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Old 03-11-2009, 09:38 PM   #71
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Schlenkeria - Great stuff, I've been watching with interest.

I've been thinking of doing something similar but rather than using agar to capture the beasties, I've been thinking of doing the more traditional thing with wort and then plating the resulting growth onto an agar 'petri dish.' I think this might lower the chances of picking up undesirable microorganisms, such as mold and bacteria, and the variety of different bugs growing in your wild beer might separate out to form different colonies on the agar plate. Could be wrong though.
I did this in jar which is a really a plate or slant. Its just a big mofo of slant. This jar was my surplus slant media. When I made my slants I put the DME/AGAR leftover in the jar and pressure cooked the sucker for 30 minutes.

Up until last Friday this sucker was sterile. It was open for 1hr & 4hrs.

I'm hoping this is yeast with some blend of something else. Like that of a heffe or weisse.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:03 PM   #72
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I did this in jar which is a really a plate or slant. Its just a big mofo of slant. This jar was my surplus slant media. When I made my slants I put the DME/AGAR leftover in the jar and pressure cooked the sucker for 30 minutes.

Up until last Friday this sucker was sterile. It was open for 1hr & 4hrs.

I'm hoping this is yeast with some blend of something else. Like that of a heffe or weisse.
I was thinking that the wort would be a little more resilient against undesirable infections than the agar would be. Once the wild fermentation is going then we plate the good stuff.

As far blending it with domesticated yeasts, you'll have to see what the flavor profile is like. It's been my experience with wild Sachs that they are fairly estery. Blending them with a yeast which produces a lot of esters, such as a heffe, would be fairly pointless. But I am sure that these things vary wildly, so you'll jst have to play it by ear (tongue?).
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:39 PM   #73
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I was thinking that the wort would be a little more resilient against undesirable infections than the agar would be. Once the wild fermentation is going then we plate the good stuff.

As far blending it with domesticated yeasts, you'll have to see what the flavor profile is like. It's been my experience with wild Sachs that they are fairly estery. Blending them with a yeast which produces a lot of esters, such as a heffe, would be fairly pointless. But I am sure that these things vary wildly, so you'll jst have to play it by ear (tongue?).
I never consider blending it at all. Use it as is on a small 3 gal batch was my plan.

I was using the plate so I could pick off the yeast with a loop to add to a starter. Since you mentioned it, a 2nd plate would not be bad idea either.

I've inoculated several small starters with only a dipped loop in the slant & starter.

It can be done either way.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:43 PM   #74
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Ah, I see. I think we are misunderstanding each other.

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Old 03-11-2009, 11:10 PM   #75
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Ah, I see. I think we are misunderstanding each other.
How about explaining what you mean?
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:31 PM   #76
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How about explaining what you mean?
Heh, OK. I misunderstood about the blending thing.

What I was trying to get at with the starter bit was to use normal wort as the initial bug capturing mechanism since wort is (I think, could be wrong) a little more resilient against bad type infections than agar would be. Since you would be scooping out the obviously yeastie bits to build up from, this does not matter for you. Then I would plate the result on agar and examine what colonies take hold, since there should be a variety of yeasts and bacteria living in the wild stuff. These guys might (again could be wrong) form separate colonies which might be identifiable, as at least different, by eye. I was thinking about getting a microscope, actually, to help with this.

So just to clarify, I wasn't meaning my comments to be a criticism for your technique, I think what you're doing will work just dandy as long as you are careful. What I had in mind was a different goal than just inoculating the wort but to give a possible idea about the number of different types of bugs and their rough identity.

Hope that's slightly clearer.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:59 PM   #77
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Heh, OK. I misunderstood about the blending thing.

What I was trying to get at with the starter bit was to use normal wort as the initial bug capturing mechanism since wort is (I think, could be wrong) a little more resilient against bad type infections than agar would be. Since you would be scooping out the obviously yeastie bits to build up from, this does not matter for you. Then I would plate the result on agar and examine what colonies take hold, since there should be a variety of yeasts and bacteria living in the wild stuff. These guys might (again could be wrong) form separate colonies which might be identifiable, as at least different, by eye. I was thinking about getting a microscope, actually, to help with this.

So just to clarify, I wasn't meaning my comments to be a criticism for your technique, I think what you're doing will work just dandy as long as you are careful. What I had in mind was a different goal than just inoculating the wort but to give a possible idea about the number of different types of bugs and their rough identity.

Hope that's slightly clearer.
First off, I didn't take it as negative criticism.

You raise a good point that there could be more than one strain. I hadn't considered this.

My reason for using a plate is so I can selectively take surface growth. Avoiding mold if noticed. In wort you have what have unless you are skimming or lifting off leftover krausen. You don't know what you are getting.

I think the chances of initial infection are the same in either one. (If you use the same container) The hops in wort acts as a preservative later on in the process. The agar forces the growth to be on the surface. Unvented slants will force growth underneath the top surface.

I was hoping to be able to select a small growth patch off the media for inoculation.

I also think more than just yeast can grow on top of the wort. With a solid media it won't mix easily. It remains rather localized.

I'm not micro-biologist. This is just how I rationalized what I think would work.

I think a two step slant making might be good idea or a multiple slant streaking. 1:1 or 1:Many
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:07 AM   #78
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Also note that Schlenkerla is growing the yeast on DME agar which is just wort basically, minus hops, mixed with agar (a neutral gelling agent). It's different than the 'agar' used in bio labs which is really blood agar.

Adding hops wouldn't be a bad idea, hmmm....

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Old 03-12-2009, 03:44 AM   #79
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Before i started brewing beer, I used to make mead, cider, and cyser (half mead/half cider) from wild yeasts. I used to leave honey-water out in a bowl under some cheesecloth, until it got foamy. Then I'd pitch it. The results varied, but were always pretty funky. I found that aging was key -- a batch that tasted strange would magically transform into a delicious drink after some months of aging. Alcohol got pretty strong in these brews, and I noticed cinnamon/clove phenols, tart lactic acid flavors, and fruit.

I think what i was getting was a mix of various yeasts and lactic bacteria. The unknown factor is how far these yeasts can attenuate your wort... They can eat stuff our regular beer yeasts can't. It seems like a good strategy is to add them to your secondary carboy and wait a good long time, until they seem to have finished off all the sugars they can process. then bottle. I think I might make a batch like this myself!

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Old 03-12-2009, 09:05 PM   #80
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Before i started brewing beer, I used to make mead, cider, and cyser (half mead/half cider) from wild yeasts. I used to leave honey-water out in a bowl under some cheesecloth, until it got foamy. Then I'd pitch it. The results varied, but were always pretty funky. I found that aging was key -- a batch that tasted strange would magically transform into a delicious drink after some months of aging. Alcohol got pretty strong in these brews, and I noticed cinnamon/clove phenols, tart lactic acid flavors, and fruit.

I think what i was getting was a mix of various yeasts and lactic bacteria. The unknown factor is how far these yeasts can attenuate your wort... They can eat stuff our regular beer yeasts can't. It seems like a good strategy is to add them to your secondary carboy and wait a good long time, until they seem to have finished off all the sugars they can process. then bottle. I think I might make a batch like this myself!
On a related note, I was talking to a guy about his mead making and how he would ferment his mead would be by using unpasteurized honey and not excessively heating the mead, just enough to dissolve the honey. Evidently there are wild yeast which live in raw honey.

It might be interesting to do this to ferment a beer or use a hybrid approach similar to what you mention. Dissolve raw honey in water, leave out to pick up beasties and use both the yeast found in the raw honey and the others to ferment.

Must brew more.
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