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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Can I culture yeast from Juniper Berries?
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default Can I culture yeast from Juniper Berries?

I want to brew a new concept beer with it, Poor Scots Strong Ale.

Do I simply make a starter wort and drop the whole berries in?

Or, is it better to just set some wort out near the juniper trees for a week?

Is it going to be Saccharomyces cerevisiae?

Is it going to have bacterium in it?

How do I get the bacterium separated?

Thanx all!!!

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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Wow I thought you were smoking something when I first read this. But it is a source of a yeast culture, I don't know what or which. Check out this discussion in a sourdough forum - Juniper Berry Yeast
Wild stuff, it sounds like it is difficult to culture to a strong stand, but I wonder if sugars were used instead of starches (flour), could it be easier.

Dave:-)

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:39 AM   #3
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I have no idea what kind of yeast that would be, but I think feeding it DME rather than flour would get a lot better reaction.

As far as the bacteria goes, I suspect spraying the berries down with starsan would kill the bacteria and leave the yeast. Or -- absent anything to kill the bacteria, it might work the same way as culturing wild yeast from the air.

There's only one way to find out -- experiment.

You might also want to post this in the lambic section. Those are probably your best experts on the subject.

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Old 03-20-2010, 02:40 AM   #4
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Maybe drop them in a heavily hopped starter (so it inhibits bacteria)?

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Old 03-20-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveO View Post
. . . .Juniper Berry Yeast
Wild stuff, it sounds like it is difficult to culture to a strong stand, but I wonder if sugars were used instead of starches (flour), could it be easier.

Dave:-)
That's an interesting read, thanx for the suggestions, I think I'll first try to place the berries in a starter wort and see what happens. A week should give me what I want, if there is yeast then, I will wash and store it for the Poor Scots Ale.

Keep on brewing my friends
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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Put the berries in a starter and treat it as they do for fruit for making wine. I believe they treat with metabisulfite to kill the bacteria. Or just sulfur? Hopefully a wine maker will chime in. Yooper?

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Old 03-22-2010, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
I want to brew a new concept beer with it, Poor Scots Strong Ale.

Do I simply make a starter wort and drop the whole berries in?

Or, is it better to just set some wort out near the juniper trees for a week?

Is it going to be Saccharomyces cerevisiae?

Is it going to have bacterium in it?

How do I get the bacterium separated?

Thanx all!!!


If the berries have that white layer on them give them a try.


If it's in your capacity make an agar plate and gently swipe the berry across the sample. And, when the sample grows. Take a look at what you got. You'll be able to discern this from that.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:58 PM   #8
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Well, I drove out back today to find some juniper berries:


A good candidate, if you look closely you can see some of the berries that I rubbed off the yeast from (green spots on them):


There were also some of last years on the ground that still had yeast on them:


So I harvested a few from the tree and some from the ground, placed in my 2qt starter jar:


Boiled up some DME (10 minutes) with some colorado hops of unknown variety:


Cooled, aerated and poured on the berries, wort was 1.027SG from amber DME:


If this works I plan to use it for this:http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/poor...ng-ale-168864/

Brew on my friends

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:43 PM   #9
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If it makes it taste like gin I don't think I would like it.

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
As far as the bacteria goes, I suspect spraying the berries down with starsan would kill the bacteria and leave the yeast.
Starsan will kill the yeast, too.

It's only when it's diluted down to really low concentrations (also nonlethal to bacteria) that starsan becomes yeast friendly.
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