Author Topic: Yeast Cultures from commercial beers and multiple re-use  (Read 313 times)

Offline Tim Johnson

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Yeast Cultures from commercial beers and multiple re-use
« on: November 26, 2017, 11:07:57 PM »
I've been brewing since 1972 (see https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=30655.0) Along the way I've made numerous attempts to culture yeast from commercial bottles. I've had two major successes from which I've made many batches that I've been happy with.

Around 1998 I made a culture from a bottle labeled "Jubilee Ale". I can't recall who the brewer was - except that I believe it was British. I poured off the drink, leaving anything in the bottom that looked like sediment. Then transferred the sediment to a narrow vial (as in a liquid yeast container). After several days the residual liquid and the solids were separated. Poured off remaining liquid. Remainder was about 1/8 teaspoon of what I hoped was yeast. Made up a malt extract solution of about 1.100. First added about 1/4 teaspoon of the "feeder". Within a day or so, I observed activity. Then added another 1/4 tsp. Next day 1/2 tsp. I continued to double the fermenting sample every day until after a week or so, had a whole gallon that was practically boiling. I reserved a small amount and used the remainder on a 10-12 gallon batch of brew with O.G. of 1.075.

For years afterwards, I would make brews like this - with the same yeast culture - using the same method with sediment from one bottle. I let a small sample (from one bottle) sit in storage for about 5 years. Used it to start another 12-gallon batch this fall. Clearly it was viable. This time, I "built up" the "seed" culture so that I have about a cup of it in a wine bottle that is topped off with a brewed "feeder solution" that is has been fermented down to about 10% alcohol. I intend to use it next summer for another batch.

 I have another sample that was obtained from barley wine. I have it labelled as from Thomas Hardy Ale, but I don't have the records to support that it is indeed from THA and I don't have a specific memory of that particular culturing process.

I've recently subscribed to this forum. I never have had any support venue in the past. (There is at least one Home Brewers Club in Anchorage Alaska, about 50 miles from where I live. Although I used to know some of the members, I've only attended once or twice.) I'd welcome any comments, critiques or suggestions. Bottoms up!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 11:11:50 PM by Tim Johnson »

Offline Nathan

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Re: Yeast Cultures from commercial beers and multiple re-use
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 06:57:50 AM »
I've been brewing since 1972 (see https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=30655.0) Along the way I've made numerous attempts to culture yeast from commercial bottles. I've had two major successes from which I've made many batches that I've been happy with.

Around 1998 I made a culture from a bottle labeled "Jubilee Ale". I can't recall who the brewer was - except that I believe it was British. I poured off the drink, leaving anything in the bottom that looked like sediment. Then transferred the sediment to a narrow vial (as in a liquid yeast container). After several days the residual liquid and the solids were separated. Poured off remaining liquid. Remainder was about 1/8 teaspoon of what I hoped was yeast. Made up a malt extract solution of about 1.100. First added about 1/4 teaspoon of the "feeder". Within a day or so, I observed activity. Then added another 1/4 tsp. Next day 1/2 tsp. I continued to double the fermenting sample every day until after a week or so, had a whole gallon that was practically boiling. I reserved a small amount and used the remainder on a 10-12 gallon batch of brew with O.G. of 1.075.

For years afterwards, I would make brews like this - with the same yeast culture - using the same method with sediment from one bottle. I let a small sample (from one bottle) sit in storage for about 5 years. Used it to start another 12-gallon batch this fall. Clearly it was viable. This time, I "built up" the "seed" culture so that I have about a cup of it in a wine bottle that is topped off with a brewed "feeder solution" that is has been fermented down to about 10% alcohol. I intend to use it next summer for another batch.

 I have another sample that was obtained from barley wine. I have it labelled as from Thomas Hardy Ale, but I don't have the records to support that it is indeed from THA and I don't have a specific memory of that particular culturing process.

I've recently subscribed to this forum. I never have had any support venue in the past. (There is at least one Home Brewers Club in Anchorage Alaska, about 50 miles from where I live. Although I used to know some of the members, I've only attended once or twice.) I'd welcome any comments, critiques or suggestions. Bottoms up!
If it works keep doing it!
I’m in a similar situation 30 years of brewing in a small town pretty much on my own although one student runs a nano brewery in southern France .Operating on your own gives you a lot of freedom to think outside the box. Take care and Brew On!


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