How to culture up yeast from bottle conditioned beers

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by MyQul, May 23, 2015.

  1. May 23, 2015 #1

    MyQul

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    This guide is if you dont have a stir plate or erlenmeyer flask

    You'll need:

    1x500ml water bottle
    2x 2L water bottles
    Bag of DME
    Star San in a spray bottle

    Put the bottle your going to havest yeast from in the fridge for a few days so as much yeast as possible is crashed out at the bottom. Then carefull pour off your beer (all in one go) leaving about 1-2cm of beer and hopefully yeast, in the bottom of the bottle

    I usually do 5 'step ups' to take me from from yeast dregs to pitchable amount.

    Step up 1. Make 100ml of 1.020 wort using the DME. You need to boil/simmer for 15 mins to sanitise. For this stage you might want to make 3 times as much as simmering 100ml o wort for 15 mins tends to cause the pot to boil dry - put this in the 500ml bottle with the dregs from your bottle When you pour the dregs from the bottle spray with starsan. Shake the bottle to aerate and leave for 3 days somewhere warm (at least room temp). You need to keep shaking the bottle about 4 times per day. Once shook loosen the lid a little to allow CO2 to escape.Make sure you remember to re-tighten the lid before each shake or it's not going to be pretty [​IMG]

    Step up 2. Make another 100ml of 1.020 wort - add this to the 500ml bottle. Shaking 4 times per day for 3 days. Make sure you remember to tighten the lid. When you open the bottle to pour in the new wort, spray around the lid before opening and also around the mouth of the bottle

    Step up 3. Transfer everything from the 500ml bottle to one of the 2L bottles and add 250ml of 1.040 wort. Shake 4 times per day for 2/3 days. Spray starsan around both bottle opening before and after you take the lids off

    After 2/3 days put the 2L bottle in the fridge for 1-3 days until all the yeast has crashed out of solution and is at the bottom of the bottle. Then pour off most of the liquid/spent wort and shake the compacted yeast to resuspend in the remaing bit of liquid. Then pour half into the second 2L bottle. Spray starsan around both bottle opening before and after you take the lids off

    Step up 4. Make 2L of 1.040 wort and put 1L in each bottle. Shake 4 times per days for 2/3 days. Spray starsan around both bottle opening before and after you take the lids off

    The reason you use 2 bottles is than when you shake the bottles they really foam up because of all the C02 created by the yeast. When you open the lid to let the C02 out, if you were to just use 1 2L bottle there wouldn't be enough head room for all the foam. Tbh, there still isn't enough head room with 1L in a 2L bottle so after shaking you usually need to leave it for 30 mins for the foam to calm down a bit else loads of foam/yeast spurts out.

    Step up 5. Put the bottles in the fridge for 1-3 days to crash the yeast then pour off the spent wort when the yeast is compacted. Take the bottles out the fridge allow to come to room temp and add 1L of 1.040 wort to each bottle. Shake 4 times per day for 2/3 days. You should now have a pitchable amount of yeast. You can crash again in the fridge but you dont have to (but I do).

    This all takes about 3 weeks to 'grow' enough yeast for an average (1.040ish OG) beer.

    DME Amounts:

    100ml/1.020 = 5g DME
    250ml/1.040=25g DME
    1L/1.040 = 100g
     
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  2. Dec 6, 2015 #2

    Leon103

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    How many bottles of the original beer is needed?
     
  3. Dec 6, 2015 #3

    jeg3

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    I used one bottle of Butty Bach to get the Wye Valley yeast and there was a trace in the bottle. Over two and a half weeks though it turned into 100ml!
     
  4. Dec 6, 2015 #4

    MyQul

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    The above is for one bottle of beer. You'll usually just get a miniscule amout which you can the culture up
     
  5. Dec 7, 2015 #5

    Leon103

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    Ok thanks. Only have 330ml bottles of the ones I want to try. Need to get some dme before I can start drinking. I am not sure if they are primary strains, I think two of the 6 bottles have wine yeast in it
     
  6. May 11, 2016 #6

    Covrich

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    Trying this now on the SN.. I am sad enough to even bring the bottle to work with me.. I can see the black trub buts which I assume is the yeast perhaps dead yeast..

    I swirl shake a lot but apart from bubbles rising but I do not see a lot in the way of yeast just flakes at the bottom.. I did wonder whether that might be because of the carbonation in the original beer but it would be flat now wouldn't it.
     
  7. May 11, 2016 #7

    MyQul

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    The first 1 or 2 step ups I usually dont see anything really. The only way I know anything is happening is that at step up 2 or 3 I can hear the off gassing of the C02
     
  8. May 11, 2016 #8

    brumbrew

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    SN?

    Sierra Nevada?

    I've seen these flakes on the bottom of the bottle. Thought how weird it was.
     
  9. May 11, 2016 #9

    MyQul

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    Close but no banana. Shepard Neame ;)
     
  10. May 11, 2016 #10

    brumbrew

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    Great post MyQul :-)

    I'm going to give this a try with a kernel brewery beer. Just have to get down to the bottle shop.

    But I'm off next Monday ;-)

    I have a stir plate and a flask. So I think I will try a both methods.

    I'll just have to buy two bottles ;-)
     
  11. May 11, 2016 #11

    brumbrew

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    Just got the bottle of Sierra Nevada out the recycling bin. It still had the dregs as I wanted to show my brewing mate.

    Not very clear, but some of the 'bits' look very transparent. :confusedface:
     

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  12. May 11, 2016 #12

    MyQul

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    I wasnt aware the kernal brewery bottle conditioned their beer. Do you know what strain(s) they use. Their brewery is only about 20 mins from me so if they use anything interesting I can nip down there and pick up a bottle or two
     
  13. May 11, 2016 #13

    MyQul

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    Seirra Nevada uses the chico strain. I'm not sure if it's US-05, WLP001, Wyeast 1968 or something similar but not quite the same as any of the above three
     
  14. May 11, 2016 #14

    brumbrew

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    Maybe my mistake on that one then. But im sure I had to pour one and leave some yeast.
     
  15. May 11, 2016 #15

    brumbrew

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    I'm realtivly new to this by the way, I haven't read the whole of the brewing elements book yet ;-)
     
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  16. May 11, 2016 #16

    MyQul

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    Doing a quick bit of googling your absolutely right. They bottle condition (at least some if not all) of their beer. Might be worth firing off a quick email to see if they use a propriatory strain or perhaps something from a yeast lab or even a dried strain. Plus ask if they bottle condition with the same (primary) strain as they ferment with
     
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  17. May 11, 2016 #17

    Covrich

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    I can see the sort of floaty dust in suspension when I leave it and when I shake it I see the tiny bubbles you see on starters. So it looks like it's going. Fingers crossed

    As soon as I am out of the 500ml bottles. A butty batch is going in it :smile:
     
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  18. May 11, 2016 #18

    MyQul

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    you've obviuosly got better eyesight than me cov as I can never see the tiny bubbles in starters but it sounds as if you've got it going
     
  19. May 11, 2016 #19

    Covrich

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    By the way I might be wrong but I think the Sierra nevada thing came up here before and I think the general consensus was it was US05 or WLP001
     
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  20. May 13, 2016 #20

    Covrich

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    Here we are 2.5 days in, will step up this afternoon but I am pleased with the amount I created in teh first step.. I have been bringing it to work and swriling it a lot to help the growth

    I am almost temped to move on a slightly bigger step but will just do the step 2 and then step 3 on Sunday
     

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