Author Topic: Harvesting yeast from a can  (Read 500 times)

Offline gmac

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Harvesting yeast from a can
« on: May 29, 2011, 11:04:44 PM »
One of my favourite breweries is selling, for a limited time, a kellerbiere and I'm thinking of trying to harvest yeast.  Supposedly, the beer is unpasteurized and unfiltered so there should be some yeast in it right?  I will say, I haven't noticed much in the way of yeast sediment in the cans although there could be a little bit.  It could be dry beer too though. 

I'm making a few assumptions here such as, the yeast is the same yeast they'd use in the primary.  It's the same yeast they use for their regular lager that I love and want to duplicate. 

Any thoughts?  I was thinking of flaming the tops and just pouring off a couple beer that I've let sit for a few days in the fridge into glasses (and drinking the beer...).  Then, cutting the cans in half, swirling a bit of boiled and chilled water in the cans and pitching that into a small jar of wort and seeing what happens.  But, I am sure that there is a better way.  Please bear in mind I have absolutely no special equipment.  This will be mason jars with tin foil on them, not Erlenmeyer flasks and stir plates.
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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Harvesting yeast from a can
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 12:23:45 AM »
I'm making a few assumptions here such as, the yeast is the same yeast they'd use in the primary.  It's the same yeast they use for their regular lager that I love and want to duplicate.

If they're anyplace close to you, they might be cool about giving you some yeast slurry. 

It might be tough sterilizing cans using flame, since flaming the can could possibly also melt the can liner; giving the beer a nasty flavor (assuming you intend to drink the rest of the beer).

It's possible that immersing the can in alcohol or bleach water for 30 minutes or so before you open it would work to sterilize it.

I wouldn't bother with cutting open the cans. Instead, either culture a sample of the beer (assuming there's enough yeast in suspension to culture), or somehow centrifuge the yeast into the bottom of the can, then swirl the can with sterile water and  just pour out the yeast slurry. Cutting the can open sounds like too much trouble, unless you go to the trouble of sterilizing your cutting instruments.