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On the right track with wild yeast?

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drpepper517

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What's up guys and gals? About two weeks ago I tossed some grapes and a couple leaves into some starter to catch something wild. There were signs of fermentation and I let it go 12 days, saw visible sediment at the bottom of the mason jar. It smelled and tasted pretty pretty good, a little fruity, a little sour/pickle-like, even kinda smoky to my nose- very much like a stuffed grape leaf (Dolma) tastes and smells. On Friday, I put it in another step up starter ~1L of 1.030-1.040 wort and have let it sit over the weekend, cracking the lid of the jar and swirling every so often to oxygenate. I'm not seeing much fermentation activity, just a ton of stuff in solution and clumped down in the bottom of the jar. Looks like little white flecks, almost like curdled milk. Have I erred somewhere? I wanted to let it ride through the week, and stick it in the fridge and then try a simple saison brew next weekend. Any suggestions or comments or confirmations that all is going well :p? I can drop in a pic when I can. Thanks all, have a good Sunday
 

Miraculix

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Check gravity, it sounds like you got some well flocculating yeast there.

From my perspective, it sounds like everything is going well.
 

brownni5

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Might also want to check out the Milk The Funk podcast - an episode called Bioprospecting. Goes through all the steps to make sure wild yeast are up to the task of fermenting beer.
 

RPh_Guy

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Sounds like everything's ok so far.

+1 check the gravity.
Many/most wild cultures cannot ferment the complex sugar in wort. (You are using wort, right?)

Also, be mindful about opening it too frequently. Mold likes oxygen too.

FYI 12 days is not long enough for safety. Some enteric bacteria can survive in alcohol for up to a month.
 
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drpepper517

drpepper517

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Yeah I used light DME, and as a human tester I didn't get any ill effects of my taste test. I saw on sui generis that it may be best to give the starter a more forceful shaking compared to the swirling that I was doing and that it seems like activity might be kicking up again as a result of this. I saw some small circles of foam starting on the surface (yeast rafts?), will be patient with this one.
 
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drpepper517

drpepper517

Homebrewing in the Middle East
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Might also want to check out the Milk The Funk podcast - an episode called Bioprospecting. Goes through all the steps to make sure wild yeast are up to the task of fermenting beer.
Gave it a listen, unfortunately I'm super low tech with the regional limitations here, working with what I've got! Maybe I'll pick up some goodies whenever I'm next back stateside
 
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