I am currently taking classes at Central Washington University for the craft beer trade. I am fascinated by wild yeast micro regions (ie: Lambic is only found with a 20km radius around Brussels).
So I want to do some experiments like placing open fermentation vessels in various locations around the Yakima Valley: Apple orchards, hop fields, cherry orchards and the like. I hope to find wild yeast that will yield unique and good tasting beer.
My questions for any who may know:
* Do wild yeasts have seasons of peak activity? I'm guessing Summer to early Fall.
* Do airborne bacteria have peak seasons?
* Are there techniques to avoid bacterial infection while capturing wild yeasts?
* I also wonder about the technique of setting over-ripe fruit out in order to capture wild yeast, then putting them in a starter to cultivate.
Anything else I've missed or should know? Any reference materials I should consult?