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Old 05-27-2010, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default Is there ever an area to AVOID wild yeast?

A friend and I have talked about this a few times. Is there ever an area you want to not capture wild yeast, due to the environment or what have you? For example, if you were in an area that sort of had a pollution problem, would you not want to capture wild beasties, or is it always alright?

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:12 AM   #2
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Down wind of the sewer treatment plant.

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Old 05-27-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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Down wind of the sewer treatment plant.
west jordan?


ba ha ha ha ha!
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
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I'd turn it around and say you would not want to collect wild yeast in areas where you normally do brewing. Those areas will be saturated with your normal brewers yeast. Ditto, for areas where you bake (if you use yeast in baking).

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Old 05-27-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
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Well I live in the city (Pittsburgh) while my parents live outside of the city in a more rural area. Would there ever be an advantage to capturing yeast not in an urban setting, I guess is what I mean, since I'm sure the air quality isn't as good. If I were to do it, would doing it in the city produce similar results to a more country setting?

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Old 05-27-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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I've captured yeast in city and rural and rural's definitely better. The city yeast I captured during winter had a hint of road slush to it.

As for where? Mexico city, unless you want your beer to taste like sewage and diesel fumes.

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Old 05-29-2010, 05:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Specifically, I'm talking about Pittsburgh which is historically known for having poor air quality, but that's certainly not the case anymore, really. It's a decently clean city.

I think I'd primarily go to the rural setting for capture, but I also think it might be interesting for me to capture from both areas, and split a batch using each yeast to see what the difference would be. I smell a possible experiment for the future!

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Old 05-29-2010, 05:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanecb View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. Specifically, I'm talking about Pittsburgh which is historically known for having poor air quality, but that's certainly not the case anymore, really. It's a decently clean city.

I think I'd primarily go to the rural setting for capture, but I also think it might be interesting for me to capture from both areas, and split a batch using each yeast to see what the difference would be. I smell a possible experiment for the future!
lol I could make a snarky comment about Pittsburgh (knowing a few friends of mine who have lived in that area / went to school in the area)...

Yeast is ultimately, a living thing that has been around long before humans showed up and started mucking around with the environment. They're pretty resilient buggers.

The philosophy of those who cultivate wild yeast for baking is more or less the same as brewing - the regional yeast of the area you are cultivating it from will impart a certain character to the finished product.

I would say that, unless you're in the downtown area and it's a particularly smoggy time of year, give it a shot and see what takes hold.

You could always start a sourdough culture and make some bread, just to see what kind of result you get from that - so that you're not wasting a ton of money on brewing ingredients.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:45 AM   #9
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Actually I'm glad that you mentioned the sourdough culture because I didn't even think of that... my girlfriend does maintain a sourdough culture she captured in Pittsburgh. We don't live downtown, no, a little ways out around the Pitt campus (which is still rather close to downtown). So I at least know there's a nice amount of viable stuff to capture.

Here would be a question, is there an appropriate way for me to take some of what she has going on in that starter, and utilize it for brewing?

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Old 05-29-2010, 06:04 AM   #10
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I'm not sure on this, but you might be able to use a yeast "washing" technique next time your girlfriend feeds her sourdough culture. Drain off the liquid from the top, take a spoonfull or two of the culture and slowly, over time, replace the flour it's eating with some DME that's been dissolved in hot water (cooled to room temperature).

Eventually (I would think) the yeast will eat whatever you're feeding it - they may not care that they're eating malt extract instead of flour... you'll have to experiment.

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