Author Topic: Suggestions for wild yeast  (Read 2110 times)

Offline tcanova

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Suggestions for wild yeast
« on: September 22, 2014, 02:13:04 PM »
I captured some wild yeast and am currently "growing it up" with a starter.  Anyone have any suggestions for a beer?  I have not tasted what it has fermented but it does smell tart.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 02:27:15 PM »
Why not make a regular 5 or 6 gallon batch or whatever, but then just take about one gallon out of it as a test batch for your wild yeast, and pitch normal yeast to the other 4-5 gallons.  Then you'll have both a regular batch and a little of it wild.  You could bottle or keg the two sub-batches separately, or if you want to do a blend at the end of fermentation, you could do that as well.  So that is my suggestion: Keep things separated, then figure out what to do with the different portions later.  I do this a lot with my ciders as well as my beers.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 02:37:03 PM »
I haven't done this yet but I've thought about it. If it were me I think once it was stepped up enough I would do a 1 gallon batch of something very simple using not much more than pilsner and/or pale malt and a minimal amount of some not too assertive hops. OG pretty low. That way you can get a good sense of its flavor profile and a bit of an idea about attenuation etc. If it seems like it will make good beer after that I think I would probably do another simple recipe again but with more wort and make 3 or four gallons and ferment each separately, experimenting with fermentation temperature and gravity. For instance, using extracts or partigyle techniques you could make 2 gallons of 1.045 wort and two gallons of 1.080 wort then ferment one gallon of each at say 63-65 degrees and the other two at 75-78 degrees.
Hopefully there are others who have actually done this that could verify if this is a good idea.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 03:11:56 PM »
I'm in a similar boat. I made a small 1.020ish starter and threw in a few of my black currants to see what I'd grow up. My plan is to step it up to a liter or so of normal starter. If that one doesn't taste noticeably sour, then I'll try two basic 1-gallon extract pale ales. One gets the wild bugs in the primary, and one gets a primary of US-05 and the wild critters in secondary.

If it is sour, then I'll give it a go in some lambic-ish wort and check in on it in 4-6 months. I'll probably do one gallon on its own and one mixed with my house sour culture or just some woken-up Girardin dregs.
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Offline tcanova

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 07:02:57 PM »
Good suggestions all.  Looks like I need to do some small batch tests.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 02:05:32 PM »
Limit aeration and oxygen pickup - its easy to get too much acetobacter from 'wild' inoculation.

Pickup American Sour Beers. Lots of info on culturing, maintaining, and brewing with wild cultures.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 02:30:52 PM »
I coolshipped a traditional lambic wort back in January and it's been doing its thing since. (Oddly enough, it is not sour or funky.) Last night I tried to culture some of the yeast off of these very unusual floating patches of yeast and dumped it into some starter wort last night. There are already signs of growing yeast. It's a really strange behaving yeast so I'm not sure if I have any interest in trying to isolate colonies.
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Offline tcanova

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 03:29:23 PM »


Here it is in the starter wort. Seems to be quite happy. Smells like a Hefe a bit.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 05:12:19 PM »
Dang. I have to do that next summer. Our wheat is about six inches tall right now, but a 2×4 tub with some wort in it, maybe covered with some fine fly screen, put it in the wheat field about a week before harvest? Sounds like a fun experiment

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 06:20:40 PM »
Why not make a regular 5 or 6 gallon batch or whatever, but then just take about one gallon out of it as a test batch for your wild yeast, and pitch normal yeast to the other 4-5 gallons.  Then you'll have both a regular batch and a little of it wild.  You could bottle or keg the two sub-batches separately, or if you want to do a blend at the end of fermentation, you could do that as well.  So that is my suggestion: Keep things separated, then figure out what to do with the different portions later.  I do this a lot with my ciders as well as my beers.

This is a great idea.  In addition after the 1 gallon (or so) batch completely ferments out, you not only get to taste to see if the profile of your wild yeast is worth keeping, but you also will now have a large pitch for a full size batch if you enjoy the flavor/aroma of the finished product.  Its a win-win! 

As stated above, be sure to minimize oxygen at all times with these types of wild starters to minimize acetobacter growth and increase potential lacto populations. 

Offline Wrynn

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 07:09:30 AM »
Why not make a regular 5 or 6 gallon batch or whatever, but then just take about one gallon out of it as a test batch for your wild yeast, and pitch normal yeast to the other 4-5 gallons.  Then you'll have both a regular batch and a little of it wild.  You could bottle or keg the two sub-batches separately, or if you want to do a blend at the end of fermentation, you could do that as well.  So that is my suggestion: Keep things separated, then figure out what to do with the different portions later.  I do this a lot with my ciders as well as my beers.

That's actually a brilliant idea!

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2014, 01:46:05 PM »
A word of advice to anyone who is interested in capturing wild yeast.  The best time to do it is in the fall after the average daytime temperature drops to around 70F.  If one waits until the daytime drops to below 60F, then one will be collecting cold tolerant strains.  Most wild yeast strains are POF+.

Offline pete b

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2014, 12:07:52 AM »
A word of advice to anyone who is interested in capturing wild yeast.  The best time to do it is in the fall after the average daytime temperature drops to around 70F.  If one waits until the daytime drops to below 60F, then one will be collecting cold tolerant strains.  Most wild yeast strains are POF+.
2 questions. Are cold tolerant strains less preferable and what is POF?
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Offline anthony

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2014, 01:33:35 AM »
A word of advice to anyone who is interested in capturing wild yeast.  The best time to do it is in the fall after the average daytime temperature drops to around 70F.  If one waits until the daytime drops to below 60F, then one will be collecting cold tolerant strains.  Most wild yeast strains are POF+.
2 questions. Are cold tolerant strains less preferable and what is POF?

{P}henolic {O}ff {F}lavor… very few POF+ yeasts are used in brewing but a number of wine yeasts are POF+.

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Re: Suggestions for wild yeast
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2014, 01:47:07 AM »
Are cold tolerant strains less preferable?

No, but cold tolerant strains tend to be Saccharomyces bayanus (S. bayanus), not Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae).  Champagne yeast strains belong to the S. bayanus species (EC 1118 is good down to 45F).  Lager yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) is now believed to be the result of a hybridization event between S. cerevisiae and a Patagonian yeast species known as Saccharomyces ebayanus.


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What is POF
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Phenolic Off-Flavor Positive

Hefeweizen strains are POF+. Belgian strains tend to be POF+.  There are many English strains that are POF+.   I am sensitive to phenols; therefore, I am not a fan of POF+ strains.