Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > I got me a wild yeast!
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default I got me a wild yeast!

I spotted one in the woods yesterday and roped it like a cowboy. It put up quite a fight, but now I have it confined to a growler I filled with extra wort after over-sparging my mash tun. White layer of foam, smells like a sweet kind of cheese. I live in central CT, and it's pretty consistently below freezing, so it was probably just floating around my basement. Trouble is, I had an infected beer earlier under the same conditions and that one smelled horrible. I suspect what I have now may be a tamer type of yeast. I daresay it's a saccharomycete, but a compound microscope is sort of out of my price range. Are there any effective ways to determine what I'm dealing with without just throwing it into a batch and seeing what happens (potentially ruining everything)?


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Old 02-16-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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I've harvested yeast from fresh peaches. I took bits of skin and put them in quart jars half full of starter wort. The ones that turned green/smelled rancid I dumped, the ones that looked/smelled good, I brewed with. Made some pretty good beer, too.

If it looks good, just throw it in some wort and see what happens. I have a 2 gallons bucket I use for test batches and big starters.


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Old 02-16-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Nateo, you're my hero. You always have great insight in threads I click on and inspire me to try some new stuff.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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I tried to harvest some last spring! WOW I got some true FUNK! and not in a George Clinton good way! smelled like old wet wool socks after a several day backpack trip, and starter tasted sour with a big dose of wet dog! :P

May give it a shot again... but, I'm not getting my hopes up again.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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I also went with the peach skin route. I got some sort of saccaromyces strain, something that throws huge amounts of diacetyl (possibly the yeast) and an awesome amount of brett. The beer I made with it was retchedly diacetyl after a couple of months but now it is delicious, like Orval but without the dry hop.

I think I will try making a saison with it this summer.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:20 PM   #6
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Apache, did your peach yeast clump like little peas on the bottom of the fermenter too? Have I asked you that already? Maybe I'm echoing myself here.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:44 PM   #7
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Well, I guess if it looks and smells promising...I'll try a mini-batch with it and hope for the best. The peach skins are a good idea, too. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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I got my peaches straight from the orchard, but I'm not sure if that matters.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateo View Post
Apache, did your peach yeast clump like little peas on the bottom of the fermenter too? Have I asked you that already? Maybe I'm echoing myself here.
Yep. They ran from very small to slightly larger than pea-sized clumps. They all dropped out when I cold crashed.

I used a store bought peach from a major grocery chain, so I'm not sure where it came from.

I noticed recently that a mason jar of washed yeast from a saison strain I bottle harvested from Foret has started to clump up. I wonder if the clumping is a natural property of saccharomyces that has been lost during the domestication of brewing strains.


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