How To...Reclaim Yeast From Bottled Beers

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by A T, Aug 10, 2008.

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  1. Mar 29, 2011 #21

    evanvine

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    PJ's right, it normally takes mine 2-4 days, but I use a Mag Stirrer with the DJ.
     
  2. Apr 3, 2011 #22

    luckyeddie

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    Has anyone tried to reclaim yeast from a bottle of Chimay Blue?

    I have had great success with Duvel and Westmalle (the Duvel yeast I used last month and am currently drinking a Blond I made using it - utterly fantastic!!!) but try as I might, I cannot get Chimay to kick off. I've tried it twice and use my standard technique which is as follows...

    1. Carefully decant all but the last 25 mls of the wonderful beer into a goblet (this will contain most of the precious yeasties)
    2. Pour 75 mls of boiled, cooled 1050 wort (made from medium spraymalt) into the bottle
    3. Add a heat-sterilised foil cap, fastened with a plaggy band
    4. Shake vigorously to aerate wort
    5. Replenish expended energy by drinking wonderful beer which you thought I'd forgotten about didn't you, Philistines
    6. Store at 25C for up to a week
    7. Check gravity

    For any other yeast I've reclaimed, the gravity will be well down (1020 or below) and there will be other signs of fermentation, but the Chimay stubbornly refuses to budge from 1040. Normally after a few days I'm already transferring to a carboy, doubling the amount of wort every 2 days and keeping the resultant wort mix up around 1040. Once I'm up to a litre or so I give it a darned good shake, split into 4 Grolsch bottles and bang them in my yeasties fridge where they will keep for months.

    I'm wondering whether they are now pasteurising Chimay - or perhaps the number of viable cells is so low that I ought to give it an extra couple of weeks before I discard it and swear. I've tried the Red and I've tried the Blue - just the White (mmm, my favourite) to go.
     
  3. Apr 23, 2011 #23

    luckyeddie

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    I tried again with Chimay Blue - and it worked. I flamed the neck to sterilise and put barely 50 mls of 1040 wort in the Chimay bottle, giving it a shake to oxygenate and covering with a sterilised foil cap held on with plaggy bands. Two days in the airing cupboard, a swirl and - SUCCESS!. Fizzy. I added another 100 mls of wort and gave it another 2 days before checking it again. It was obvious by now that it was a successful culture so I transferred to a demijohn (via my hydrometer and trial jar - 1014 - w00t!) and continued to scale up until I had around 2 litres.

    It's now been washed and split two ways and stuck in the fridge for future Trappist-style brews.

    Not sure why I had failures previously. Perhaps I hadn't let the bottle settle out long enough, perhaps the temperature had been too low, perhaps it was just a duff bottle. Ah well.
     
  4. May 4, 2011 #24

    luckyeddie

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    My guess is that time and temperature were the reasons - do not be too hasty to ditch them, and don't be shy about raising the temperature. These babies ferment at elevated temperatures (28-30C) when they get cracking, so if the 'softly softly' approach doesn't work, click the heat up a few notches.
     
  5. May 4, 2011 #25

    unclepumble

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    If your growing yeast you want plenty of oxygen and much stirring, it will grow more and quicker, pressure inhibits and kills yeast.

    Just make sure to get rid of the wort off the top of the starter and pitch the slurry, once done.

    UP
     
  6. May 4, 2011 #26

    luckyeddie

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    Once these monastery devils get fired up, I don't think they need much help. I have never seen anything like it. 7 or 8 inches of headspace just filled with krausen in no time at all. I top-cropped it down to an inch left, and the blooming stuff's half-filled it again.

    Blowoff and catchpot now fitted. I think I've got it under control now - the temperature is down to 20C again (5 hours in the bath) and it's slowed considerably. It's out the water now but I'm leaving the catchpot in place.
     
  7. May 9, 2011 #27

    theboytony

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    I am trying to do this with a couple of bottles of blackout from the cropton brewery, i boiled up 200g of light spraymalt in 2l of water, cooled it then put it into a demijohn and added the last bit of beer out of the bottles, after about half an hour there was a layer of sediment in the bottom of the dj which i'm guessing is something to do with the malt but is this normal??. Anyway i left it to do its thing for a few days (with a bit of shaking) and I syphoned all the liquid off, and while it doesn't taste like it is off it really doesn't taste nice at all so is this normal as well??

    Thanks
     
  8. Nov 20, 2011 #28

    Dave1970

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    I'm just trying this Tony, with yeast from 2 bottles of Fullers Bengal Lancer. Same as you 200g of spraymalt in 2 litres of water, boiled & cooled. Exactly like you I got some slightly darker sediment that must have come from the malt. After a 5 days now it's got more active and once the sediment settles between swirls I have a 2 tone sediment - dark from the malt and then almost white from the yeast. Think it's going be a few more days before I can separate off the yeast.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2011 #29

    Dave1970

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    I now have this from 2 bottles of Bengal Lancer.

    [​IMG]

    I want to use it for AG#1...an attempted ESB clone but what do I do next?..would it be ok to siphon or pour off the fairly clear wort (tasting to check it's not off) and then swirl the last bit to lift the sediment and pour into a sterile jar? I could then keep this in the fridge until I'm ready to brew (week or 2 perhaps?)
     
  10. Nov 24, 2011 #30

    Vossy1

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    That's what I'd do, if you need to move it from the original container ;)
    Do you have to move it, it's under a lovely blanket of C02 at the mo ?
     
  11. Nov 24, 2011 #31

    Dave1970

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    I'm reluctant to just leave it for a couple of reasons: 1. I'm not sure how long it'll be until I brew with it. 2. There probably isn't a nice blanket of CO2 because I've been swirling to oxygenate . Sounds like a sterilised jar is the way to go then :thumb:
     
  12. Nov 24, 2011 #32

    Vossy1

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    I wouldn't worry too much about time, though naturally the count will diminish.
    Unless you been splashing it you won't have introduced much 02. One of the major keys to getting gas into solution is agitation. You can actually force yeast into semi hibernation by restricting 02, though the little buggers can, and do, still carry on in an anaerobic environment (bottle conditioning for eg) :grin:
    If you transfer them, fill the bottle as much as possible to minimise the 02 exposure, (not from a point of oxidation).
     
  13. May 26, 2012 #33

    The Goatreich

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    Bumpety bump. I've bought a bottle of Bengal Lancer so that I can reclaim the yeast to use in a Fuller's London Porter clone. How long roughly will this yeast take to get up to a suitable quantity for a 23l brew? Also, once I've got the right amount, do I then siphon off the wort, add boiled cooled water and store in the fridge until I'm ready to make up a starter for the brew, or am I better off just timing the growth so that it's ready around the time I want to brew, then just add the yeast straight from the container, without the starter?
     
  14. Oct 2, 2012 #34

    lukehgriffiths

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    Can you use more dme and water (and time) to get more yeast? That way you could store for many brews with less fussing (and unfortunately less bottled awesomeness).
     
  15. Oct 10, 2012 #35

    pjbiker

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    In theory, 2-4 days. Better to use more than one bottle as there's sometimes very little yeast in them. I started a FV of about 25L with a bottle of 'Proper Job' yeast on Sunday afternoon and I'd started it off on Friday night with bottled wort from my previous brew. Another day would have been better but in theory the yeast will multiply to occupy the media it has available so might just prolong the fermentation time a little. I don't bother syphoning off the wort, I just tip the contents of the bottle into the FV and swill out with my fresh wort. Sunday's brew was down to 1.035 from 1.045 in 48hrs, 1.030 in 66hrs so going OK.
     
  16. Oct 10, 2012 #36

    The Goatreich

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    Wow, that does seem quick. I started a yeast off from a swab off a petri dish around a week ago, and it was only last night I felt that it had enough yeast to step up to a 1 litre starter.
     
  17. Oct 12, 2012 #37

    TRXnMe

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    I put the yeast from 2 bottles of bengal lancer into 1.5 litres of wort, it took the yeast a week to get going and show any sign of fermentation.

    This remindds me, I must the yeast out tomorrow and store it nice and safe in the fridge until I'm ready to brew my pale ale :D
     
  18. Oct 13, 2012 #38

    lukehgriffiths

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    Trying this tonight my plastic demijohn looks a slightly odd shape now thanks to hot wort! Lets see how it goes.
     
  19. Oct 14, 2012 #39

    lukehgriffiths

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    A question if I am to use this a week on Monday will I need to start it our just leave it to clear a bit take off the most of the spent wort and pitch it?
     
  20. Nov 10, 2013 #40

    Asalpaws

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    To bump an old topic, do we keep a list of commercial beers which are good to harvest? + other info, is it a bottling strain, does it produce a similar beer etc.

    Currently got a brew on with a starter made from the dregs of a Delerium Tremens bottle, although this may be a bottling strain looking at the web. T
     

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