The yeast is active

The yeast is active

This photo was (rather badly) taken last night. On the left, the krausen has risen on the Baird Beer Rising Sun Pale Ale. This morning the krausen had fallen on that beer and risen on the Baird Beer Shimaguni Stout (right). There was about two hours time difference between bottling the Pale Ale and the Stout, hence the different fermentation times. These two beers actually use the same yeast but because I’ve harvested them from different beers, they will taste different.

In the middle is the German beer – as of this morning, nothing much is happening. It could be that the yeast was too old – or it could be just taken longer because I had less source to work with.

A couple of homebrewers have given me feedback on cultivating yeast.

From homebrewtalk, spage wrote:

I’ve always wanted to try this, however I have been hesitant because many breweries will brew with one yeast, and then bottle condition with an alternative yeast.

He also provided this link: Breweries that do and do not bottle with their primary strain

Another friend sent me this message:

My harvesting technique is often to rack the beer off the yeast I plan to re-use on brew day, during the mash or boil when I have some down time, leaving just enough beer on it to keep it liquid so I can pour it into a flask or jar.  Several hours later when the new batch of wort is in the better bottle at the right temp, I just toss it in.

Occasionally I put it in the fridge and save for use a week or two later.  Of course, if I do not re-use it the same day I usually make a starter.  I try to re-use for a similar style, or maybe one that is darker, so I don’t usually even bother to wash it. 

Before I started this experiment, I thought it would harvesting yeast would be difficult. Turns out it’s pretty easy.