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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > How can you capture/culture wild yeasts?
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default How can you capture/culture wild yeasts?

I have a crazy idea. I want to culture wild yeast from around where I live to brew with.

I got the idea when I was making blackberry mead, using honey from a bee keeper up the road and blackberries from the back field. I thought if I just had some wild yeasts contained somehow, it would be an all-local brew.

Has anyone done this or does anyone know how you'd go about it?

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Old 11-19-2008, 09:35 PM   #2
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Unwashed, locally-grown fruit can be an excellent source of wild yeast.

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Old 11-19-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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I thought of that, but then worried about pesticides and such. I guess I'd just have to make sure it's organic.

How would one go about getting enough to brew with? Make a spontaneously fermented one gallon batch and use the slurry as a starter?

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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right12345

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Old 11-20-2008, 06:13 AM   #5
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The way I capture wild yeast from fruit skins is the following; I get an organic local fruit, peel it, and place it into 4-6 sterile starter wort and some yeast nutrient (around 1.040 for the wort) using a stirplate (if you've got one, i don't. a sanitized 12oz bottle works fine). Let this go for about 4-5 days, or until very foamy, at this point you remove the skins, and step up the starter untill it is the size you want it.

In my experience the first batch will be kinda weird due to some of the bugs, but if you wash the yeast cake when you're done (or just do a big starter, and let it ferment all the way out, then wash the cake) and let it sit in a fridge for a few days, making a starter from the second-generation yeast is much cleaner. I must say the wild yeast is hit-or-miss really, and I've only done this for cider so far, although I was thinking about a "dirty blonde" using wild yeast.

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Old 11-20-2008, 06:33 AM   #6
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Another way is to stick some wort out by a fruit tree. I'm going to try to make some wild yeast starters by sticking some wort in mason jars when stuff starts to bloom. You never know.

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Old 11-20-2008, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddy View Post
I thought of that, but then worried about pesticides and such. I guess I'd just have to make sure it's organic.
Just to make things clear, organic does not mean no pesticides have been applied, only that the pesticides that are used are "natural" and have been approved for organic use

For organic apples, I can just about guarantee that they have been sprayed with sulfur, kaolin clay, and probably copper sulfate too. A typical organic apple orchard actually does more spraying than a standard commercial orchard - the natural pesticides don't last as long and require more frequent application. An orchard I toured this summer uses straight vinegar as a weed killer. Other growers often use propane burners to kill weeds. This grower actually doesn't do much spraying as he worked with a local gov't. apple breeder and the local processor to select disease resistant varieties that fit the processors requirements (not an easy task!!!). He could not grow the standard proccessing apples grown in the area as he would have to spend too much money on spraying. He doesn't grow for the fresh mkt., just for processing (organic apple sauce and juice). This organic apple grower is the exception when it comes to pesticide application
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
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dont forget about the use of tobacco to kill off bugs.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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Mike is "old sock" on HBT and describes his method. There's another version in the comments. http://www.themadfermentationist.com...=Google+Reader

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Default Wild yeast method

Love your all local approach. When I make melomels I half sour mash. I let the batch go sour two days, then pitch champagne yeast. Also did this method: Clemsonbiofuels.wordpress.com grapes, blueberries and figs have been the best sources to acquire yeast. If your honey is unpasturized and been properly stored should still contain yeast, but will take it a while to ferment on its own due to the highsugarcontent it needs to overcome.

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