Wild Capture Lacto?

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Jul 8, 2019
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Hey all- new to the site but I've been homebrewing for a bit now, from Tel Aviv if you ever want good beer around here, come say hi!

My question is this:

I mostly followed this guy's post on how to capture wild yeast.

We have a huge outdoor market so I grabbed some dates, cherries and one grape and one lychee and tossed it on into a ~1.030 wort. I forgot the hop it initially. Within a few days I had bubbles and fermentation so I removed the fruit solids. I'm going to give it a few weeks to ferment out but it has an incredible sour smell!

I don't mind sour but I want to know what to do next. Is it possible I have a lactobacillus strain with little to no yeast? In that case should I give sour kettling a go? I don't want to end up with a krausen and a mess in my brew kettle if there is yeast present. If it's yeast and lactobacilus combo would a step up starter be able to help determine what's in there? Or is the best method to "co-pitch" it with a yeast strain (I was thinking Belle Saison) into unhopped wort and see what happens? Thanks all!
Bubbling indicates that you have captured yeast. You will also see the s.g. decrease.

The sourness is probably mostly from lactic acid bacteria of some kind (not necessarily Lactobacillus; there are other possible types).

You can definitely continue to use it as a mixed culture if you want. If you bottle, you need to monitor gravity for several weeks-months to make sure it's stable before packaging.

With regard to co-pitching...
Measure the s.g. of your starter to see what kind of attenuation your yeast can get. You should also make a higher gravity starter if you plan to make a higher gravity beer, so that you know it will be able to handle to alcohol level.
Using Belle isn't a bad idea, but kind of defeats the purpose of harvesting wild yeast in my opinion. The benefit is that it has such high attenuation that you wouldn't have to wait so long to reach a stable s.g.

Keep it closed to prevent mold growth.

Cheers and welcome to HBT!
Cool maybe I'll give it a few days and brave a taste test. It's pretty vinegary at this point though so I might just toss it and try again or try to copitch to dull the effect
Acetic acid is only produced in the presence of oxygen. Pretty much every wild fermentation will turn to vinegar if you don't use good oxygen-prevention technique.

FYI, it's not 100% safe to taste until a few weeks after fermentation. It can take some time for enteric bacteria to die from the alcohol.
Right, think I'll just dump it then. I'm using a mason jar that I left a tad open because I don't have an airlock but it sounds like I'm better off trying again and sealing the jar all the way with the clasp and try and making a slightly hopped starter this time
If you seal it fully, pressure will build until the jar breaks/explodes. Loose fitting, like a quarter turn from tight would be ok.