Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cloning a Golden Dragon - Part 2

Krausen from the Gulden Draak Yeast
As I discussed in the previous post in this series, on Sunday I captured the yeast from the bottoms of four bottles of Gulden Draak Ale and placed it into a weak starter wort.  I was pleased to see some bubbles passing through the airlock a few hours later.  On Monday and Tuesday, however, there seemed to be no activity at all from the starter.  I'd begun to lose hope that it was going to yield any yeast for brewing.

That changed tonight.  I picked up the flask, thinking I'd drain off all but the bit at the bottom of the flask (in case there was something useful left in there) when I noticed something.  There was a krausen at the top of the flask!  And there were bubbles coming up from the bottom.  The yeast was alive after all, it had just taken a while to reach critical mass.  There were even bubbles in the airlock every so often to let me know it was working!

I put the flask back on the magnetic stirrer and set it to work.  This time, I saw big chunks of white yeast being stirred up from the bottom. Before long, there had even been a bit if blow-off into the airlock.  This yeast was finally getting to work on the sugar!  Needless to say, I was pleased.

Airlock showing wort blow-off

Here's what we had in the flask two days ago:

December 8 Yeast Level

And, before all the yeast had even settled to the bottom, here's what I found tonight:

December 11 Yeast Level - Time for Another Starter?

Notice that there's a lot more in the bottom of the flask, and that it's not as thin as it was a couple of days ago.  The yeast has managed to grow.

Tomorrow night, I'll be creating another starter wort for the yeast.  I want to be sure I have a large enough colony of this stuff to handle a 2.5 gallon or 5 gallon batch of Gulden Draak clone beer.  My goal is to take a stab at it this Saturday (December 13, 2014).

Here's Part 3 - The Brewing...

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