Author Topic: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab  (Read 1273 times)

Offline mblanks2

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Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« on: October 29, 2014, 09:13:29 AM »
Not sure if this is the proper place to post this.
Would a Laminar Flow Hood be a good product to use in yeast prep and propagation? According to documentation it "provides a HEPA filtered
clean work area that is ideal for operations requiring a particle-free, bacteria-free, clean air environment and features true laminar airflow, a large 99.99% HEPA filter, disposable MERV-8 pleated pre-filters, and Zero Leak Airflow System."
Anyone have any input? I would like to think I could use this and start working on building a yeast bank/library.

This is what I'm looking at.
http://www.nuaire.com/pdf/spec-sheet-brochure/201.pdf

Offline dcb

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 02:04:49 PM »
I'm the kind of guy who rarely sees a piece of gear I don't covet, and I'd love to have that kind of dedicated space and gear to explore our favorite little microbes and learn how they work and live.

I would be the last guy to discourage any homebrewer from engaging in some over-the-top fun with equipment and process, but unless by "yeast prep and propagation" you mean something more involved than I think, you don't need a laminar flow hood.  There are guys out there doing yeast ranching with little more than a good pressure cooker and a few plates and test tubes.  Like most aspects of this hobby, it takes a lot more knowledge than it does stuff, and most of the knowledge is free for the taking around here.

That said, if you plunk down for the hood, please do post some pics and let us know what you're up to.   I'll raise a glass to your efforts and be glad to share vicariously in the fun.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 05:12:32 PM »
Yes it would. Although I'm not sure you will see the maximum benefit without having it inside a proper positive-pressure ISO-7 (or better) buffer room. Do you have any experience in a medical field, or any other field requiring aseptic technique?

I'm not going to lie, it would be pretty cool to have a toy like this in the home yeast lab. But without the right environment and set of skills, it's going to be serious overkill and you aren't likely to see the full benefit.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Stevie

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 05:15:20 PM »
Isn't burning an alcohol lamp in a box with a chimney on top "good enough?" Updraft is your friend right?

Offline kramerog

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 02:15:24 AM »
Seems like overkill for a hobby, but I used to feel that way about all-grain.  If you are thinking of doing a yeast business, I would take some micro-bio classes before buying this.

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »
Isn't burning an alcohol lamp in a box with a chimney on top "good enough?" Updraft is your friend right?

One does not even need to go that far. I have been plating and slanting yeast for years using only a flame source.  The area around the flame remains aseptic because microbes ride on house dust, and the updraft caused by the flame prevents house dust from settling.

OP: a laminar flow hood is cool piece of gear to own, but it is completely unnecessary for performing the types of aseptic transfers encountered in brewing.  Laminar flow technology was originally developed for use semiconductor clean rooms, not biological labs.

The video linked below covers the basic aseptic technique involved in streaking a plate for single cells (how pure cultures are isolated). Streaking a plate is a more complex operation than is subculturing a slant (inoculated slant to blank slant transfer) or starting a liquid culture from slant.   An alcohol lamp can be substituted for a Bunsen burner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB8R63nEPZE


Offline mblanks2

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 09:40:24 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections. My plan is to collect different strains, mostly 1st generation and build a library for future growth and use. I want to do some specific harvesting from a few brands and store as well.
I do not have previous experience in any of this but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. JK!
I don't have experience but whatever I undertake I generally spend great amounts of time in researching what and how things are done to accomplish the final goal whether it be through classes or forums like these.
It is a perfectly working, recently tested hood that came from a lab used in the mixing of prescription narcotic solutions. The style had to be changed due to new regulations in their lab/area and was to be disposed of.
There is no cost associated with this except space which is actually minimal for my brewery. I am currently at 1100 sq. ft. and am interested in carrying this hobby/obsession as far as I can. I look forward to building up a yeast bank that I can decide on a whim what type of yeast I want to use and build a starter from a collected sample.
Again, thanks for all the responses. I look forward to being apart of this forum and hope to be able to provide useful input for others in the future.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 12:38:35 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections.
This is indeed the proper tool for maintaining a sterile environment, if it is properly used and maintained. If improperly used, it is no better than working in the open air. I would highly suggest investing in some training.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline mblanks2

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 09:08:14 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections.
This is indeed the proper tool for maintaining a sterile environment, if it is properly used and maintained. If improperly used, it is no better than working in the open air. I would highly suggest investing in some training.
Thanks for the input. I will definitely be looking into training on the use of the hood and recommendations for handling and storing the yeast.

Offline mblanks2

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2014, 12:22:31 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections.
This is indeed the proper tool for maintaining a sterile environment, if it is properly used and maintained. If improperly used, it is no better than working in the open air. I would highly suggest investing in some training.
Ay recommendations on where to find training for this tool?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2014, 01:14:31 PM »
I googled laminar flow hood owners manual. Looks like you can download some info at germfree.com

Offline erockrph

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2014, 01:31:21 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. My biggest concern with this is, was it something that could be used in dealing with yeast handling. I wanted to verify that it was the proper tool and wouldn't be blowing "stuff" into my collections.
This is indeed the proper tool for maintaining a sterile environment, if it is properly used and maintained. If improperly used, it is no better than working in the open air. I would highly suggest investing in some training.
Ay recommendations on where to find training for this tool?
I can't really think of any reference I've run across outside of on-the-job training in a hospital or some other facility that performs sterile compounding.

Some key points to consider:

A LFH blower fan should be kept on 24/7 whenever possible. If it is turned off it should be run a minimum of 30 minutes before using.

Be careful not to block the airflow over the work area.

A LFH does nothing about touch contamination. I'd strongly recommend wearing sterile gloves and a surgical mask at a minimum when working in the hood. Proper aseptic technique is a must.

A LFH will only provide a benefit if your technique is otherwise flawless.

Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 01:35:29 PM »
Seems like overkill for a hobby, but I used to feel that way about all-grain.  If you are thinking of doing a yeast business, I would take some micro-bio classes before buying this.

+1
Jon H.

Offline mblanks2

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Re: Laminar Flow Hood for home yeast lab
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 02:34:44 PM »
I googled laminar flow hood owners manual. Looks like you can download some info at germfree.com

Quote
I can't really think of any reference I've run across outside of on-the-job training in a hospital or some other facility that performs sterile compounding.

Some key points to consider:

A LFH blower fan should be kept on 24/7 whenever possible. If it is turned off it should be run a minimum of 30 minutes before using.

Be careful not to block the airflow over the work area.

A LFH does nothing about touch contamination. I'd strongly recommend wearing sterile gloves and a surgical mask at a minimum when working in the hood. Proper aseptic technique is a must.

A LFH will only provide a benefit if your technique is otherwise flawless.[quote/]

Thanks, I'll continue research with the links and information you've provided. I think this will be a handy device to have and utilize.