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Old 11-22-2012, 03:58 AM   #1
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Default Anyone culture or "capture" Brett or Sacc from wood?

I've read multiple places that both Brett and Sacc strains make their native habitat in wood. There are all kinds of sacc species in tree bark, and brett obviously likes living in barrels and wood.

So what about throwing some wood or bark chunks into some sterile starters and letting it rip? Throw in some vodka, bring it up to 5 or 6% abv to keep the nasties at bay. I know lots of people are doing this with fruit and open air in the wild yeast thread up top. Has anyone on the board tried using wood?


I hope to do a few starters like this over the weekend - oak bark, grape vine bark, mesquite wood chunk, sassafrass wood chunk/bark, persimmon wood chunk, and see if anything interesting comes out of them.

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Old 11-22-2012, 04:14 AM   #2
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I don't know if the "right" saccharomyces strains hang out in the wood as far as getting good flavors out of it. I've read some stuff about saccharomyces living on wood but I don't know if that's intentional growth on wood or just landing there. I don't think saccharomyces is well equipped to consume wood sugars and if they are, who knows if they produce good flavor for beer. I also read brett hangs out on wood but brett actually does consume wood sugars.

You're definitely not going to get just sacc or brett off wood, you'll get all sorts of bacteria, other fungus and molds.

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Old 11-22-2012, 04:29 AM   #3
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Interesting idea. You totally could inoculate by using some brett-laden wine I bet. Buy a bottle of non-commercial red wine from Southern Italy or Southern France (both areas have plenty of brett-laden wines...Tell your local wine store employee what you are looking to do and he/she will steer you in the right direction.), open it, if it smells like brett, you inoculate your starter from there?

Most of the time the brett in those bottles is active/alive. I work in the industry and have plenty of stories...

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Old 11-22-2012, 04:43 AM   #4
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I have done it with Brett C, Brett Drie and Roselare.
Looky here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/memories-yeast-356624/

I have built them up to enough(from only a few donated oak cubes) to a level when I can now think about fermenting a 3 gallon batch with them

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Old 11-22-2012, 05:01 AM   #5
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Very cool, but just to clarify, I'm talking about culturing wild brett or sacc from wood, not innoculating wood with commercially available brett strains.

RAM - Mold is definitely a concern, is there any way to avoid it? I put a bit of acid, hops and alcohol in my starter to help select for yeasts. As for the Sacc strains that live on wood being lousey for beer - probably so - I've never had an S. Paradoxus, S. kudriavzevii, etc beer. Is there anywhere you have found good wild yeasts for brewing? (I know a guy who has a pear orchard open ferment going, it smells pretty amazing.) I think brett strains might be more promising.

Oloros - I never thought of culturing brett from wine, that's a really cool idea!

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Old 11-22-2012, 05:31 AM   #6
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BTW - there seems to be a fair amount of evidence that trees are the natural habitat of most Sacc strains. Sacc basically waits around for the tree to get wounded so it can eat the sap, sap has simpler sugars.

This article makes some mention of it, and was an interesting read:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2292605/

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Old 11-22-2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weizenstein
Is there anywhere you have found good wild yeasts for brewing?
I know people have gotten good lacto infections for sours by making a sour mash using unmashed grains. By throwing a handful of grain into a portion if the wort and keeping it at warm temperatures will help set a sour mash from lactobacillus as grains are covered with them.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:33 PM   #8
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I've done tons of experiments with it. The result was, depending on the bark sample, a fairly clean, big attenuating sacch, or a slight horse blankety brett. Fantastic way to find bugs, take a pound of DME, a gallon of water, and 10 IBUS of hops, boil it, and dump in a few pieces of bark and see what you get.

Pm me if you want any suggestions- willing to trade any and all cultures

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Old 11-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #9
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This is a great idea, good to hear someone's had success with it too. I missed the temp window this year for wild yeast harvesting, but I'm itching to try it in the spring. I'll have to set out a small sample and then harvest wood from the same area — see what different strains I can get from the same area but different processes.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
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Good talk, down south here I am "in the window" as Othello mentioned. I have two out now and reading up on it- like now.

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