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May 27, 2020

Farmhouse Ale From Harvested Yeast

Farmhouse ale recipe from harvested yeastHarvesting and washing yeast is one of the best ways to save money while homebrewing. By doing this you can avoid buying yeast before every brew day, you can reuse wild or special strains of yeast, and you can share yeast with friends! In this case, we wanted to reuse wild yeast that came from a log. If you haven’t read about our log beer experiments, we highly recommend you read this article and watch this brew day video.

log covered in wild yeast used to ferment beer

The log that Dailey Crafton sent us

Since we were borrowing this log from our friend in New York, we had to harvest and wash yeast from a beer that had already been fermented with it in order to enjoy the log after it was mailed back.

placing log covered in wild yeast into wort to ferment it 

Placing the log into our extract brown ale - click on the image for the brew day video

yeast and dregs at the bottom of a fermenter

After our extract brown ale was fermented and transferred to a keg, we were left with yeast and dregs at the bottom of a fermenter. This is all you need to start the yeast harvesting process.

After harvesting log yeast from an extract brown ale, we created a farmhouse ale recipe so we could enjoy this special yeast again in a different beer style. However, the process explained in this article can be used for any strain of yeast. If you have a fermenter laying around with yeast in it, why don’t you just go ahead and use it? Don’t just let it sit there!

 

 

 

If you’re looking to use this farmhouse ale recipe, but you don’t know what yeast to use, we recommend the Jovaru Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast from Omega Yeast. We’ll be using our special wild yeast, but you can use any yeast that would be used for a saison or farmhouse ale recipe.

Full Video Tutorial

Here’s a video that illustrates all the steps detailed below

Harvesting and Washing Yeast

We started this entire process by harvesting yeast from the bottom of a fermenter. Read this article to learn that process.

How to harvest and wash yeast

Making a Yeast Starter With Washed Yeast

In order to use harvested washed yeast to ferment a beer, you'll have to make a yeast starter with it. Read this article to learn how to make a yeast starter with washed yeast.

How to make a yeast starter with washed yeast tutorial

Wild Farmhouse Ale Recipe

After successfully harvesting, washing, and making a yeast starter with our yeast we were ready to make a beer with it. The Farmhouse Ale recipe below can be used with any saison or farmhouse ale yeast, not just our special log yeast.

yeast starter made with wild log yeast

After all of our hard work, we were left with a healthy yeast starter

Water

To start off the brew day, we filled our kettle with 7 gallons (26.5 liters) of water.

Grains

This farmhouse ale recipe only calls for 11 pounds (5 kg) of pilsner malt. We crushed this in our mill while waiting for our kettle to fill up with water.

pouring pilsner malt into a grinder

Pouring pilsner malt into our grinder

11 pounds of crushed pilsner malt

11 pounds (5 kg) of crushed pilsner malt

Mash

We hooked up our recirculation hoses and mashed in at 155° F (68° C). We did a 60-minute mash before we pulled our grain basket and started a boil.

mashing in

stirring mash to remove dough balls

It's important to stir everything once you mash in to remove dough balls

heat and pump buttons turned on

We're using our 240-volt digital brewing controller to brew this beer. All of our controllers have separate controls for the heat and pump.

Boil & Hops

While letting our grains drain for about 10 minutes we turned our digital brewing controller up to 100% of power to start a boil as soon as possible. This recipe calls for a 60-minute boil. 

digital brewing controller set to 100 percent of power

Our digital brewing controllers can be put into automatic or manual mode allowing you to set an exact temperature or a percentage of power

30 minutes into our boil we added a .5 ounce (14 grams) of Citra hops.

.5 ounce of citra hops weighed out

At the end of our 60-minute boil, we killed the heat and did a flameout addition that consisted of another .5 ounce (14 grams) of Citra hops.

flameout addition of citra hops

Our brewing system comes with a hop silo which makes hop additions super easy 

After this flameout addition, we started chilling our wort down to a yeast pitching temperature of around 65° F (18.3° C)

wort plate chiller recirculating next to digital brewing controller 

Pictured on the left is a wort plate chiller which recirculates cold water next to hot wort without mixing them. Our digital brewing controller on the right monitors the temperature as we're chilling

Yeast & Fermentation

Once our wort was chilled to around 65° F (18.3° C) we transferred it into a fermentation vessel.

wort in fermentation bucket

At this time we removed our yeast starter from the stir plate and pitched it into our chilled wort.

pitching yeast starter into wort

stir bar left behind in erlenmeyer flask

Make sure to leave your stir bar behind, but it won't ruin anything if it accidentally fell in

After pitching our yeast starter we put a lid on the fermenter and shook it for 60 seconds in order to aerate it. The final step was putting an airlock on top and then placing it into one of our fermentation vessels set to 68° F (20° C). 

putting airlock onto fermenter

Placing an airlock onto the lid of our fermenter

carrying bucket of wort to a fermentation chamber

Carrying our bucket of wort to a fermentation chamber 

We fermented this for 3 weeks before putting it in a keg to carbonate and serve it.  

Tasting

close up of emmet drinking the finished beer

Emmet said, "It's actually quite nice."

This beer finished with perfect golden color and little to no haze. The flavor was very reminiscent of our original log beer, which makes sense because both of them used the same yeast. The main flavor difference between this beer and the first log beer was a lime flavor that came through. Other than that this farmhouse ale was filled with citrusy fruit flavors that mostly came from the yeast we harvested.

jars of harvested yeast in foreground and emmet drinking beer in background

We still have 3 more jars of harvested yeast that we can brew with or share with friends

Leave a comment if you followed this process with a different yeast. How did it turn out?

 

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