Author Topic: Lesson Learned...  (Read 834 times)

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1205
  • St. Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Lesson Learned...
« on: February 18, 2013, 06:07:12 AM »
Finally took an open growler of nasty, foul smelling "beer" off my porch; a failed attempt at harvesting local microflora.

Gave the growler a few heavy soaks in PBW and scrubbed with a brush, then rinsed and sanitized. Looked like new...

Used the growler again for a Brett C starter, which was quickly overtaken by the nasty wild bugs that grew in the growler previously.

Good thing I took a good whiff before pouring it into a few buckets/kegs of funky beer!
@southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/

Online mtnrockhopper

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3118
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 06:41:40 AM »
I think the "airborne wild yeast" thing is kind of a myth.  I bet the equipment in lambic and other wild fermented breweries is coated with the organisms those breweries want, and it gets innoculated mostly from contact with the equipment and only minimally from exposure to air. A friend tried to do what you did and ended up with 5 gallons of acetone.
 
Dogfish has done a few experiments with isolating wild yeasts and never had luck with airborne microflora. The yeasts they've used were usually collected directly from fruit - rotting fruit from what I hear (I know the lady who isolated their DNA yeast).
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6080
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 03:19:56 PM »
I don't think it's a myth, if you make a sourdough starter with the same brand of flour in five different locations around the world you will get 5 different collections of organisms. For instance, where I live you get instant acetone with any attempt at wild yeast collection, airbourne, fruitbourne, whatever. But 2 hours drive away and your in the berkeley san francisco golden zone where it's hard to get a bad starter.

that being said, I am sure in lambic breweries the equipment, building, barrells and everything else is steeped in the house organisms and that is part of why it works as well as it does.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1205
  • St. Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 05:35:35 AM »
The lambic bugs had to come from somewhere. I don't think they called up Wyeast for a few smack packs...
@southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/

Online mtnrockhopper

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3118
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 06:45:12 AM »
Well, when I say 'kind of' a myth, I don't mean they don't exist. I mean they are not there in high density and trying to capture them by mimicking lambic brewery practices probably won't work as well as you hope - simply because your equipment has been well cleaned.  Even with sourdough - some organisms may come from the air, but some - lactobacillus in particular - are present on the flour in large numbers.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1205
  • St. Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 07:36:12 AM »
I think a completely spontaneous fermentation is entirely possible, in most areas, at the homebrew and professional levels. The only reason I use a small batch starter to trap wild bugs is that I'm not ballsy enough to risk a whole batch.

I think the misnomer here is "in the air". They are just transferred through the air to their next target (the beer) from their last (fruits, flowers, trees, animals?).

I have heard that it can be difficult to trap enough good wild bugs with a coolship in largely rural areas. De Struise has issues with this at their farm/pilot brewery.
@southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6080
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 08:23:06 AM »
Well, when I say 'kind of' a myth, I don't mean they don't exist. I mean they are not there in high density and trying to capture them by mimicking lambic brewery practices probably won't work as well as you hope - simply because your equipment has been well cleaned.  Even with sourdough - some organisms may come from the air, but some - lactobacillus in particular - are present on the flour in large numbers.

that was kind of my point on the sourdough argument. Even though the flour was grown in say, vermont (king arthur) if you use it to make a sourdough starter in Berkelely California the result will resemble other berkeley sourdough far more that Vermont sourdough (I actually know this from personal experience).

But overall I do totally agree that most brewers are going to be pretty disapointed if they try to capture a tasty wild bug collection (that's a wierd sentence fragment there huh?) in there back yard with a cool ship or horny tank. On the other hand, they do get to show visitors their 'horny tank'
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1205
  • St. Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Lesson Learned...
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 10:55:15 AM »
On the other hand, they do get to show visitors their 'horny tank'

One of the many reasons I started one.

Still trying to come up with a clever sticker to put on it...
@southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/