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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through July 09, 2009 * Harvesting yeast from a high-gravity fermentation < Previous Next >

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Kevin Kowalczyk
Advanced Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 598
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 12.165.82.136
Posted on Friday, May 15, 2009 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Last month I posted a thread on what to make with Chimay yeast that I harvested from a bottle of Red, and the last poster (Destroyer) suggested a Belgian Stout, similar to Ellezelloise Hercule Stout. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, so along those lines, I brewed a Belgian Porter. It turned out quite tasty, with just a hint of the Chimay phenolics coming through the darker malts.

I reused the yeast cake and am now fermenting a tripel on it. Before I racked the tripel to the cake, I poured some of it off to make another starter for future use of this yeast. Unfortunately, that starter got infected.

I really want to use this yeast again, but I have heard that harvesting from a high gravity fermentation is not a good idea. (The tripel started fermentation at 1.057, but after a couple of days I added enough sugar to bring it up to 1.080.) Am I okay drawing off some yeast from this beer, and making a low gravity starter with lots of yeast nutrient to salvage it? Or should I start over with another bottle of Chimay, or use the Wyeast that is supposed to be the same strain?

Am I right in thinking that it would be less stressed due to the two step fermentation, lots of yeast to start, and a well aerated wort? Also, I did add yeast nutrient to the sugar water addition.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10341
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Friday, May 15, 2009 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kevin, I believe your thinking is sound. I would use the yeast to make a starter. The result will be healthy yeast ready to ferment your next batch of wort.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 816
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.63.203.31
Posted on Saturday, May 16, 2009 - 11:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't use it. The combination of high gravity/high alcohol stress coupled with the potential that the infection may be in that yeast slurry and not that other starter makes the risk too high.

As you grow yeast, you inevitably grow a population of "bugs" as well. They may have been suppressed because of the high alcohol in your last batch. Put into a new low gravity wort they may have grown to the point of being detectable.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10345
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Sunday, May 17, 2009 - 01:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've fermented three batches of my 1.078 Rochefort 8 clone with successive generations of the same yeast. I exercise reasonable care with my sanitation, and I always step up the yeast at least twice before pitching. So far I have had no noticeable problems with contamination.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 818
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.63.203.31
Posted on Sunday, May 17, 2009 - 11:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>So far I have had no noticeable problems with contamination.

Unlike Kevin's situation where it seems like continued repitching could be a risk.
 

francisco hott
Junior Member
Username: Frano

Post Number: 28
Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 201.222.132.236
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

About the starter making:
How much yeast should I use in making a starter?
and if I use the yeast cake should I use the hole yeast cake?

(Message edited by frano on May 18, 2009)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10350
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 02:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Francisco, the starter size depends on the batch size and gravity. What are the specifics of your beer?

If you are not making a starter and the yeast is relatively fresh (no older than a few weeks) and healthy, I would pitch half the yeast cake for a normal gravity beer and up to the full yeast cake for a really big beer.
 

francisco hott
Junior Member
Username: Frano

Post Number: 29
Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 201.222.132.236
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

tanks for your answer Bill

(Message edited by frano on May 18, 2009)
 

Steve Jones
Advanced Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 647
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.12
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,
I brewed a Leffe Blonde clone at Big Brew using Wyeast 1762. I took some of the yeast and am now doing a starter with plans for my first Rochefort 8 clone next weekend. I've got several slightly different recipes for it ... I think they were based on one from Hubert Hanghofer (if I recall the name correctly), and here is the one I think is most authentic.

How close is this to your recipe?
Rochefort 8

5.5 gallons
1.082 OG
39 SRM
34 IBU
Efficiency 75%
Boil time 75 min.

11 lbs Belgian Pils malt
1.75 lb CaraMunich 40L
1.5 lb Dark Candi Sugar
0.56 lb Flaked Maize
0.56 lb Special B malt
0.25 lb Carafa II

1.75 oz Styrian Goldings pellet, 4.2%, 60 min
0.75 oz Hallertau Hersbrucker pellet, 3.5%, 30 min
0.75 oz Hallertau Hersbrucker flowers, 3.5%, 5 min

0.33 oz Coriander seed, 5 min

Mash at 140F for 30 min, raise to 154F for 60 min.

[Edited to add:]

Actually I was thinking of using Cane sugar instead of the Candi, resulting in an SRM of about 22. 39 seems too dark to me.

(Message edited by stevej on May 18, 2009)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10351
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 03:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve,the recipe is from Herman Holtrop (I know; another H.H.), and yes, it's the recipe I brew. I now make my own dark Belgian candi syryp and I've backed off a little on the (debittered) Carafa II to make it slightly lighter. There are various opinions as to how dark Rochefort 8 really is. It's rarely available around here, so it's been a while since I've had one for comparison.

This is a very good beer, in fact, my wife's all-time favorite of the recipes I brew.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10352
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recommend the dark candi syrup (you can buy it or make your own). It results in a rich, complex flavor more like the genuine Rochefort that is not achieved with dark rock candi sugar and certainly not with white cane sugar.
 

Steve Jones
Advanced Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 648
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 164.89.253.21
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 04:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You once posted an article about making your own candi syrup, and I've got it posted on our website along with ones from Graham Sanders, Randy Mosher, and the Gimp.

Is that process still the same? (http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/candi_sugar.html)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10353
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 07:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Steve. There are two small changes I make now. I have found that a large thick-bottomed sauce pan works better than a skillet. Also I stop heating the sugar a little earlier because it continues to darken as it cools. For example, a medium caramel color in the pan results in dark sugar after cooling.
 

Steve Jones
Advanced Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 649
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.12
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 - 08:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Bill. I'll make those changes on the site as well.
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Advanced Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 603
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 67.167.4.225
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 03:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey guys, I appreciate your input on whether or not to reuse the yeast. It sounds like we have split decision, so I'm going to not worry, have a homebrew, yadda yadda, and reuse the yeast, at least to make a starter which I'll let ferment to completion to determine if my sample is contaminated.

The reason I came to this conclusion is that I just racked the trippel I made with it from primary to secondary, and it is phenomenal! The peppery, citrusy Chimay flavor is there, although slightly subdued because I fermented cool for a Belgian (~64F). It finished drier than I ever expected--1.004! It started at 1.057 from just the pilsner malt, but then 3 days into the fermentation I added a sugar solution to up that to 1.080. If my spreadsheet is right, it's 10.5% alcohol by volume. And I don't taste or sense any hot alcohol flavors/sensations.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10374
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 03:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That sounds very good, Kevin. I like the Chimay yeast when the bubble gum phenolics don't get out of hand. As you suggest, it can be a high attenuator, with a nice, dry finish.
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Advanced Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 606
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 67.167.4.225
Posted on Friday, May 22, 2009 - 03:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, I don't taste any bubble gum on this one...SWMBO tasted it and she has a more sensitive palate than I do; I just asked her and she said no bubble gum either. She said it was like cayenne pepper on the front, but without the the burning on the finish. I taste black pepper with a hint of lemon.