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Old 04-15-2011, 02:44 AM   #1
Ovidsmuse
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Default Bay Area Wild

Thought I'd start a thread about my first wild beer in the Bay Area, Mountain View to be exact, in case anyone else in the area was interested. The base wort was really simple, to make sure the yeast and bacteria flavors were dominant.

10lbs Pale Male
1oz Chinook in the mash
.5oz Chinook in a 15 minuet boil

No wort chiller used, just let the pot sit out over night covered with a clean pillow case. After it had cooled to 100F I racked it to an old bottling bucket and left it covered again with a pillow case till the following evening then moved it inside till the temperature stabilized at 65F. At this point there was Krausen already. I had to leave the next day, and while I was gone things got cold, when it had stalled. I've warmed it back up hoping it will start again. What little fermentation that happened (1.051 down to 1.040) left the beer smelling and tasting like spicy apricots, so that is very encouraging. Here are some picks from before taking the sample and warming the beer up again.


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Old 04-15-2011, 03:04 AM   #2
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What was the significance of bringing it in to stabilize the temp? Why not just leave it outside? Trying to get optimum temp for yeast to take hold? Will you continue to leave it out until you get a "normal" finishing gravity?

Sorry for the "wild yeast newbie" Qs...trying to gather info to give this a shot...

Good luck!!

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Old 04-15-2011, 03:56 AM   #3
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It took at least 12 hours to get from 140 to 75, which would have allowed plenty of time for lacto to get a good footing, I took two ph readings 8 hours apart after that, and it was falling pretty quickly so I wanted to bring the temperature down so yeasts would have a chance to start taking hold before the ph was too low for them. The sun can keep a plastic vessel pretty warm, at least 5-10 degrees warmer than ambient, plus the endothermic properties of bacteria and yeast.

I won't be leaving it out, it is clear that there is bacteria and yeast acting on the wort, and a sediment is forming on the bottom now that I have heated it back up. I will take another gravity reading this weekend to see if the beer is actually fermenting again, but I believe it is since there is some foam forming. Once there is yeast and bacteria working on the wort you don't really need to leave it out, theoretically the production of C02 would reduce other microbes getting into the wort anyway. More likely, if the gravity reading supports it, I will rack the beer into a glass container that has been cleared with C02 to stop Acetobacter since the ph is already low, and let fermentation of complex sugars finish slowly.

I'm a newbie to wild yeast as well, so don't feel bad, there is a lot to learn. And to make it harder, the yeast and bacteria are going to be different in nearly every location. Thats why I decided to share with the forum.

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Old 04-15-2011, 04:45 AM   #4
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/subscribed

Please let us know how this turns out; I'm very interested.

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Old 04-15-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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Definitely keep us posted. My initial thought is that I hope that pillowcase was thoroughly cleaned, as pillows are notorious for harboring all sorts of skin-dwelling fungi and whatnot. Might get some yeast of the yeast infection sort...

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Old 04-15-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winnph View Post
Definitely keep us posted. My initial thought is that I hope that pillowcase was thoroughly cleaned, as pillows are notorious for harboring all sorts of skin-dwelling fungi and whatnot. Might get some yeast of the yeast infection sort...
The pillow case was bleached and washed in very hot water before it was used, but that is a good thought. I would rather have used cheese cloth, but couldn't track any down in time for brewday, something else to add to the list for next time.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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I want to apologize to anyone following this thread. I have been helping a new brewer and my brewing time, including making posts, has been used up by his needs. So here is an update.

04/28/2011 1.022 Smells and tastes great, has a slightly 'soapy' flavor
05/14/2011 1.018
06/24/2011 1.010 PH is still dropping, still tastes good though the 'soapy' flavor is there and bitterness from hops. Racked to secondary today under a blanket of C02
08/12/2011 1.005 'Soapy' flavor is gone and so is hop bitterness, I think they may have been connected. PH is only slightly lower but the overall taste is better.
09/16/2011 A little more sour, flavors still very good, I can see how some carbonation would really help at this point.

There are my notes, to come up to date. I am extremely happy with this beer, and am excited that the weather will be cooling down again soon so I can attempt more wild beers. I am going to give the beer a full year, though it is very hard considering the taste right now. I really believe that the SF Bay Area is a beneficial place for brewing wild beers, growing up in the central valley (Bakersfield) there were only a few months a year that were conducive to this kind of beer, and all of my attempts were failures, even within those tight time constraints. I will try to be more attentive to updating my future tests, hope to hear from other 'wild' brewers.

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Old 09-17-2011, 09:10 AM   #8
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I've got a thread in here about my capturing of grape yeast. Check it out.

I'm glad you got some of the airborne stuff. Try some wine grapes from the vineyards in your area. You might get lucky and stumble onto a nice brett strain.

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Old 09-20-2011, 01:16 AM   #9
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nice update, thanks... i'm gonna do another wild (not thrilled with my first try) but i'll be doing two - sticking wort next to my grapes and another that actually dips the grapes in wort.

bay area here as well (santa rosa)... the first/only one i've caught is definitely brett. no doubt. the beer is too neutral for brett tho - it's all yeast, no balance.

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Old 09-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Editing this post because it was in response to jtakacs post but included your beer. I had the wrong idea.

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Last edited by statseeker; 09-21-2011 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Wrong response to wrong post
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