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Get to Harvesting!

Get to Harvesting!

Homebrewers can attempt to cultivate yeast strains using various bottle conditioned beers. By building up the weakened yeast, one can slowly grow the sample into a pitchable amount that can be used for a 5 gallon homebrew batch. This is an advanced technique and should not be attempted unless you are willing to experiment and risk a bad batch of homebrew.

What You Need

  • 1lb. Dry malt extract
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • Set of Erlenmeyer Flask (50ml, 125ml, 250ml, 500ml, and 1000ml–or a set of similar sized ball jars)
  • Aluminum foil
  • A bottle of your favorite bottle conditioned beer
  • Patience

What to Do

Step 1: Store a bottle aged beer upright for at least two (2) weeks prior to opening.

Step 2: Have your drinking glasses out and be ready to pour the entire beer at once, leaving a few ounces in the bottle.

Step 3: Gently swirl the bottle to loosen the yeast from the bottom.

Step 4: Pour the dregs of the bottle into a sanitized jar or flask where it can be grown.

Step 5: Add the equal volume of 1.040 gravity wort to the vessel and cover with a tight foil cap.

Step 6: On day 2, add another equal volume of 1.040 wort and swirl.

Step 7: On day 3, store in refrigerator for 24-48 hours or until all the yeast has settled to the bottom.

Step 8: Gently pour off, decant the liquid leaving the yeast.

Step 9: Add double the amount of 1.040 wort that was added on day two.

Step 10: Repeat steps 6-9 until you feel you have collected the proper cell count of yeast to pitch in your homebrew beer.

Step 11: Ferment and enjoy, you just pirated another brewer’s yeast. Yarrr!

For a list of various bottles and the yeast they have, check out The Mad Fermentationist’s blog: themadfermentationist.com/2010/06/harvesting-sour-beer-bottle-dregs.html

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