I’m in the process of harvesting yeast from 3 bottles of Bent River Brewing’s “Uncommon Stout”. I used a cup of dried malt extract and a 3 cups of water to boil a tiny batch of light beer. I sterilized everything, then took the residual yeast from three bottles of their stout and added it to the light beer in an Erlenmeyer flask. I shook it up really well and placed in in my locker in the Basement. After 2 days, I can already see some yeast growth.
On a whim, I emailed Bent river and asked what kind of yeast they use and if they use any type of extra nutrients. Cool guy and brewer, Nick replied to my email the next day.
It’s pretty cool that these guys are so willing to share their brewing secrets with home brewers. Please go buy some of their beer! I highly recommend “Uncommon Stout.” These guys are in Rock Island and Moline, IL. You can buy their beer at Hy-Vee grocery store in the midwest. http://bentriverbrewing.com/
I got Charlie Papazian’s book, “The complete joy of Home Brewing” for Christmas. It’s a lot less exact and scientific than Parker’s “How To Brew“, but a good read nonetheless. In his book, Papazian suggests adding 1/8tsp of olive oil to commercial yeast ranch starters. So I did this. After reading a few reviews online on the matter, most feel this is worthwhile to add to aeration of healthy yeast, most agree the amount is less than a drop. So, we will see what happens. So far, its been 3 days and the yeast is attenuating slowly and reproducing nicely. I’ll be using this for Grenadier English Porter in a few days as soon as it’s viable. If it doesnt work, I’ve got a pack of my old go-to yeast, Safeale-05, which never fails.
I’ll also try to get some yeast nutrients (White Lab’s “Servomyces”) at the Beer Crazy store today. We will see what adding a capsule of this stuff does to my yeast as well.