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Old 07-02-2012, 03:44 AM   #1
Adagio
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Default Arizona juniper yeast experiment

I thought I would share my little experiment. I went to a vineyard in Chino Valley, Arizona called Granite Creek (my favorite winery in Arizona by far). Surrounding the vast expanse of grape vines were several juniper trees. I believe the species to be Juniperus Deppeana but I'm not certain. I picked quite a bit of the berries and did the following:

Berry Preparation
I attempted to kill off bacteria by putting a little less than 1/4 tsp of idophor in 32 oz of purified water. The berries and some greens were added and slightly agitated for about 10 minutes. In the end I had about 0.6 oz of berries plus stems/greens.


Brew
I had some spare DME Bavarian wheat lying around so I boiled up 40 oz of water with 6.15 oz of the extract for about 15-20 minutes.

Fermentation Vessels
I tried two different methods since I had like 6-8 oz of malt left over. One batch (32 oz) had the 0.6 oz of juniper, completely sanitized with 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrients, and placed in 75 degree controlled environment. I did get a little ghetto on this one and drilled out the top of a Kerr jar and shoved an airlock in it.

The second was much smaller and was not sanitized in any way and was put in the fridge... that's it.


I will update in a few days.


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Old 07-03-2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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Kewl, it should work for you: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/can...erries-169156/


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Old 07-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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Maybe I'm missing something, but soaking the juniper berries in a iodophor solution will probably kill off yeast as well as bacteria. It is a sanitizer. You may get something growing in your wort, but it's less likely that it will come from the berries.
I think it would have been better to add just the unsanitized berries into the starters.

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Old 07-03-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Okay perhaps I got some bad info then. I did a little research and found that idophor would only kill bacteria. I still have some left over juniper berries. I will draw up another batch with 32 oz and see if I can get a solid culture from that.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Default Arizona Yeast Update!

Day 3: Good News! The yeast survived the Idophor and in very descent numbers. Fermentation has begun. The airlock is tilted (implying a good amount of fermentation). I don't know if we can say conclusively that Idophor does not kill yeast but it seems to have very little affect on it.

This is the Yeast layer on the bottom.

Full bottle here.


I am still unsure about how to get a good culture from this batch. Any insight into this will help me. Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagio
I am still unsure about how to get a good culture from this batch. Any insight into this will help me. Thank you in advance!
My only successful wild yeast capture started similar to yours (except with dates), and then I streaked some agar plates and selected "normal" looking yeast colonies, then put each in a small starter on a stir plate.

I've used that strain a few times now with great success.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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I have some juniper that I have gathered to use to harvest yeast from. I got mine from up in Sycamore Canyon west of Sedona. Keep us updated on what you brew with this.

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Old 07-09-2012, 11:59 PM   #8
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Chill your sample down and let the yeast/bacteria (it will probably be a mixed culture) settle out. Decant off the liquid and then pitch the slurry into a standard starter, just like you were pitching a vial of white labs yeast.

BTW, I'm pretty certain iodophor is a general antimicrobial - not just an antibacterial. Not exactly a solid source, but from Wikipedia - "The great advantage of iodine antiseptics is their wide scope of antimicrobial activity, killing all principal pathogens and, given enough time, even spores, which are considered to be the most difficult form of microorganisms to be inactivated by disinfectants and antiseptics."

Either you didn't kill off all the microbes on the juniper berries and/or your fermentation is from more local beasties (i.e. your process was not entirely sanitary)
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:01 AM   #9
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Every time I've skipped the agar plate isolation phase I've had unfortunate results, but ymmv.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagio View Post
I am still unsure about how to get a good culture from this batch. Any insight into this will help me. Thank you in advance!
The simplest way is to ferment some hopped wort with it, the rest is history, literally. This is how your ancestors selected good yeast cultures.

There is also a ton of good info here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/

And I am still using the yeast I captured from juniper berries two years ago successfully, my journey is here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/can...erries-169156/

Brew on my friend.


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