How to culture up yeast from bottle conditioned beers

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AnbrewNX

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Hi MyQul, thanks for the guide. You've inspired me to try this out, and not being one to do things by half, I'm planning to propagate a Westmalle Dubbel for 20 litres of a 1.075 OG belgian. I'm assuming your instructions get us to about enough yeast for a mid-strength 20L brew, and that I might need about double this. So, would one extra step up with 2L of 1.04 wort be enough do you think?
 

MyQul

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Hi MyQul, thanks for the guide. You've inspired me to try this out, and not being one to do things by half, I'm planning to propagate a Westmalle Dubbel for 20 litres of a 1.075 OG belgian. I'm assuming your instructions get us to about enough yeast for a mid-strength 20L brew, and that I might need about double this. So, would one extra step up with 2L of 1.04 wort be enough do you think?
Yes, an extra 2L step up should be plenty athumb..
 

AnbrewNX

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Seems to be going pretty well so far. I added the Westmalle dregs to approx 100ml of 1.020 wort last Friday
As expected, not much activity with this initial batch. I've recruited the wife to shake it during the day though, so its getting a pretty good workout! I added another 100ml @ 1.020 on Tuesday and its really picked up since then. Lots of CO2 being produced and a nice yeast layer forming each morning.
Seems to work pretty well starting off in a 2L bottle, lots of room for vigorous shaking
 

MyQul

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Seems to be going pretty well so far. I added the Westmalle dregs to approx 100ml of 1.020 wort last Friday
As expected, not much activity with this initial batch. I've recruited the wife to shake it during the day though, so its getting a pretty good workout! I added another 100ml @ 1.020 on Tuesday and its really picked up since then. Lots of CO2 being produced and a nice yeast layer forming each morning.
Seems to work pretty well starting off in a 2L bottle, lots of room for vigorous shaking
Looks exactly as it should do. Keep going! athumb..
 

Nicks90

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Resurrecting this thread for assistance with culturing up yeast and beasts from a bottle of cantillon.

If I follow the 5 steps will I get a usable starter, or will it be all sour bacteria and no yeast, or no bacteria and all yeast?
Really not sure how this will work with a complex organic mix like a cantillon gauze
 

MyQul

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Resurrecting this thread for assistance with culturing up yeast and beasts from a bottle of cantillon.

If I follow the 5 steps will I get a usable starter, or will it be all sour bacteria and no yeast, or no bacteria and all yeast?
Really not sure how this will work with a complex organic mix like a cantillon gauze
No idea really. The equipment you need is pretty cheap so all I can say is try it out and see
 

Dogtooth

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread. It's useful to gen up on the techniques in harvesting yeast from bottle conditioned beer. It's also good to see how other people have done.
 
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PhilBrew

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Hi Nicks
If I follow the 5 steps will I get a usable starter, or will it be all sour bacteria and no yeast, or no bacteria and all yeast?
... have a read of the page there (link) on the Mad Fermentationist's blog ... he suggests that whether you'd bother to make a starter from bottle dregs of beers like your Cantillon geuze, would depend on whether you're planning on using whatever you culture for a primary fermentation ... bearing in mind that the brewery may well have added a bottling strain into the mix too ... or if you just want to funk up something you've already used a brewers yeast to perform an initial fermentation on, you could just pitch the dregs into a secondary, and wait :?:


Cheers, PhilB
 

PhilBrew

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Hi Dogtooth
It's useful to gen up on the techniques in harvesting yeast from bottle conditioned beer.
... bearing in mind your question on another thread about developing a "bank" of yeasts to brew with ... it's also worth considering how, once you're comfortable with culturing up enough yeast from bottle dregs to ferment a full batch with, then you can start to consider the yeast in the bottom of your own bottle-conditioned beers as your "yeast store" :?:

Cheers, PhilB
 

Dogtooth

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Doh, Yes of course!
At the moment I'm doing one gallon BAIBs in order to fine tune the recipes of beers I like and to do small batches of beer styles I don't drink often, such as porters & barley wine.
So your suggestion would work really well.
I'm planning to start with Shepherd's Neame 1698 as I'd like to brew a hoppy southern beer and people seem to have got good results using the yeast.
I've also read somewhere that Hobsons use yeast from Holdens brewery in their bottle conditioned beers. Does anyone know how I can get hold of a bottle up here in the NE? I often used to have a pint of Holdens in my Black Country youth.
 

strange-steve

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Resurrecting this thread for assistance with culturing up yeast and beasts from a bottle of cantillon.

If I follow the 5 steps will I get a usable starter, or will it be all sour bacteria and no yeast, or no bacteria and all yeast?
Really not sure how this will work with a complex organic mix like a cantillon gauze
Even if you're planning on just using it to sour a pre-fermented brew it's probably best practise to make a starter for it. The brett would be fine as is, but the lacto/pedio cultures would certainly benefit from a starter.
 

Dogtooth

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Northern_Brewer

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Has anyone tried harvesting yeast from Pedigree, since Marston reintroduced bottle conditioning in 2017?
I wouldn't get your hopes up. The Burton trade historically was geared up to export to hot countries, which meant they wanted high attenuation in the brewery to get rid of any fermentables to prevent secondary fermentation on the journey - it's not good to have a ship full of bottle bombs as you're going through the Suez Canal. (although in fact they exported in barrels) High attenuation generally comes with low flocculation, so they developed the Burton Union as a way of managing their particularly non-flocculant yeast.

But supermarkets don't want customers returning hazy beer, so a non-flocculant yeast is no good for bottle-conditioned ale sold in supermarkets.

So I would be 99% certain that Marston are using a bottling yeast rather than their production yeast - certainly FastCask uses a different one.
 

Dogtooth

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That's a really interesting (if disappointing) answer! For me, part of the interest in home brewing is finding out how different brewing processes and beer styles were adapted to a variety of contexts.
 

Northern_Brewer

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You'll find a lot of distinctive local traditions in beer come about because some kind of constraint (legal/market/tax) forces brewers to do something "weird" and then they develop ways to turn that bug into a feature (cask ale, decoction etc).

If you're raiding the supermarket shelves then Fuller's 1845 is another good place to start (or Lancer if they have it). White Label is another common one but I've not seen it much of late, also I _think_ the new Young's Special is still b/c if you can find it.
 

MyQul

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That's a really interesting (if disappointing) answer! For me, part of the interest in home brewing is finding out how different brewing processes and beer styles were adapted to a variety of contexts.
Have a look at our bottle conditioned beer list as it seems the Marstons is a no go

 

OliH

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I want to try this, simply because of the lack of yeast at the moment, but I don’t have any DME.
would table sugar and a bit of yeast nutrient work? Or would this stress the yeast?
 

johncrobinson

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Well i breed yeast using sugar and nutrient

There are genes in ale yeast that allow for the fermentation of the many differing sugars in wort
These may or may not be lost on a diet of easy sugar. Yeast is a mutator thats how its survived.
So the long answer and the short answer is "I just dont know for sure."
 

OliH

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Thanks @johncrobinson. Next question is then, how much nutrient for 100ml?
ive found 5g of sugar for 100ml water gives about 1.020 gravity but not really used yeast nutrient before!
 

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