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Old 08-09-2012, 05:58 PM   #781
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How about this senario; Can some fresh starter wort, let cool while still sealed, truck it to the juniper forest (miles away from your brew lab), sanitize the jar again and open the canned wort, aerate, pour wort into your sterilized starter flask and drop a juniper berry in, seal the starter with freshly sanitized bung and an airlock with vodka in it.

I guess the argument would be that some commercial yeast could have made it's way to the juniper forest and could be airbourne or could have stuck to the juniper berry? I would say that you are NEVER going to be able to ensure that you aren't getting a previously commercialized yeast. I would also state that there are so many different strains of commercial yeast that it would be cost prohibitive to test, who's to say that one of the commercial yeasts did not come from a juniper berry, one probably has.

My point is: Why worry about it, if it works it works.

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Old 08-10-2012, 01:30 PM   #782
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Id say that yeast would be pretty wild. I'd take at least three samples though. I found different cultures from the same tree had different profiles.

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Old 08-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #783
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The September issue of BYO has the article I wrote on American Wild Ales, including some good tips on how Allagash. Russian River, and Jolly Pumpin do their spontaneous fermentations.

I just brewed a lambic over the weekend, I let it cool naturally uncovered in the brew pot, but pitched a starter made from 3 Fonteinen dregs when I moved it to a Better Bottle after 18 hours. After 36 hours there still isn't any visible fermentation, which is a bit disconcerting.

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:50 PM   #784
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Oldsock did it ever start fermenting?

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Old 09-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #785
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Just discovered this thread. Here's my first experiment:

Back in ~ February 2012 I made a batch of Imperial Stout. 5 gallons went into the bucket, but I'd made a bit extra so I siphoned out about 2/3rds a gallon while still pretty hot into a sanitized gallon jug (green glass, probably an old jug-wine jug) with a bit of cold water so the glass didn't break and sealed the jar up immediately. I put that in a cold bath while finishing up the rest of the batch and cleaning up the mess afterwards. Once I was done and convinced the jug was cooled down sufficiently (~1 am) I took the jug for a little ride to the top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco. I figured I'd have plenty of wind over some bit of nature on the upslope and only about 3 miles of city between me and the Pacific. I didn't worry about trying to re-sanitize, etc. Opened it up, heard the vacuum break with a woosh, and then as I had no idea if this was going to be enough, I put the jug in the wind (and away from the tourists) and sat in the car and read a magazine for about an hour. Sealed it up, took it home, topped it off with some more water to a gallon, and popped in the airlock. I never intentionally added any 'real' yeast or other microbes and did at least basic things to protect it from lingering yeast left over from use of the same tools. It did nothing for at least a week. Then about 10 days in--woosh. It fermented out fast and deep, ended up with something like a 1.002 reading. It tasted different than the regular batch for sure, but didn't taste wrong or off. I eventually got ~9 bottles out of it, brought some to the latest SF Homebrewer's Guild brew-share (along with another batch of that same Imperial Stout recipe) to share and I heard no complaints. The wild one is dryer tasting (as one would expect at 1.002 FG) Had someone that was there tell me last night they preferred the wild one.

I'm sure there's plenty of yeast around my apartment and brewing equipment that could have potentially gotten into it, but considering how different it tastes and how quickly and thorougly it fermented out once it caught, I assume it's gotten at least something else in it. I dunno if the native sourdough yeasts would act this way, either. Maybe Beach Chalet or Social Kitchen & Brewery sent something into the air upwind from my location.

I'm considering trying to harvest some yeast from a bottle and doing something larger with it.


I got the idea from reading about some brewer north of San Francisco putting beer hot/warm into 55 gallon drums and sealing them, driving them out to the redwoods after cooling, then opening up the airvent which sucks in a bunch of air, closing them up, driving them back home and afixing an airlock. That's how I remember the story anyway, don't remember the brewery nor whether Celebrator, BeerAdvocate, or one of the regional Brewing News.

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Old 09-28-2012, 07:08 AM   #786
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i am on my second attempt at a wild ferment 'starter', largely modeled on the description from oldsock's (excellent) blog. the first one i did, i made a 1.030ish wort from extract that was supposed to be hopped to 5 ibu or so just with normal (not old) pellets, but i realized afterwards that my scale was doing odd things, so i think it was higher. i cooled it and left it by the open window for a few hours on a warm night, then into an airlocked jug. it looked like it was starting to foam up after about 3 days but then it looked dead, and started to get black mold. i chucked it after 10 days. second one is 2L of 1.030 wort, very lightly hopped this time (for sure), boiled up and then put the still hot pot, covered with cheesecloth, outside on the rooftop patio on a cool evening, all night. in the morning poured to an airlocked jug, the only additional aeration was pouring through the funnel. 7 days later there is no visible anything going on in there. i was expecting some obvious signs of life at this point?? not sure what my question is

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Old 09-28-2012, 07:02 PM   #787
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ericd I have a noob question about this and I apologize if this has already been asnswered but ith either your LG wort and open innoculation method or the agar slant method how does anyone know it's an actuall yeast fermentation and not bacterial ? Thanks.

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:16 AM   #788
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So I gave this a shot I put a mason jar outside on Sunday for 4 hours. It had 1.030 wort I placed foil over the top after being outside. Just gave it a look and smell has sediment on the bottom and smells like stinky feet lol. Im guessing its got something going only time will tell.

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Old 10-03-2012, 06:18 AM   #789
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yep i left my 2L to go to town, under airlock, a week and a half so far. it is cloudy so it has stuff growing in it, nothing particularly nasty looking, but nothing obviously aerobic, i popped it open for a good (or otherwise) nostril-full and it's like a medium-stinky camembert, savory footy almost cooked corn smell. i have No Idea if this is good, bad, irrelevant, paradigm-shattering, .......

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:33 PM   #790
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ok I'm gonna go for this today...... I'm going to leave the starter out for a bit in a mason jar. After i bring it in should I put it into a flask or bottle or something with a air lock ? or just leave it in the mason jar until I see bubbles uncovered then pitch it into the wort ? wouldn't it get oxidized or aceobater in it and oxygen to feed it if I left it open to oxygen for too long ?

Also, is there anything wrong with doing a mixture of dme and honey ? I kinda did a mixture as my dme mixture was way to low and I had no more dme so I added honey is that ok ?

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