I had some extra DME lying around, so I decided to find out if my local yeast was any good for brewing.
I made a half gallon of 1.020 wort with a pinch of yeast nutrient and a dash of hops. This wort was split into five small mason jars. Two jars were covered with cheese cloth and placed outside overnight. Two of the remaining three had raspberries from different places around the yard dropped into them. The final jar had a couple sprigs if thyme from the garden dropped in.
After two days the berries and thyme smelled delicous (a bit spicy, very yeasty). Reminded me of a belgian yeast strain. One of the two jars from outside smelled rancid and developed a thick white "crust". The other jar had no activity.
I ditched the two outdoor jars. The three remaining were strained and pitched into 1500mL of 1.030 wort with 1/4 tsp. Of yeast nutrient. This will sit on the stir plate for the next day or so.
We will see where this leads.......