Author Topic: Dregs harvesting  (Read 5019 times)

Offline erockrph

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Dregs harvesting
« on: June 08, 2012, 09:08:19 PM »
I have 2 quick questions on harvesting yeast from the dregs of a commercial beer:

1) I know you would typically brew a lower gravity beer if you're planning on pitching on its yeast cake to avoid stressing the yeast. Do you run into this issue with commercial beers? Am I better off using the lowest ABV beer from a brewery if I want to ranch their yeast?

2) I'm a huge Unibroue fan and I'd like to harvest their yeast. Their website mentions that they add yeast at bottling. Does anyone know if they use their house strain for this? I don't want to harvest the dregs from some Maudite or Trois Pistoles only to find that it is actually champagne yeast they bottle with (or something of that sort)
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 09:56:33 PM »
I have thought about harvesting yeast from Boulevard Brewing here in KCMO (once I purchase my Erlenmeyer flask that is).  I have read on other websites that the yeast used to bottle condition may be a different strain than what the commercial brewer used for primary fermentation.  On a recent tour to the Boulevard Brewery I asked one of the brewers about this.  He told me the strain Boulevard uses for bottle conditioning is the same as for fermentation, but because a homebrewer would only getting such a small amount from the bottle, the characteristics of the strain may change when trying to harvest it.  Just another thing you may want to consider.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 06:30:41 AM »
1. Yes, using the lowest gravity beer would be the best bet.

2. Don't quote me on this, because I can't remember the source, but I believe they bottle-condition with a Brett strain. So unless they filter prior to bottling, you'll have a mix of strains from the dregs.
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Offline denny

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 06:53:12 AM »
If you want Unibroue yeast, it's WY3864.
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 11:20:23 AM »
I don't think Unibroue bottle conditions with brett. I would be amazed if that were true. Still, I am with Deny. Juts buy it from Wyeast.
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 12:23:27 PM »
If you want Unibroue yeast, it's WY3864.
The only problem is that this strain is seasonal, and it's not even listed on the wyeast website right now. I really want to get this yeast, but can't ever find it. :(
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 06:33:55 PM »
If you want Unibroue yeast, it's WY3864.
The only problem is that this strain is seasonal, and it's not even listed on the wyeast website right now. I really want to get this yeast, but can't ever find it. :(

Someone on another forum got an email from Wyeast saying it was scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2012.
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Offline denny

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Dregs harvesting
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 06:41:00 PM »
Well, there ya go!


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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 10:10:31 AM »
I say give it a shot.  I've had good luck harvesting from dregs by pouring a small amount of wort directly into the bottle and stepping it up slowly.

That said, I'll be buying some of the Wyeast strain when it's available.
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 08:21:27 AM »
I recall an interview with the brewer of Unibroue and he mentioned that they bottle condition with a different strain than they ferment with. Ive been waiting for Wyeast to release it myself!
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 08:27:55 PM »
For a seasonal release such as this, what would have a better shelf-life for brewing off season (like 6+ months down the line) - brewing a low-gravity Belgian Pale and saving some bombers to culture up the dregs, or just stash away an extra vial and plan on stepping it up a few times?
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Offline gmac

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 08:34:45 PM »
If you want Unibroue yeast, it's WY3864.
The only problem is that this strain is seasonal, and it's not even listed on the wyeast website right now. I really want to get this yeast, but can't ever find it. :(

Someone on another forum got an email from Wyeast saying it was scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2012.
Not sure about another forum but I talked to them and posted on this forum that it would be available in October of this year.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 07:33:52 AM »
For a seasonal release such as this, what would have a better shelf-life for brewing off season (like 6+ months down the line) - brewing a low-gravity Belgian Pale and saving some bombers to culture up the dregs, or just stash away an extra vial and plan on stepping it up a few times?

Of those two options, I'd probably go with an extra smack pack to step up later.

What I've found in re-culturing dregs is that the yeast isn't as flocculant as the original pitch.  Not that big of a deal, as you can always use finings, but definitely a different performance.  YMMV.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 08:36:30 AM »
For a seasonal release such as this, what would have a better shelf-life for brewing off season (like 6+ months down the line) - brewing a low-gravity Belgian Pale and saving some bombers to culture up the dregs, or just stash away an extra vial and plan on stepping it up a few times?

Or just whip up a few slants, streak each of them from the smack pack, and keep 'em in the fridge.  Pull one out whenever you want that yeast.  I've gone as long as two years that way and who knows how much longer I could have gone.
Joe

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Dregs harvesting
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 09:48:06 AM »
What I would do is just take the yeast from primary, wash it, and put it in the back of the fridge. You should have 2 pint jars or so, and those will last quite a while in your fridge, and then step those up (which would be significantly easier than stepping up dregs or a slant) if its been a couple weeks. You will get some drift, but it shouldn't be too bad over 4-5 generations.
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