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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Wild yeast from "wild" grapes
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:27 AM   #1
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Default Wild yeast from "wild" grapes

So I've been reading that really long thread that's sticky (I'm only about 3/4's through). I found some grapes growing by the foundation of a hotel on top of a mountain in a state park. The hotel was for the extremely wealthy of the 1800's, so I'm interesting in what type of grapes they are; but that's another topic. The location seemed like a splendid place to take yeast from. The day may have not been so great; temp was good 50-60, but it had been raining that morning.
Anyway, I crushed them and strained out the skin and seeds. I crushed them over about an hour. I wanted to keep the skins in the juices for a little wile so more yeast had an opportunity to take hold.
I poured it into the tallest 500ml bottle I could find. I hope this will make it easier to take samples of the various yeast once they get going. I placed al foil over the top of the bottle, and it's been at ~60-65 for 24 hours now.
I was not at all careful about sanitation/sterilization in this whole experiment. After all; the best strain I get from this could be from my living room.

The plan right now is to take yeast from the top middle and bottom as soon as this starts any fermentation, & many more samples as time goes on. I'm going to make a small parti-gyle brew in the next few days which will (if every thing works out) be the test subject for 3 or 4 of these yeast collections.
I have some agar plates already set up and sterilized, but they have a major flaw, I made them for plant tissue culture, not yeast. Yeast love them, yeast messed up a 1cm tall hop plant the last time I played with them (I found that frustrating, yet fitting). They have all the macro and micro nutrients that plants need, some auxin (plant hormone) and table sugar. PHed to 6.5. The major problem is sugar switching, if I move yeast from the wine, to the plate, and then to the wort, will any survive? I guess if they do; they'll be great at eating anything, but that's not a trait I find super usefull. I think for the first wort test I'll skip the plating step: 5ml samples to starters, then to the worts.
Okay how about some pics, yeah

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:31 AM   #2
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HA HA HA, I just noticed that the Jew mug is in the background.

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Old 10-08-2010, 07:05 AM   #3
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Now 48hr. + and nothing, well maybe a little something... maybe...

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Old 10-10-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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It took 24 days to get enough yeast in mine to brew with, I've been using it ever since.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/can...erries-169156/

Yeast on brother

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Old 10-10-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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My concern would be that a pH that high is better suited to bacteria instead of saccharomyces. You may want to boil some hops and add the water to that bottle or in the alternative, add food grade acid to get the pH down around 4-5.

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Old 10-10-2010, 09:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
It took 24 days to get enough yeast in mine to brew with, I've been using it ever since.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/can...erries-169156/

Yeast on brother
Oh, I read some of that a few months ago. Good stuff, how is that yeast treating you these days? Have you been using them from a stored sample, or using new generations? I'm exited to do many generations to promote traits. Picking the yeast that fall out on one given day can give a little change in attenuation and flocculation, do that five times....

I'm sure hoping mine starts up faster than yours, but I'm prepared for a long time, if need be. But it looks like it just starting to do a little something, and has the faintest smell of acetone. I just took a SG reading of ~1.0802 (with fluid this dark and thick you can get a really good reading). I didn't have a proper hydrometer when I first started, so I'm going to go with this as my OG.

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My concern would be that a pH that high is better suited to bacteria instead of saccharomyces. You may want to boil some hops and add the water to that bottle or in the alternative, add food grade acid to get the pH down around 4-5.
I have decided to not use the agar plates, I'll make some new ones for yeast or just use sterilized wort. I don't want to sugar switch them more than necessary, PH is important, and hops are a good thing. I was thinking of going even lower with the PH if I make new agar plates, something like 3.4-3.8...
Speaking of PH; I just took a reading of the wine, it was 3.0! Not much can grow in that, even most yeast struggle in that acidity. I guess this will weed out some strains, and give me super acid resistant yeast. My worts are generally 5.2-5.5, so this won't be too useful, but I guess it could be good for storage.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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So I made a starter wort, and I'm "canning" it in some little jars for use at a later time. I should be using my pressure cooker, but I'm a little too lazy for that today.... so I'm just steaming them.
The wort was the end of a pari-gyle, and was very thin, so boiled it down to about 1.040. Then I boiled it with some hops that I had already used for dry hopping a few weeks back ('cause I'm cheap like that). When I was half done with the hop boil I realized I should have left more water in it; the OG ended up at 1.093.... oops. I'll keep a jar of it to dilute for later use.
The PH is about 5.0, and it's extremely hoppy, so I think it will do nicely for this project. The high gravity may make it take longer to get going, but will provide food for more yeast, and make a heck of a starter by the time they all fall out.
Anyway I put about 1oz in three little jars and the remaining pint in a qt mason jar.
Some of the little jars still have a smell of what came in them (garlic, ginger) which will make the old sniff test unreliable, but shouldn't affect the outcome.
I'm going to steam the jars for about 45min, then clean up.

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Old 10-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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What strain of wild yeast do you think it is?

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Old 10-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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What strain of wild yeast do you think it is?
There will be numerous strains and different genus.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:55 PM   #10
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Update:
okay, so I have a lot going on, and this project was put on a proverbial back burner.
I don't know where my camera is right now so no pics this time, but I've got some data.
The wine is down to about 1.001. It has a "nose" like paint thinner. I expect that will get better with age for the wine, but that may be really bad in beer. The high acid makes an interesting flavor, and there are a lot of flavors that are quite good in the mix. I can't say what is from the grapes or the yeast as of yet.
I took off the top 250ml of wine and will let it finish fermentation, then bottle and age it for later consumption.
I shook the bottom up and dumped about half of it into one of my wort samples, the other half I left in the fermenting bottle, I may try to wash it, but I'll let it eat up the last bit of sugar first.
These grapes are so dark that the wort/wine dregs mix looks black. I think it will be some time until I can get that color completely out this yeast culture.

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