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Old 01-25-2013, 01:32 AM   #1
beerbeerbeer123
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Default collecting wild yeast in belgium..can it be done?

I just started culturing yeast in a petri dishes with agar and all that stuff....I always wanted to go to belgium and i was thinking while im there i will make a plate and just leave it out to collect wild yeast and "bugs"..Would this work if i went in the winter when lambics are made..Having that belgian wild yeast in my collection would be awesome..your thoughts would be awesome

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Old 01-25-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Wow, give it a try! Worst case is you get something non viable for beer. Best case is you have a true wild yeast!
good luck

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Old 01-25-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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That would be real cool......but I think the 800lb gorilla in the room is going to be US customs. You will not be able to bring that into the US unless they don't find it. If they do they will seize it. A petri dish would be seized, and if you try to make a starter (probably the best way to culture) with a small jar and dme.....all they would see is a liquid jar full of a suspicious liquid......you'd probably only be allowed to board the plane, after the Belgian authorities took you to a very"Special" place, and questioned you rather directly. Maybe you'd get to meet happy puppy who would inspect you luggage for you too. I think Whitelabs probably makes what your looking for anyway....could be cheaper too!


Not saying this will happen but It might be worth your while to research before.

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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why not culture it from a bottle? the stuff that lands on your plate is not necessarily going to make good beer, and as you know if you leave a plate out in the open, you're going to have lots of nasty stuff growing on it next to any yeast. furthermore, a couple of independent studies have shown that when people get wild fermentations going outside belgium, the same species of yeasts and bacteria are found in them as the ones from belgium

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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unless you able to do some lab work on what you collect, then run several test batches to ensure the results, just catching whatever is on the wind is a total crap shoot. i'm not trying to discourage you. go ahead and do it, but realize that you're buying a lottery ticket. you might get something awesome, you might also get something that ruins your batch.

as far as bringing it back, i would make a starter and put a mason jar of the stuff in your luggage. it is technically illegal to bring back such cultures but i doubt your bags would be sufficiently searched to catch that. if busted, tell them it's a health drink and be prepared to take a gulp

culturing from a bottle or buying from white labs/wyest is indeed the easier and more certain way of doing this, but i get the appeal of trying... i just fear that it won't work.

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furthermore, a couple of independent studies have shown that when people get wild fermentations going outside belgium, the same species of yeasts and bacteria are found in them as the ones from belgium
same species, yes, but not the same strains. ALL brewers yeast is saccharomyces cerevisiae, and s. cerevisiae exists all around the planet... but that doesn't mean that all s. cerevisiae are the same. belgian yeasts, english yeasts, american yeasts... they're all s. cerevisiae but no one would say that they are the same or that they brew the same beer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell View Post
same species, yes, but not the same strains. ALL brewers yeast is saccharomyces cerevisiae, and s. cerevisiae exists all around the planet... but that doesn't mean that all s. cerevisiae are the same. belgian yeasts, english yeasts, american yeasts... they're all s. cerevisiae but no one would say that they are the same or that they brew the same beer.
i completely agree, and i think that's a valuable point for anyone collecting yeast anywhere to remember. but by the same logic i don't think that opening a plate in belgium is going to necessarily get you any closer to the specific flavors that certain belgian breweries get. get your plate inside their fermenter barrels, now you're onto something
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the feed back everyone..When i do it im gonna ship it in the mail with t-shirts and stuff to try and hide it and hopefully get away with it..I will first slant whatever i get..I know its a shot in the dark but would be cool if i score..Definetly will do test batchs and look at it under a scope..I figure whats the worst that will happen either get nothing or confiscation..but if i end up with the goods it would be awesome..thanks again everyone

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:43 PM   #8
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Take some sanitary cotton balls in sample tubes with you on brewery tours; wipe them on the fermenters / blow-off tube buckets, then put them back in the sample tubes, screw them down tight and propagate them up when you get home.

Be sure to plate them on selective media and pick a healthy single cell colony and grow it up from there.

You can get pretty much any brewery's yeast that you want (even if they sanitary filter or pasteurize) on a brewery tour with a cotton ball and sample tube.



Adam

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biertourist View Post
Take some sanitary cotton balls in sample tubes with you on brewery tours; wipe them on the fermenters / blow-off tube buckets, then put them back in the sample tubes, screw them down tight and propagate them up when you get home.

Be sure to plate them on selective media and pick a healthy single cell colony and grow it up from there.

You can get pretty much any brewery's yeast that you want (even if they sanitary filter or pasteurize) on a brewery tour with a cotton ball and sample tube.



Adam
awesome idea..thanks..In that case im going to be taking alot of brewery tours...and a backpack full of blanks
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerbeerbeer123 View Post
Thanks for all the feed back everyone..When i do it im gonna ship it in the mail with t-shirts and stuff to try and hide it and hopefully get away with it..I will first slant whatever i get..I know its a shot in the dark but would be cool if i score..Definetly will do test batchs and look at it under a scope..I figure whats the worst that will happen either get nothing or confiscation..but if i end up with the goods it would be awesome..thanks again everyone
You yeast, and bacteria smuggler....
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