The old Chouffe bottle

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Dec 14, 2020
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TL;DR : I want to harvest very old yeast from a very old chouffe bottle.
Hello everyone,
I recently did some work in my grand-parents house.
That's when I came upon this old "chouffe" bottle (see attached pictures)
I there were alot of floating sediments so I decided to first cold crash it in order to bring all this to the bottom.
On the tag were written 2 dates 1997 and 1998.
My project would be to taste it (just for fun, I will not drink a full glass), and to try to harvest the old yeast in there.
Do you have any advices, warnings or questions about what I am going to do ?


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Do you have any advices, warnings or questions about what I am going to do ?

I would start with a very small, very low OG step. Be scrupulously clean and sanitary. Flame the bottle opening. I'm thinking something like:

1) ~50 ml of 1.010 OG wort
2) add 100 ml of 1.015 OG wort, w/ 0.005 grams Wyeast nutrient
3) add 250 ml of 1.020 OG wort. w/ 0.016 grams Wyeast nutrient
4) add 600 ml of 1.030 OG wort, w/ 0.059 grams Wyeast nutrient

I wouldn't use a stir plate for the above small steps. And I wouldn't count on seeing much of anything visually happening with step one and maybe step 2. Just give it (or them) 2-3 days, then add the next step. Once this is done, cold crash and see how much yeast you have, then decide where to go from there.

ETA: If you don't have a scale that measures to the milligram, measure (for example) at the 100th of a gram, then divide visually. The idea is to add a very small amount of nutrients without making a toxic environment.
Side note: You could sell it on eBay and you might find collectioners willing to pay.
Or you might actually drink the content and find it very interesting (or very oxidized. Most probably not toxic though).
Just a note, there is still the question whether it contains the original fermentation yeast.

The left side of the label (see pic #2) says in French "refermented in bottle" as well as clues to that in other languages. The Flemish phrase "Hergist in de fles" literally translates to "re-yeast in the bottle" ("her" = re-, again, 2nd time; "gist" = yeast), but instead of re-yeasted it could also mean being "relevened in the bottle."
Thanks alot for all your replies.

-About selling it on Ebay:

I understand why some of you would want me to sell it on Ebay but firstly I have no experience at all regarding online selling (especialy on Ebay), and also because as some of you said, it's not that old. I honnestly think that the investment in time is not that worth. finally I have nothing to compare it to, it's not the kind of things that casualy pop up on Ebay. Therefore unless someone can give me an exact estimate of what it's worth I might change my mind.

-About the fact that it's old:

Sorry if I offended some of you by saying it was old ;) (for the reccord I wasn't even born when it was brewed). Also The date I found might be the expiration date as it is written " à consommer de préférence avant le : " over it , but I cannot be sure.

-About the yeast inside:

As you said @IslandLizard , "refermenté en bouteille" means reffermented in bottle (I am belgian, it helps). I really don't know if it is the actual beer yeast or if it's just another yeast only used for botteling that they added just before botteling. I might send an E-mail to the brewing company making chouffe in order to investigate.
If I don't get an answer, I will try to replicate the experiment with a newer chouffe bottle to see if there are any differences

-About the harvesting:

Thank you @VikeMan this should be very helpful. If no one can give me an approximation of what it's worth exceeding what I want from it, I will follow your steps.
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