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Old 08-11-2010, 09:04 PM   #401
drummerguysteve
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If you use solid medium (agar and malt extract) can't you also just scoop individual colonies off to get isolated strains? I tried this for the first time two days ago and I have lots of separate white spots. Aren't those each separate colonies/strains of yeast?



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Old 08-11-2010, 10:14 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by drummerguysteve View Post
If you use solid medium (agar and malt extract) can't you also just scoop individual colonies off to get isolated strains?
Yes, that's the best way. Each colony is descended from a single cell.


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Old 08-11-2010, 11:19 PM   #403
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Will it be fairly obvious what is mold and what is yeast? I've got lots of white spots, and a big clump of fuzz on one corner. I'm assuming specks are yeast, fuzz is mold, but could Amy white specks be mold/bacteria? Should I just step them up and see what I get?

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Old 08-12-2010, 01:53 AM   #404
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You're right. Anything that's fuzzy is mold.

Bacteria and yeast can be tough to tell apart as colonies. If you use a sterile tip (flaming a clean pin should work) to pick a colony and then re-streak it on a fresh plate, then let it grow for a few days, the differences between yeast and bacteria become apparent: yeast form dull white growths, while bacteria are shiny and tan, or any number of other colors. There are also pink and orange yeast, but saccharomyces is always a creamy white color.

One test to find good microbes for brewing is to isolate them on a plate by the restreaking method, then just open the plate and take a sniff. Most bacteria smell bad. There are all sorts of bad bacterial smells, from dirty feet to **** to spoiled food. You already know what yeast smells like, and you'll know it when you have it!

You may find that not all yeast make alcohol, but that's a different step.

In the future, you could add lemon juice to your malt extract/agar when you're pouring plates. This will lower the pH and inhibit most bacteria and mold growth. If you have pH strips, you want to shoot for pH 3-4.

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Old 08-12-2010, 02:48 AM   #405
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Well it was a little too late, but I'll put them on another plate next time and restreak. For now, I took two samples out of each of my three plates, and put them each into a jar of wort.

Each of those is covered with foil, and we'll see how they come out. Hopefully I get at least one good strain out of 6 attempts. The three initial jars were placed in different areas of my yard.

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Old 08-12-2010, 05:32 AM   #406
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Hey, that's a fine way to check them, too. Let me know what you find! I am planning more wild yeast wrangling myself, but for now I've just got some yeast on plates in the fridge. Still don't know if any are good for brewing, because I never grew them up. Good luck.

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Old 08-13-2010, 01:57 PM   #407
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Sometimes the yeast can also appear as darker and shiny. I know that lager yeast sometimes look like that. But if you follow drummstikk his procedures you should be golden. One tip is to add some hop-tea to the water you are using to pour plates, and to keep the sugar level low. Bacteria thrive on high sugar. Also as he said if you want to do rein cultures (single strains) make sure you do a small test to see if the yeast actually metabolizes maltose. Certain strains cannot do this. You can buy maltose from your homebrew store and make some media with this, with some other stuff. But you can also just see makes the excitement bigger when it works

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Old 08-13-2010, 06:56 PM   #408
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Oh, that's a good point about the hop tea. There is a recipe for Universal Beer Agar that just includes beer in the media! You could pour beer in, getting hops and alcohol. You can also add vodka until you get a certain percentage alcohol. Keep it below 10% and you'll select for alcohol-tolerant yeasts and kill bacteria and mold. If you're adding alcohol/beer, make sure to boil your wort first, then add the alcohol/beer while it's still hot, but not boiling.

Good point too about sugar levels. I have been making my media with 5% DME, which is about 1.020 wort. Another reason to keep it low is that wild yeast may not be osmotolerant, which means they may suck at growing in high-gravity worts. You can slowly acclimate them to higher gravities after you catch them.

In addition to making sure your yeast can survive on maltose, I think another good test is to make sure they're producing alcohol. It sounds obvious, but saccharomyces will always make some alcohol, even if the wort is highly-oxygenated. Other species may not.

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Old 08-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #409
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Originally Posted by drummstikk View Post
In addition to making sure your yeast can survive on maltose, I think another good test is to make sure they're producing alcohol. It sounds obvious, but saccharomyces will always make some alcohol, even if the wort is highly-oxygenated. Other species may not.
I totally agree. Some yeasts produce 100% different end products, or mainly different end products besides ethanol. A sniff/swig of your fermenting/fermented media, or a pH strip will tell you whats going on, I think that would be a good test indeed.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:48 PM   #410
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That being said, is there much risk of a yeast that makes high levels of methanol rather than ethanol?



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