November 5, 2012

I got new yeast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a few weeks of work, I've been fortunate enough to obtain samples of several strains of yeast generally not available to the homebrewing public (I'm not even sure these strains are available to most commercial breweries, either). I am unbearably excited about them. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to say how I obtained access to these yeasts, except to say it was completely legal. I'm fairly confident my source would prefer I do not name names or share future generations of the yeast but I haven't been explicitly told not to.

Ok, so I'm not just trying to brag that I took down eleven rare strains, I fully intend to explore these strains and see how they perform at different temperatures. Since all the strains came from breweries I expect they will all make good beer and eventually find their way into several of my beers and into my frozen yeast bank. I'll start up a new page in the toolbar to the right to collect the experiments. I'll give you the breakdown of the strains I received and what little info I have at this point (I'm still trying to track down some history on these strains). I will identify the strains based on my own catalog numbers identified as RAM-# (RAM being the abbreviation for my usual interweb nom de plume on beer sites).

RAM-1
RAM-1 is actually a homebrewing strain; it is the White Labs Hefeweizen Ale strain (WLP300). This strain will act as sort of the control strain for the process. Since I know how it operates and what flavor/aroma it produces I can use it as a comparator for other strains to make sure my process is producing healthy yeast (and beer).


RAM-2
RAM-2 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain identified in origin from Stroh's Brewery in Canada. Since Stroh's is known for lagers, I suspect this strain is a lager strain.

RAM-3
RAM-3 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain identified in origin from Whitbread Exchange Brewery in Sheffield England, now defunct. I do not know if this strain is related to the Whitbread yeast sold as S-04/WLP007/Wyeast Whitbread.

RAM-4
RAM-4 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain either housed at a brewery or cultured from a beer brewed in the United Kingdom. The only notes available was that it came from a "super-attenuated beer" but since it was genetically verified as saccharomyces cerevisiae it is not brett, despite the notation.

RAM-5
RAM-5 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain originally from Pabst Brewing Company but identified as "Pabst Ale Yeast". I do not know if this strain was ever used to produce the Pabst Blue Ribbon Ale or another Pabst product.

RAM-6
RAM-6 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain of unknown origin but cultured from a trappist cheese. It may be a trappist strain in normal use or some other unknown or currently-unused Belgian saccharomyces cerevisiae strain.

RAM-7
RAM-7 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain identified in origin from the Pschorr Brewery in Munich, Germany. I do not know if this strain is an original Hacker Brewery strain or a different one used by Pschorr Brewery before it was merged with Hacker in the early 70s. I also do not know what products the strain may have been used to produce.

RAM-8
RAM-8 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain from an unknown brewery in Surrey, England. Not knowing what date it was cultured or preserved, I have no way of guessing the source.

RAM-9
RAM-9 is a saccharomyces bayanus or pastorianus strain identified as originating from the Whitbread Exchange Brewery in Sheffield, England. This strain may have been used to ferment lagers but guessing by the location and common use for these strains it is likely the strain was used to ferment cider and/or mead.


RAM-10
RAM-10 is a saccharomyces cerevisiae strain identified in origin from Blatz Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I don't know if this is an ale or lager strain but since Blatz is a lager manufacturer, my suspicion is it is a lager strain.

RAM-11
RAM-11 is a dekkera anomala strain from an unidentified brewery. The only note I have is that it is isolated from lambic. Dekkera is a spore-forming version of brett. Nobody seems to produce any anomola strains at the homebrewing level but Wyeast used to (apparently they found out it wasn't really an anomola strain and quit selling it?).


RAM-12
Last, RAM-12 is a brettanomyces custersianus strain originating from Bantu Brewery in South Africa. This brett type is sold by East Coast Yeast and ol' Al B at ECY says this strain produces a lot of fruit flavors with no funk and an increasing amount of acidity over time. My initial research suggests this strain will produce a lot of acetic acid if you give it the oxygen to make it happen. I do not know if this strain is the same as ECY's.

Well, that's all for now. I was offered many other beer and non-beer originating strains that I declined at this time. It will take me a lot of time to break down these strains and do some testing on them. Maybe in the future I will take another look at those other strains. I'll probably keep passing on the saccharomyces cerevisiae harvested from vagina and human feces and the lactobacillus harvested from a baboon's tooth. I could have said yes to the lactobacillus from a baboon's tooth but I declined. I mean, I am curious what flavors are available from that strain but I'm even more curious about who looked at a baboon and said, "I wonder what bacteria is in there and yes, I would like to get my hands in there and find out." Inquiring minds want to know...

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