Author Topic: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.  (Read 1068 times)

Offline sdazzo

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Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« on: June 09, 2015, 08:18:25 AM »
I've enjoyed a few bottle conditioned beers recently and was wondering if it's possible to cultivate the left over yeast. Is the yeast still viable after being conditioned in the bottle? How much leftover yeast would I need for a successful starter, if possible? I also wonder if the creation of CO2 by the yeast is enough to kill any existing yeast in the bottle.

Offline pete b

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 11:14:10 AM »
You can absolutely do this and its not hard. All you need is good sanitation. Have you tried searching this forum?  I got some good advice on the details of this process about a year ago.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 11:14:59 AM »
Harvesting yeast bottle
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Offline pete b

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 11:18:30 AM »
The last post is what I tried to search based on the title of the thread. I typed that in the search area of tapatalk and it posted as a reply and I can't edit with tapatalk because its evil.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 03:17:20 PM »
I've enjoyed a few bottle conditioned beers recently and was wondering if it's possible to cultivate the left over yeast. Is the yeast still viable after being conditioned in the bottle? How much leftover yeast would I need for a successful starter, if possible? I also wonder if the creation of CO2 by the yeast is enough to kill any existing yeast in the bottle.

This is pretty easy to do. Just make a very small starter 50-100ml and pour it in to the bottle after you have carefully poured out the beer and saved the yeast on the bottom. The biggest caveat is that many bottle conditioned beers use a different yeast at bottling for the carbonation, so you can't be sure that the yeast you are growing up are the same yeast that were used to create the beer in the first place.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 03:25:35 PM »
I've enjoyed a few bottle conditioned beers recently and was wondering if it's possible to cultivate the left over yeast. Is the yeast still viable after being conditioned in the bottle? How much leftover yeast would I need for a successful starter, if possible? I also wonder if the creation of CO2 by the yeast is enough to kill any existing yeast in the bottle.

This is pretty easy to do. Just make a very small starter 50-100ml and pour it in to the bottle after you have carefully poured out the beer and saved the yeast on the bottom. The biggest caveat is that many bottle conditioned beers use a different yeast at bottling for the carbonation, so you can't be sure that the yeast you are growing up are the same yeast that were used to create the beer in the first place.

This is all true.  There is a list on-line somewhere that someone put together of which beers use a bottling yeast and which don't.  Not sure it's 100% accurate, but for example Franziskaner bottles with a lager yeast.  You can culture it, but you won't get a wheat yeast.

Also, start with very low OG wort, be patient, and plan to step up several times. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2015, 03:26:01 PM »
If you're trying to culture from a bottle, I'd encourage you to leave a bit of the beer behind as well. Any cells that are still in suspension are likely to be much more viable than the ones that have already dropped out.

You also want to use a lower-strength starter for your first step to put less stress on the yeast. I've strted using 2oz of normal-strength starter to 2oz of beer, which will dilute to a half-strength starter. The beer also acts as a bit of protection for the yeast, as the lower pH and alcohol content will inhibit some potential contaminants.

I pour the beer into the starter in a mason jar, then shake it until it's pretty much all foam to oxygenate it well. I usually let it go for 5-7 days before stepping it up to a normal-sized starter.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2015, 03:35:20 PM »


 The biggest caveat is that many bottle conditioned beers use a different yeast at bottling for the carbonation, so you can't be sure that the yeast you are growing up are the same yeast that were used to create the beer in the first place.
Its my understanding that the current wisdom is that very few breweries use different yeast for bottle conditioning these days.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 03:44:30 PM »
I know for sure that Victory uses a bottling yeast.  At least for Golden Monkey.  Same with Franziskaner.

There are a couple others I can't think of off the top of my head.

But, there are probably many many more that don't bother.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 05:39:12 PM »
I think I would only do sour beer bottle dregs. They would be much more lively than sacc dregs, and it just doesn't seem that necessary with all the available sacc strains.

Offline pete b

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 07:27:01 PM »
I think I would only do sour beer bottle dregs. They would be much more lively than sacc dregs, and it just doesn't seem that necessary with all the available sacc strains.
This is a good point but its fun to do and in my opinion something a home brewer might do just because they can.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 07:36:59 PM »
With Belgian beers you have to know which beers have been pasteurized and have bottling yeast, and which ones have the original yeast. For sacch, for instance, the trappist beers have the original yeast, and beers like Duvel and Rodenbach have bottling yeast. Mike Tonsmeire's book contains a list of sour beers that one can use.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 08:18:20 PM »
I think I would only do sour beer bottle dregs. They would be much more lively than sacc dregs, and it just doesn't seem that necessary with all the available sacc strains.
This is a good point but its fun to do and in my opinion something a home brewer might do just because they can.
No doubt.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 11:20:45 PM »
With Belgian beers you have to know which beers have been pasteurized and have bottling yeast, and which ones have the original yeast. For sacch, for instance, the trappist beers have the original yeast, and beers like Duvel and Rodenbach have bottling yeast. Mike Tonsmeire's book contains a list of sour beers that one can use.
Here's the page that he keeps the updated list on: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/p/dreg-list.html
Eric B.

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Offline sdazzo

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Re: Cultivating yeast from bottle conditioned beers.
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2015, 09:53:15 PM »
Great stuff. Can't wait to try harvesting my own samples.

Thanks

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