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Anyone brewed with wild yeast before?

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ericd

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I mixed some DME with some water in an empty peanut butter jar and left it on my window sill for about a week, opened, until it started bubbling. I threw it in a gallon batch of 0.5 kg DME, 50 IBUs of B Saaz and some Juniper Berries. The culture actually took and it's bubbling away quite well now with a VERY yummy looking foamy head, better than I've ever gotten with any commercial strain actually. The smell is somewhat lambic-y, but it's very big on the green apple, green banana and yogurt smells and very little of the funky "barnyard" ones. So has anyone else tried using wild yeast before?
 

moger777

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I was thinking of trying it with a cider some time. I like the taste of lambics but I always feel that the flavor was somewhat cidery.
 

PseudoChef

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Check out this experiment a forum member did.

Keep us updated! I just pitched Brett lambicus into a Belgian style I did last week. It's just now starting to have a little funky smell to it, but I've yet to taste it.
 

Donasay

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take a look at the threads posted by landhoney, he is the local wild yeast expert.
 
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ericd

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I should mention that while it is harder as landhoney says to get a good culture in hot weather, it's not impossible, but it may take a couple tries. I've made sourdough starters in the middle of summer and the bread came out nice and non-vinegary.
 

Bobby_M

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It's a lot harder to get a spontaneous ferment in beer because it's starting out sterile. My sourdough (I'm new to this admittedly) "started" within 3 days of just mixing flour and water in a covered container. There had to be yeast in the flour for this to work.

A guy in my brewclub made a Gruit and open fermented it. It was an amazingly complex and addictive brew.
 
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I have used this method hundreds of times (at least 5 times) for bread...I've got to admit that I've been dying to try it on a dark extract and specialty grain and light hop beer...I can't see why it wouldn't work great.
This is borrowed from a web page that I found a few years ago, and I do NOT remember who it is from. Sorry.
Rye flower (Stone Ground) is used to make a new starter because it has the natural yeast and bacteria needed to start the culture. Once your starter is healthy, you can use it with any kind of flour, so you can use rye flour even if you don't plan on making rye bread.
Mix 1/4 cup of chlorine free water (either bottled or filtered will do fine) with 3/8 cup of whole grain flour in a quart sized glass container. Mix them well, cover with plastic wrap or a loose fitting lid, and put in an 85F area. A gas oven with a pilot light, or an oven without a pilot light with it's light bulb on should be close. You might want to put a thermometer in the oven to check it's temperature. Now wait about 12 hours.
There is a very good chance that at the end of the 12 hours, you'll see bubbles in the liquid.
If not, wait another 12 hours. You want to see some bubbles, some signs of life. If you still don't see any signs of life, wait another 12 hours. If you still haven't seen any bubbles or signs of life, ditch the starter and start over.
Once you see signs of life, add another 1/4 cup of chlorine free water and 3/8 cup of whole grain flour. Cover the container, and put it back in the warm area.
At this point, you will need to feed your starter regularly to encourage the growth of the micro-organisms. Every 8 to 12 hours you need to feed the starter. You should double the size of the starter with each feeding. This will get out of control pretty quickly, so to keep from being overwhelmed by starter, you should discard 1/2 the starter before each feeding of the starter.

I have had good luck sticking a jar of this in the fridge and getting it back going a year later.
The trick to this is that EVERYTHING must be 100% steril.
 

moger777

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also worth mentioning, theres alot of wild yeasts in apple orchards. If you can find one you might get alot less lag time.
 

landhoney

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As mentioned earlier, I've tried it....but I wouldn't call myself 'expert'. I'd like to have a nice microscope/lab setup and a better knowledge of microbiology. If I ever get into that, maybe then you can call me an expert. ;)

I'm definitely going to try it again, and being that I now live in Florida it will definitely be tried in warmer weather. If the current batch continues to improve, I'll be trying it again in Maryland Christmas time next year when the cold weather is keeping the aceto at bay more.
 

clemson55

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Someone posted a link somewhere to the You Tube video of Allagash Brewing doing it for market. They are going to age for 2 yrs or something. Theres links and stuff on the allagash website.
 
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ericd

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Well, it's been a while since I finished drinking this beer and it turned out great! Wild yeast is surely fast and vigorous and makes the best head ever (at least the one from norman oklahoma!). It had a little bit of lacto sourness but it was very subtle, but is had some major cattyness/cardboard flavor from the brett so be sure to cover it up with flavorfull hop/spice additions.

I loved the quick and intense fermentation and the great head it gave, I've been using it in all my brews since then!
 

Bytor1100

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The wild yeast around here tastes like a burnt tire according to a fellow local homebrewer.
 
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ericd

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The wild yeast around here tastes like a burnt tire according to a fellow local homebrewer.
Hmmm, now there's a new tasting note. It's possible that it could be a bad bug you could avoid getting if you made your own starter instead of accidently getting an infection which is what he was probably talking about.
 

N3WWN

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Do you know if anyone has a "wild yeast bank" going?

It may be interesting to culture wild yeast from as many places as possible!
 

Freezeblade

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Do you know if anyone has a "wild yeast bank" going?

It may be interesting to culture wild yeast from as many places as possible!

I plan on doing just this, I'm doing batches of cider with yeasts from all sorts of fruits, so far I've only got one from a organic peach, and one from an organic apple (next on the list is plum), I'm washing the yeast then storing it, so when the ciders are ready I'll report back on which yeast worked best. I think it'd be really interesting to start a wild yeast swap from all different areas.
 
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ericd

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I plan on doing just this, I'm doing batches of cider with yeasts from all sorts of fruits, so far I've only got one from a organic peach, and one from an organic apple (next on the list is plum), I'm washing the yeast then storing it, so when the ciders are ready I'll report back on which yeast worked best. I think it'd be really interesting to start a wild yeast swap from all different areas.
Have you noticed any difference between the two?
 

N3WWN

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Did you get the organic fruits from your local area or were they shipped in from afar?

Would different fruits from the same area have the same yeast strains, or different yeast strains, do you think?

Hmm... things to think about :)
 
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