Wild yeast collection project?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jason L Connor Jason L Connor 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #457
    Profile photo of Todd
    Todd
    Participant

    So my brethren home brewers in Saxapahaw, North Carolina have managed to isolate a native yeast strain, and brew with it (soon to be commercially).

    http://www.nchomebrewing.com/haw-river-yeast-beer-competition/#more-1365

    http://hawriverales.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-beast-from-yeast-bears-fruit.html

    For those budding microbiologists in the club (excuse the pun), what would it take to collect and isolate some native yeast that we can call our own? And I’m not talking about the stuff that grows in Taylor’s socks. I mean a sure enough farmhouse ale yeast that we can use to create a native FoCo brew.

    Where can we reasonably expect to find a brewing yeast to call our own? Many of us have various types of fruit bearing trees and bushes in our landscape. How do we begin harvesting the mixture of yeast that might be right in our own backyards?

    #460
    Profile photo of Jason L Connor
    Jason L Connor
    Keymaster

    It seems to me that the best way to collect wild yeast would be to make some beer.

    Perhaps break up a 5 gallon batch into 1 gallon mini-batches and expose each to the elements differently.

    Some ideas for exposure:
    * let it sit out overnight
    * drop in some fresh locally (like in your yard) grown fruit
    * etc

    Once the beers have fermented, we could plate and try to isolate the yeast. Remi is an excellent source of information on this technique.

    Then repeat the experiment with colonies you manage to isolate, and see if any of them are interesting.

    Thoughts?

    #461
    Profile photo of Todd
    Todd
    Participant

    Makes sense to me. I really like the idea of pitching some fruit from the landscape into some wort. Maybe do a 5 gallon batch of 1040, freeze it in 1 gallon portions, then add fruit from several sources around the yard/garden.

    When I think about it, we have gooseberries, currants, grapes, apples, and raspberries, all which ripen at different times.

    Trick now is to sort out a smallish fermentor that will take crushed fruit. Maybe sanitize a blender and make a puree before adding to the wort.

    I have some agar and a pressure cooker, so I can make some plates to try and plate out whatever rises to the top of the fermentor, or would it be best to let it ferment and plate the dreggs?

    #471
    Profile photo of Jason L Connor
    Jason L Connor
    Keymaster

    I imagine you would get better results top-cropping, but I’m not really the person to ask. As for little fermenters, maybe we could talk Hops & Berries into selling/ordering some of the bigger containers they use for malt extract. Drill a little hole in the top and stick in an air lock. I think a 1.5-2 gallon container would be perfect. And a lidded container would make top-cropping much easier.

    Just some thoughts.

    #578
    Profile photo of Janna Kregoski
    Janna Kregoski
    Participant

    I’d be interested in helping with this if you guys decide to do it. I’ll have access to wild yeast differential media that could help weed out the junky strains, and a laminar flow hood for sterile plating.

    #579
    Profile photo of Jason L Connor
    Jason L Connor
    Keymaster

    Holy crap Janna!

    I think that, at least, I’ll have to take you up on that. I’ve always wanted to mess around with locally isolated yeast.

    If I just wild ferment some wort, do you think you could isolate yeast strains from that?

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