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Old 04-22-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Capturing wild yeast -- and apparently mold

I've been following this thread for some time:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/how...-yeast-101886/
Lots of good info in there, and it inspired me to capture my own backyard yeast strain. I boiled up some water and light DME to a gravity of ~1.030, poured it into a mason jar, covered it up with some cheesecloth, and left it outside for a couple of days to take in the atmospheric goodness. Then I brought it inside and put some sanitized foil over the top. I'm basically treating it like a 1 quart starter at this point, sans stir plate.

It's a week later, and I have a nice, cloudy wort with a good 1/2" of kräusen on top. This is a good thing! Unfortunately, I also appear to have a few little fuzzy mold patches growing along the sides, right above the kräusen. I would assume this is a bad thing. The smell is a combination of sour and sweet, and the mold ranges from snow white to kind of a pinkish color.

My inclination is to push on, let the thing ferment out, and then try to be extra careful when pouring into the next starter wort to step it up. My (admittedly poor) understanding is that mold requires oxygen to grow, so I'm hoping that the CO2 and alcohol will ultimately kill the mold.

Any thoughts? Bad idea? Worth a go?

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Old 04-22-2011, 10:18 PM   #2
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Post up a picture of it

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:30 PM   #3
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Mold is quite resilient to low levels of alcohol.

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Old 04-24-2011, 02:46 AM   #4
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Scoop out the mold using a sanitized spoon. The yeast will do a good job stopping new clumps from forming, but the visible clumps will be resilient unless you physically remove them, since they already have pretty large populations.

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Old 04-24-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions. The starter wort has more or less fermented out at this point and is beginning to clear. There's a good layer of yeast on the bottom (or what I presume to be yeast). What I think I'll do is wait a couple more days and then physically remove the mold from above the level of the liquid. Then decant off most of the liquid and pour the dregs into a fresh starter wort and see what I get.

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Old 04-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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If the mold is all the way around the liquid and you don't want the yeast passing through it you could always decant the liquid and remove the slurry with a turkey baster or something similar.

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Old 04-25-2011, 02:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
If the mold is all the way around the liquid and you don't want the yeast passing through it you could always decant the liquid and remove the slurry with a turkey baster or something similar.
Good call, I like it. Yeah, the mold is only around the top of the liquid, so I think this would be a great way to do it. Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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I had similar issues despite the fact I attached airlocks to my starters after ~18 hours of open air inoculation. One of the starters got black mold and smeller pretty awful, so I tossed it. Luckily when I stepped the other two starters after 3 weeks (trying to leave most of the white mold behind) the yeast took over and the mold didn’t reappear.

Yesterday I brewed 5 gallons of turbid mashed, aged hop, 3.75 hour boiled Lambic wort and pitched ~quart of each of the two successful starters. Hopefully it is rocking by the time I get home tonight.

Good luck!

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
I had similar issues despite the fact I attached airlocks to my starters after ~18 hours of open air inoculation. One of the starters got black mold and smeller pretty awful, so I tossed it. Luckily when I stepped the other two starters after 3 weeks (trying to leave most of the white mold behind) the yeast took over and the mold didn’t reappear.

Yesterday I brewed 5 gallons of turbid mashed, aged hop, 3.75 hour boiled Lambic wort and pitched ~quart of each of the two successful starters. Hopefully it is rocking by the time I get home tonight.

Good luck!
Thanks for describing your experience. Sounds like you successfully got the yeast without the mold! Good luck with your lambic. I'll keep you posted on how my little experiment goes. I think I'm going to try ReverseApacheMaster's turkey baster trick to extract my yeast.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:28 PM   #10
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Here are some more details: http://www.themadfermentationist.com...-starters.html

I pitched Sunday afternoon and by last night the fermentation was on the verge of blowing off. Temperature was close to 70 ambient so I stuck it in a ~65 F fridge last night to make sure things don't get out of hand.

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