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Propogating Yeast From Commercial Bottles

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BarneyG

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Has anyone tried this before? I would like to make a brew that tastes similar to Hoegaarden White, hence I want to get the yeast from a stubbie of this great beer. :)



Grumpy's Brewer's Manual
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Propogating Yeast From Commercial Bottles

You can propogate the yeast from a commercially produced bottle conditioned beer quite simply. A commitment to cleanliness is all that is required.

First understand that yeast is not an ingredient, it is what is making your beer. There are as many different yeast strains as there are people on the planet. They change constantly, so the breweries tend to use pure strains that have been tested over time.

When trying to copy a particular beer, it follows that if you get the yeast right, you can be forgiven for not getting other things exact. The reverse is not true at all, you may get the ingredients spot on! If you don't use the right yeast, it will not get as close as it might.

1. Drink 80% of the beer from a bottle (by pouring in to a glass) of the one you wish to copy, ensuring that the sediment is not disturbed too much, cover and allow to stand at room temperature.

2.Sanitise a glass bottle, rubber bung, small funnel and airlock with One-Shot or similar. Allow solution to stand in the bottle until ready to use.

3. Bring 600 Ml water to the boil in a saucepan and dissolve into it, 60 G malt extract. (Two Dessertspoons) Simmer for a minute or so stirring to avoid burning and caramelisation then remove from the heat.

4. Empty the sanitising solution from the bottle then 1/2 fill the bottle with the hot malt extract via the funnel. (no need to rinse ortho-phosphoric)

5. Cover and cool the solution in cold water to about 24 deg C. Once cool, vigorously shake the bottle for about 30 seconds to aerate the extract wort.

6. Once you are sure the temperature is within limits, pour what is left in the bottle you drank into your starter solution, via the funnel, place on the bung and airlock and wait a day or so.

7. Brew the beer only when the yeast is in it's active stage and only after you have poured a little into a glass and given it the taste and smell test. Then you can pitch it in with confidence.
 

RobW

The Little Abbotsford Craftbrewery
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Barney, it does work OK but you need to know 2 things:

1. Are there viable yeasties in the bottle

2. If so are they the fermentation yeast (some breweries use a different strain for secondary fermentation)

A bit of googling might come up with the answers for Hoegaarden.
 

Jazman

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barney it also would mean a partial mash to get close to thats style and a liquid yeast would help or something like the saf wheat or whatever the number is
 

PostModern

Iron Wolf Brewery
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Save yourself some trouble and grab WLP400. Rumour has it that it ~is~ the strain Hoegaarden use in their wit.

Not that culturing the commercial yeast is a bad thing, far from it, you just get a lot more viable cells from the White Labs vials.
 

kook

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BarneyG said:
Has anyone tried this before? I would like to make a brew that tastes similar to Hoegaarden White, hence I want to get the yeast from a stubbie of this great beer. :)
Hoegaarden white is pasturised as far as I know. Its not a bottle fermented beer. I'd expect the yeast in it to be dead to be honest :( The yeast suspended in the bottle is purely for taste :)

As PostModern said, WLP400 is a good wit yeast, and you'll probably have better results due to a higher cell count.
 

BarneyG

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Cheers fella's, I'll give WLP400 a go! All I need to do now if find the dried curacao peel. :)
 

PostModern

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BarneyG said:
Cheers fella's, I'll give WLP400 a go! All I need to do now if find the dried curacao peel. :)
There's peels and there's peels too :) Read up on the web about it. There is sweet dried peel and bitter dried peel... unlike hops they don't have a AA value on the pack, so you have no idea about quantity.... experimentation seems to be the only way, but bitterness varies from batch to batch...

Belgian wit would have to be one of the hardest beers to brew at home. There are issues with mashing all the unmalted wheat and stuck sparges, incomplete conversions etc... worth the effort to master tho. It's one of those beers that I really want to brew but am leaving until I have time and energy enough to persue it properly.

btw, kook, there is an article on beertools about a guy who bought a bottle of Hoegaarden and successfully started a culture from the bottle. I suspect he's not the most clued up brewer, too...
 

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