Wild yeast flocculation

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Fernando B

Dec 25, 2018
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I want to do some experiments with wild yeast and I have some questions about it.

Is known that brewer's yeast has the ability to flocculate due to the selective force put in it by centuries, since brewers have collected yeast from the fermentor´s bottom. And that is the difference with wild yeast, since it's not domesticated.

I always have wanted to experiment with wild yeast but the fact that it doesn't flocculate too much has been what stops me. Because I don't want to wait centuries to have a strain that flocculate well, or to make clody and yeasty beer neither.
The other day, I was reading "Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation", the book of Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff, and in several sections they said that we must be carefull to collect yeast from the fermentor, and be aware of what kind of selecting force are we introducing, because in yeast we can see the effects of natural selection just in some days, since it reproduces itself a lot.

So, here is my wondering. Do you guys think if it is possible to get a wild yeast with a nice flocculation ability, just in some weeks of several propagation cycles, introducing myself the selective force that i want? If yes, how many cycles do you think I need to see an effect?

My plan is more or less this one. Capture the wild yeast in a normal wort (high in maltose, low in simple sugars), with ethanol added until 5% is reached. After activity (if watched) is finished, inoculate a petri dish with the sediment. Isolate and propagate some individual colonies and do a fermentation test to see what kind of aromas can i get. Discard the bad ones and continue with the most promising. And from here, do successive fermentations discarding the first layer of yeast to form, and the entire liquid after some days of activity. And again, and again, and again.

What do you guys think?
You could get lucky and find one that flocs really well immediately. However, it normally takes some dedication to find good isolates because they're relatively rare.

It seems pretty unlikely for a few propagation cycles to change a low flocculating yeast into a medium-high flocculating yeast, but anything is possible.

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