From the HBD Archive
From: Robert Virzi <>
Subject: Culturing SN yeast
Date: 1989-08-11 14:11:37 GMT

Last weekend I tried an experiment with Sierra Nevada Ale.
As I drank each bottle, I carefully dumped the bottom of the
bottle sediment into a mixture of table sugar and water.
Over the course of two days, I did this for all six bottles
in the sixpack. By the end, there was about a pint of water
and 8-10 Tbl. sugar in the mix.

Before you jump all over me, I was not planning to actually
use this yeast culture for anything, I just wanted to see
if the SN yeast would grow.

Anyway, there seemed to be sporadic signs of life -- small
accumulations of bubbles on the side of the container, very
light growth of cells on the surface, and nice smell. However,
after 3 days, there all signs of life had dropped off, and I
ended up throwing the whole thing out.

So, did I hopelessly botch the experiment or is SN pasteurized
after conditioning in the bottle? Is three days too short a
period of time? I didn't expect full blown fermentation, but I
expected clearly visible signs of life after three days.

I ask because I have a bottle of Orval I am dying to try, but I
would like to culture the yeasties from it for homebrew use. I
want to make sure I have a reliable way of doing this before I
crack the bottle.

Has anyone been able to get an active, pitchable quantity of yeast
going from a commercial brew? What was your procedure? (details
please) Could it be done from the sediment in a single bottle?
It seems to me that (if it can be done) this is a great source of
nice yeast strains at a bargain rate. Thanks in advance!

Bob Virzi

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