or not.
 

SuperiorBrew

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beergears said:
SuperiorBrew, what did you mean to point to, link above goes to "Sorry no match..."?
I had done a subject only search for bottle / yeast lots of similar topics and some good links on what beers to use and hot to do it etc.
 
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