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Old 12-03-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default 'Wild' Yeast?

What's the deal? Why call it wild when it comes in a tube or smack pack?


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Old 12-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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which yeast?


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Old 12-03-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
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"wild yeast" in this context is being used as a marketing descriptor. the saccaromyces that brewers use can be considered "domesticated" because humans have been using it for centuries and we've selectively bred it (tidbit: our saccaromyces strains used to be able to reproduce sexually, but they've now lost that ability. instead they only bud, aka asexual reproduction). therefore "wild yeast", in the context of yeast that come in a smack pack or a vial, should be interpreted as "non-saccaromyces" - brettanomyces, pedio, lacto.

from a technical standpoint, the "Wild yeast" designation doesn't mean anything. all yeasts are found in nature including sacc. therefore it is possible to ferment with a wild strain of sacc. and the yeast inside that smack pack could be considered domesticated as well, since it comes from a lab, from a controlled colony, etc.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sweetcell View Post
"wild yeast" in this context is being used as a marketing descriptor. the saccaromyces that brewer use can be considered "domesticated" because humans have been using it for centuries and we've selectively bred it (tidbit: our saccaromyces strains used to be able to reproduce sexually, but they've now lost that ability. instead they only bud, aka asexual reproduction). therefore "wild yeast", in the context of yeast that come in a smack pack or a vial, should be interpreted as "non-saccaromyces" - brettanomyces, pedio, lacto.

from a technical standpoint, the "Wild yeast" designation doesn't mean anything. all yeasts are found in nature including sacc. therefore it is possible to ferment with a wild strain of sacc. and the yeast inside that smack pack could be considered domesticated as well, since it comes from a lab, from a controlled colony, etc.
Well said, although Lacto and Pedio are bacteria, and so aren't yeast. There are a few other wild yeast species like Kloeckera apiculata that play a role in lambic fermentation, so Brett is not the only interesting "wild" yeast.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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Well said, although Lacto and Pedio are bacteria, and so aren't yeast.
yeah, thanks for catching that. my bad for throwing all microbiota that can ferment into the same (fermenting) bucket
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #6
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Just a wild yeast anecdote here. I bought a gallon of unpasteurized farm-stand apple juice this fall and put it in the fridge to store while I decided what to do with it. A couple weeks later I noticed the plastic jug starting to bulge and so I opened it to let the pressure out, and kept it cold while a lively ferment commenced. I tasted it and it is very good. I hope I've captured a wild strain that I can cultivate and continue to use.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TNGabe View Post
What's the deal? Why call it wild when it comes in a tube or smack pack?
Well, not all yeast comes from a store/lab. The sacc strain(s) I use extensively came from juniper berries, The sour strain(s) I use came from my cellar. So that's the reason I would call it "wild", although all yeast(s)/bacterium at least started in the wild at some time, most commercial yeasts/bacterium have been altered in some way from it's original "capture", or "discovery".

I also have an "airbourne" sacc strain (or more) that will spontaneously ferment wort in my brewhouse, this may be commercial or wild, or both, I'll never know.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RobertRGeorge View Post
Just a wild yeast anecdote here. I bought a gallon of unpasteurized farm-stand apple juice this fall and put it in the fridge to store while I decided what to do with it. A couple weeks later I noticed the plastic jug starting to bulge and so I opened it to let the pressure out, and kept it cold while a lively ferment commenced. I tasted it and it is very good. I hope I've captured a wild strain that I can cultivate and continue to use.
Exact thing happened to me last year when I got unpasteurized cider for a "wild graff." Only took a day or two (in my fridge) before it was visibly fermenting. I couldn't believe it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by othellomcbane View Post
Exact thing happened to me last year when I got unpasteurized cider for a "wild graff." Only took a day or two (in my fridge) before it was visibly fermenting. I couldn't believe it.
I'm pleased that the aroma and flavor are very nice, and I speculate that if there were bacteria in it, the cold environment kept them at bay until the yeast population took over. I plan to rack it off the minor amount of solids on the bottom and use some of the liquid to inoculate a sterile bottle filled with pasteurized but otherwise natural juice, as a means of keeping the sample while I can get some other juices going with it. We'll see!
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Well, not all yeast comes from a store/lab. The sacc strain(s) I use extensively came from juniper berries, The sour strain(s) I use came from my cellar. So that's the reason I would call it "wild", although all yeast(s)/bacterium at least started in the wild at some time, most commercial yeasts/bacterium have been altered in some way from it's original "capture", or "discovery".

I also have an "airbourne" sacc strain (or more) that will spontaneously ferment wort in my brewhouse, this may be commercial or wild, or both, I'll never know.
Then you sir, are in a tiny minority. An extremely cool minority. With the unseasonably warm weather we're having, I'm tempted to leave some wort overnight and see what happens. I know it will ferment, just worried that all the bread, flour, and farm microbia won't make the best beer. Wait a minute, that sounds perfect!


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