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Old 12-20-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
Tarheel4985
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This morning I woke up to use my new refractometer to test a beer I brewed on Saturday, and this is what I found:



I had taken this sample from the boil kettle after chilling but before transferring to the fermenters, which means this sample had absolutely no contact with the yeast used to ferment the beer. In fact, the sample was inside while I pitched the yeast. I left the sample in my kitchen since Saturday (OG of 1.080) because I didn't get a chance to test my new refractometer against my hydrometer reading until this morning. Then this morning I found the sample with a decent bit of krausen and the hydrometer reads somewhere in the 1.020 to 1.030 range (hard to read with the krausen). So it is definitely fermenting but the question is with what? I'm assuming it's a wild yeast strain, but what wild yeasts are floating around my house? Is there something else it could be that I'm missing? Or is it a Christmas miracle?

If nothing else, I've learned just how important sanitation and rapid cooling are to avoiding infections. Luckily, we haven't had one yet.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
wonderbread23
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Sounds pretty quick to be a brett strain. My guess is that your have some other brewers yeast or bread yeast floating around the kitchen. What does it smell like?

 
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
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wild yeast. Let it ferment out and taste it, you may have a new house yeast that actually lends itself nicely to beer. Don't throw it out. If it's good you can always step it up.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
Tarheel4985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderbread23 View Post
Sounds pretty quick to be a brett strain. My guess is that your have some other brewers yeast or bread yeast floating around the kitchen. What does it smell like?
I wasn't able to detect a strong odor, but if anything, it smells like bread.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
Tarheel4985
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I was able to skim off the krausen and check the hydrometer reading. 1.018. Is that possible? I know it's a small sample but to already have fermented from 1.080 to 1.018 in less than 48 hours seems quick, especially since the yeast was not pitched.

I will certainly taste the sample and if it's good, I'll keep the yeast and step it up to a starter for an experimental batch soon. I guess the drawback is I would never know what yeast strain it was. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:49 PM   #6
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How well do you clean your hydro tube? Maybe it's leftovers from the last time you checked for FG of a previous batch.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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Thats my guess too... yeast in the tube from last time.

 
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
Tarheel4985
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I usually clean it really well. Hot water and soap, rinse a few times, then put the cap on (I am using the cylinder from a floating thermometer, not the hydro one). But I usually only rinse the hydrometer itself with hot water, no soap. So maybe it was from a previous sample on the hydrometer instead of the tube. That seems more plausible than wild yeast.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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There are yeast floating around everywhere pretty much all the time.

I have used wild yeasts from my yard to pretty good effect before. Try it out, what do you have to lose?

 
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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I would say step it up. See what you've got going on there. It's possible that it could be wild yeast or yeast from your previous batch, but if you compare a sample to one from your previous batch then you would definitely know. You might have something really cool on your hands here!

 
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