Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wild Yeast Capture

I’m officially off the rails with sour brewing.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.  I have a sour blonde fermenting, a solera souring and bottles of Berliners and gose ready to drink.  Even with that all going on I’m finding new ways to scratch the sour brewing itch.  This time I’m intrigued by wild yeast capture.  I don’t know why it intrigues me but there’s something about using yeast in the air to make beer.  What if my backyard holds the next Cantillon strain that’s going to propel me to fame and fortune!?  (hahahahah)

Anyways, I started reading up on yeast capture via /r/Homebrewing and The Mad Fermentationist’s new sour book and found it to be really easy.  I was brewing soon so I figured I’d give it a shot.  What’s the worst that could happen?

As I was brewing my kolsch, I took a few cups of wort in the middle of the boil that had been hopped a little bit and funneled this off into a sanitized (probably not necessary) glass pie dish, took a hop sack and stretched it over the top and left it while I finished up my boil.  After it cooled and I was done brewing, I took it inside and put it into a 32 oz growler.  I was going to put an airlock on it but couldn’t find any so I just put tin foil on top.  After a few days I saw some white appear on top and it appeared to be fermenting.  I left it untouched and let it go.  The visible fermentation has stopped but there is some solids on the bottom that have collected.  After reading The Mad Fermentationist’s book, I’m going to leave this for a few weeks to let the lacto and other bugs out compete the bad ones and create acid and then I’ll step it up into another starter.  At that point I might try it and I’ll update accordingly!

Update: 7/27/14-Had to dump the starter due to mold.  Before the mold showed up there was a significant amount of stuff settled at the bottom of the growler.  Until next time!

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