So last year, as a part of my homebrewing activities while in lockdown, I determined that one can harvest the yeast from bottles of Hoegaarden and brew a pretty great clone with that harvested yeast. So again, for the record:
Question: Can you harvest the yeast from the dregs of Hoegaarden bottles?
Answer: Yes, you can.
Question: Is it the same yeast they ferment the beer with?
Answer: Yes, it is.
Question: Can you capture some of the yeast after you ferment with it, save it in your fridge for a year, and then use it again after resuscitating with a proper starter?
Answer: Yes, I’ve done it.
Check out this video where I brew a new “Belgian” white ale using the Hoegaarden yeast I harvested a year ago and with a mighty late addition charge of Sabro hops.
Wide Open Wheat Recipe
I called this beer my Wide Open Wheat. I have no idea why. It’s what I wrote down in my li’l notebook at the top of the page. Maybe I was thinking about lockdown restrictions being lifted and being able to share this beer with many people. Who knows (and frankly, who cares). Here’s the recipe:
50% German Pilsner Malt (I used 5 pounds/2.3 kg)
50% Flaked Wheat (I used 5 pounds/2.3 kg)
Rice Hulls (1 pound/.45 kg) – just to ensure I didn’t have a stuck sparge
1 ounces (28 grams) of Hallertau hops 4.0% AA – added with 60 minutes left to go in the boil
2 ounces (56 grams) of LupoMax Sabro hops 19.0% AA – added at flameout
2 liter starter of Hoegaarden yeast harvested from last year’s clone beer
Mashed grains for 60 minutes at 150°F or 66°C with tap water treated with Campden tablet. Collected 6.5 gallons of wort for boil. Added Hallertau hops and boiled for 60 minutes. Turned off burner and added Sabro hops. Chilled to 68°F or 20°C. Fermented at that temperature for 10 days. Kegged and carbonated.
Sabro Hops In a Belgian White Ale?
So how did it taste? I thought it came out great. The beer has an extremely light, soft body and a sense of creaminess from the yeast strain. The flavor is everything you expect from Sabro hops – lime, coconut, tropical fruit. It’s like a beach vacation in a beer pint glass. Mike thought the hops played well in this format too.
So give it a try – it’s a great beer for summer!