Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

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Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby ekul » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:57 pm

I usually use lowans yeat in my washes but recently i have been thinking about using some ale yeasts in my scotch and bourbon ferments. I am a bit of a tightarse and i also do 150L washes, so buying nice ale yeasts for this size ferment is going to get costly (all grain washes are costly enough as it is).

In my beer brewing i usually reuse the yeast left over in the bottom of my fermenter by pouring mostof it out and leaving behind a cups worth and repitching a cube of wort on top. I have reused yeast up to 20times in this manner (probably more realistically) and very rarely get an infection.

I would feel uncomfortable resuing yeast from my whisky ferments because they are far from sanitary and would become contaminated after the first generation i imagine.

I've been thinking of using pitching the yeast from the bottom of my beer barrel. This yeast s very healthy and fresh however it may be contaminated with hops. At most it would be a litre of beer and yeast in a 150L wash, do you think this would make a difference?

I really want to try recultured coopers yeast in a whisky ferment to make a true 'asutralian' whisky. It is the only yeast that comes to mind that would be uniquely australian. Would gets lots of esters and flavours from this yeast too.
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby Smbjk » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:52 am

You make all grain mate. Caus if you do it wiil be full of hop particles which may not give you the desired flavor profile you are after. However you can wash and clean the yeast first to get rid of the hops or why not make a yeast starter with 500gr dme and 500ml water 1 pkt of us05 alse yeast cover with cling film and let sit a day and pitch? :think: then you will have some nice healthy yeast with a good cell count ready to go :think:
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby crow » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:57 am

yeah not sure to much hops flavor would carry over from a yeast bed (depending on the fermeter size and the amount of yeast. I have used yeast from the sediment of a few bottles of Coopers Pale Ale with no such problems :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby ekul » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:21 am

Have you used the cooper pale ale yeast in a whisky crow? I love my coopers clone that i make, i even reuse the yeast in an 'aussie ipa', fermented really low this yeast gives a much more subdued but dry flavour, makes the hops shine.

The coopers clone i make only has flowers in it so it would probably be a good one to experiment with using the yeast cake. There's no hop residue and its not really a hoppy beer to start with. Will give it a crack if you've tried it before.
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby Urrazeb » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:54 pm

Hmmm Interesting thread.
I would be keen on some more info on reusing coopers sediment if ya got any Crow.

Could you use say 6 stubbies worth and just try multiply it by feeding and racking/feeding and racking etc?
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby crow » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:29 pm

dunno sounds ok, I used about 6 long necks saving 20 or so mls of the chops and sausages of the bottom to fire up a 44 and it worked a treat :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby ekul » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:17 pm

really?!?! You used that little yeast to fire up a 44 gallon wash! I spose yeast stress isn't as important with distilling. When making a coopers yeast starter for beer i usually start with one bottle and 50ml of 1040 wort and then step up slowly. Like 50ml to start, add 100ml the next day, 300 ml the next and then a litre a day or two after that. Then it ferments out for a week, drain off wort and pitch yeast.

Were you fermenting a whisky or a rum? I think a rum would do quite well with this yeast as well.

Thanks for the info crow, you've given me some confidence :)

Also smbjk, i do do all grain so the yeast will be full of hop particles. I will probably just do a rinse on some yeast that is from a low hopped ale, or beers that i make from hop flowers (which don't make it to the fermenter because theya re easier to strain out)
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby Smbjk » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:46 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3GFQ7sLMw

here is a small video of harvesting yeast from coopers original pale ale bottles :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby Urrazeb » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:19 pm

Smbjk wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3GFQ7sLMw

here is a small video of harvesting yeast from coopers original pale ale bottles :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Pretty much what I was thinking, I am definitely drinking the beer first! :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Got some DME coming, and sourcing peated malt so gonna have a crack at an All Aussie Scotch :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby OzKev » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:58 pm

I think too much hop taste will carry over to the final product. I ran a beer I didn't like through my still, I ended up dumping it. Although you are only using a yeast cake and a CPA is mildly hopped. What if you washed the yeast cake, that would give you a clean start.

I would probably culture up a real yeast cake. Even split a gen 1 whiskey cake should be pretty safe.
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby crow » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:35 pm

yes if you run a hopped beer you will get beer schnapps not whiskey but I would be beyond amazed if even a heavy hopped beer would carry over any flavor from the yeast cake unless you are using a darn lot for a small ferment :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Yeast from the bottom of my beer fermenter

Postby bt1 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:58 am

I am a bit of a tightarse and i also do 150L washes


If that's true and nothing wrong with that why not consider a EC1118... you'll get 15 - 18% with no issues, full utilisation of sugars, no offies taste wise.

An ale yeast won't ever deliver like a EC1118 can. Bout ,$30 from Winequip for 500gms your good with only minimal re use for at least a year.

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