From the HBD Archive
From: (Jack Schmidling)
Subject: Eau de Toilette, Whitbred Yeast
Date: 1992-06-06 03:38:00 GMT

To: Homebrew Digest
Fm: Jack Schmidling

>From: R_GELINAS@UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas)

> No, Jack, my question about using dehumidifier water was not a joke. My
initial feeling was "Ugh, scary stuff", but then I realized it might have
some nice qualities, such as never being exposed to chlorine and being very
soft......... I'm sort of surprised, though, Jack, that such a passionate
"standard brewing practice" debunker as yourself would dismiss a real
question about a "non-standard" practice as a joke.

I sort of suspected it was not a joke but having been sucked into two others,
I didn't want to seem like I was taking the bait.

However, although your motivation may be in line with my passion for
experimentation, the reality of dehumidifier soup as a serious possibility
for brewing really does stretch credibility. It would be fun to streak a
petri dish with a drop of that water but like you said most of that stuff
would be killed by boiling.

That aside, the volume of air that passes through a dehumidifier to produce
five gallons of water is staggering and most of the particulate matter, dead
or alive, ends up in the water.

What seems like a free water distiller at first glance also happens to be an
air filter by default. I think I would rather take my chances with rain
water if I had a water problem and could not afford to buy distilled water.



I recently pure cultured some dry Whitbred yeast and the following is what I

First of all, I would not have started the project if I had known that is
consists of three different strains. I was simply looking for something
different to try.

The initial results of the streak plate were colonies of a typical, white
yeast with no detectable, visual difference. I made some slants from this
and brewed a batch of beer that was nominal in all respects. This was about
the time I learned that there are supposed to be three strains in there.

Within about a week, both plates developed one colony that is best described
as looking like a nippled breast with coarse striations. I assumed this was
mold but the striations never developed into the typical fruiting bodies of a
mold. The colony just kept growing but kept looking like a yeast.

I discarded the plate from which I took the sample because it could have been
contaminated during the process of innoculating the slants. The other plate
has never been opened.

The second plate, also developed a slow growing colony of what seems like a
yeast and is only differentiated by its very yellow color.

If these two odd balls represent the other "strains", they are a joke because
the one in a zillion ratio has got to put there effectiveness in the noise.
I would also suggest that such drastically different morphology would
indicate more than different strains, more likely different genera.

Now the most interesting data is that the entire plate is now (day 17) almost
completely covered by mold that has developed in the past several days from
about 4 colonies not previously identifiable.

As an additional experiment, I sprinkled yeast granules right from the packet
onto two plates several days after I prepared the other two plates. Both of
these plates now have several mold colonies that are taking over and neither
has been opened since inoculating.

The bottom line here is that Whitbread dry yeast seems to be seriously
contaminated and there is a possibility that the three strain claim is a
hoax. If anyone has cultured this yeast, I would be interested in hearing
from you. I am particularly interested in knowing if the yellow yeast and
the hairy breast are the other "strains" or just random junk.

Just for the record, similar experiments with Edme never indicated any


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