Cultivating Yeast From Commercial Beer

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Wassa

Active Member
Joined
15/4/05
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
I have read references from both this forum and others about brewers cultivating yeast from commercial beer.

What I want to know is how do you go about it as it would be useful to use certain yeasts when making a certain style of beer.

Thanks for your help.

Wassa
 

warrenlw63

Just a Hoe
Joined
4/5/04
Messages
7,202
Reaction score
11
Wassa,

Good place to start is to follow Steve's link to Grumpys. Explains everything well.

Good beer to use for your first is the ubiquitous Coopers Sparkling Ale. Good yeast and a better chance of success due to the freshness of the beer.

Warren -
 

pint of lager

brewing on the verandah
Joined
9/5/04
Messages
2,287
Reaction score
11
A few points for the budding yeast grower.

Sanitation, and as close to sterilization as possible for all transfers and everything that contacts your starter. Clean your bung thoroughly, use a cotton bud to make sure the bore is spotless before using oneshot. Bungs, airlocks, funnels and anything else should be treated.

Have a read through the airlocked thread on this board, it is aimed at the yeast farmer.

Start off with Coopers, the yeast is a great leaping off point.

The trouble with some bottles, even though they contain live yeast, is it is not the same strain as the primary. After wort is fermented in primary, it passes through a filter to remove yeast, before being cold conditionedd and bottled. A different yeast is added at bottling. The characteristics of this yeast are usually neutral, with the aim to have a highly flocculant yeast that will settle and form a tight residue on the bottom which will present better to the consumer.

So have fun with your yeast work.
 

pint of lager

brewing on the verandah
Joined
9/5/04
Messages
2,287
Reaction score
11
The Common Ground forum.

Have a read through the two airlocked files.

When making starters, you want to aim for a final volume for pitching to your brew. 5% for ales 10% for lagers. This means for a standard 23 litre brew, you want about 1 litre for ales, 2 litres for lagers.
 

WillM

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/9/05
Messages
152
Reaction score
1
I'd be interested to know if anyone has had success with starting a culture from a commercial wheat beer.

I normally brew with whitelab's yeast, but since this isn't a style I plan on doing a lot of, I'd be interested in trying a few beers and seeing if they start.

Many years ago (90s) I did get a red back to start.
 

Stuster

Big mash up
Joined
16/4/05
Messages
5,216
Reaction score
72
Not sure where you are in Syndey WillM but I have some white labs wheat beer yeast in stubbies that I could spare. I'm in Ashfield.
 

sinkas

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/3/05
Messages
1,986
Reaction score
13
Willm,
I have successfully culutred and brewed with decent attenuation from Hogaarden Grand Cru, and Unibrou Frigiante, I am sure plenty of other will work too.
 

WillM

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/9/05
Messages
152
Reaction score
1
Thanks for your help. I'll get drinking and try a few beers.
 

berapnopod

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/1/05
Messages
374
Reaction score
1
WillM said:
I'd be interested to know if anyone has had success with starting a culture from a commercial wheat beer.

I normally brew with whitelab's yeast, but since this isn't a style I plan on doing a lot of, I'd be interested in trying a few beers and seeing if they start.

Many years ago (90s) I did get a red back to start.
[post="85666"][/post]​
If you're thinking of a german wheat beer (hefeweizen), then be aware that many of the commercial breweries actually use a lager strain for bottle conditioning. Those wheat beer yeasts are quite finicky and tend to go off quite quickly if left in the bottle too long. A good resource for this information is:

http://www.nada.kth.se/~alun/Beer/Bottle-Yeasts/

Berp.
 

The Scientist

Well-Known Member
Joined
7/3/05
Messages
330
Reaction score
2
Fellow brewers,
I have managed to start a yeast culture from yeast taken from the bottom of a commercial bottle of Hoegaarden White. I have stepped it up to about 600ml and it still passes the smell and taste tests. My question is at what stage should I divide and bottle the culture for future starters? I have looked into it and have found conflicting information.

-The first suggestion states that the culture be shaken, then bottled at the peek of the krasen stage and refrigerated immediately to stop bottle bombs.
-The other idea is to wait till fermentation has finished to shake then divide the mixed yeast cake and refrigerate.

Any advice would be appreciated :huh:

Cheers.
 

Malnourished

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/3/05
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
The Scientist said:
Any advice would be appreciated :huh:
[post="85958"][/post]​
I suspect you have a lager yeast. I'm pretty sure they changed a few years back to bottling with a lager yeast. There has even been talk of some of the bigger Belgian breweries doing their primary with lager yeast for witbiers! Does it smell lagery at all?

And let it ferment out. I can't see any advantage to bottling half-fermented wort.
 

berapnopod

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/1/05
Messages
374
Reaction score
1
Malnourished said:
I suspect you have a lager yeast. I'm pretty sure they changed a few years back to bottling with a lager yeast. There has even been talk of some of the bigger Belgian breweries doing their primary with lager yeast for witbiers! Does it smell lagery at all?

And let it ferment out. I can't see any advantage to bottling half-fermented wort.
[post="85968"][/post]​
I think the yeast in a Hoegaarden bottle is the original yeast, and not a lager yeast. The page I posted earlier suggests that. I have also use the yeast in the bottle a number of times over the last year and it has the same ester profile I would expect, and nothing like you would expect from a lager fermented at 25C.

Berp.
 

Malnourished

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/3/05
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
berapnopod said:
I think the yeast in a Hoegaarden bottle is the original yeast, and not a lager yeast. The page I posted earlier suggests that. I have also use the yeast in the bottle a number of times over the last year and it has the same ester profile I would expect, and nothing like you would expect from a lager fermented at 25C.
[post="85976"][/post]​
Ah, I'm wrong again :D It seems very unlike InBev to have the same yeast strain in the bottle but I can't argue with results.

I suspect some of the info on that page you linked is pretty outdated. De Dolle hasn't used Rodenbach yeast in several years, nor has Eldridge Pope brewed Thomas Hardy for quite a while.
 

The Scientist

Well-Known Member
Joined
7/3/05
Messages
330
Reaction score
2
I think the yeast in a Hoegaarden bottle is the original yeast, and not a lager yeast. The page I posted earlier suggests that. I have also use the yeast in the bottle a number of times over the last year and it has the same ester profile I would expect, and nothing like you would expect from a lager fermented at 25C.
I agree, the smell and taste profile are that of an Ale. Seems to have that Wit flavour too, which I am very happy about. :D It actualy states on the pack that the same yeast is use through out the brewing process.

I'll wait for the fermentation to slow before I bottle the starters,

Cheers :beer:
 

Shunty

Well-Known Member
Joined
19/8/05
Messages
153
Reaction score
0
WillM said:
I'd be interested to know if anyone has had success with starting a culture from a commercial wheat beer.

I normally brew with whitelab's yeast, but since this isn't a style I plan on doing a lot of, I'd be interested in trying a few beers and seeing if they start.

Many years ago (90s) I did get a red back to start.
[post="85666"][/post]​
I've cultured from emmersons hefeweisen three times - It is definetly the primary strain in the bottle, and always takes off pretty rapidly.
 

neonmeate

hello
Joined
19/10/04
Messages
1,408
Reaction score
16
Location
Adelaide
berapnopod said:
WillM said:
I'd be interested to know if anyone has had success with starting a culture from a commercial wheat beer.

[post="85666"][/post]​
If you're thinking of a german wheat beer (hefeweizen), then be aware that many of the commercial breweries actually use a lager strain for bottle conditioning. Those wheat beer yeasts are quite finicky and tend to go off quite quickly if left in the bottle too long.
Berp.
[post="85954"][/post]​
a good fresh source for hefe yeast (WLP300) is james squire colonial wheat.

i've also used schneiderweisse with success a month or two ago, and maisels weisse. those two are about the only german hefes available that have top fermenters in the bottle.

having said that, even when cultured up yeasts work for me, i've been disappointed in the flavour and attenuation. you get much stronger fermentations, a dryer finish and more compex esters from buying a fresh WL tube or smack pack. when it's $15 for a tube that takes off straight away or $7 for a bottle of import beer that needs heaps of work to get going, the economics arent that convincing either.
 

Kai

Fermentation Assistant
Joined
1/4/04
Messages
3,734
Reaction score
17
WillM said:
I'd be interested to know if anyone has had success with starting a culture from a commercial wheat beer.

I normally brew with whitelab's yeast, but since this isn't a style I plan on doing a lot of, I'd be interested in trying a few beers and seeing if they start.

Many years ago (90s) I did get a red back to start.
[post="85666"][/post]​
I've recultured yeast from a bottle of Schneider Edel-Weisse with some success. It took a while for the starter to take off, so I guess sanitation is paramount.
 

Latest posts

Top