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02/28/11 08:47 PM  
Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
So I am mostly a lurker here, but figured this would be a good place to ask for help.

I captured whatever wild yeast was living on the skin of the grapes growing in my landlords back yard. Can anyone help me isolate them? I'd rather not invest in equipment to do so if all I have to do is send someone on here some beer for there time. I'd like for the yeast/bacteria to be isolated and sent back to me(grown up enough to make a 500ml starter or so of each). If anyone is interested post in this thread and I'll give you my contact info.



tom sawyer
03/01/11 09:10 AM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
Why do you want to isolate everything? Try it as is on a small batch of beer. People do it with wine all the time.
03/01/11 10:30 AM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
I'd rather not waste all the beer/time as I am pretty sure there is mold in it currently, and I'm not sure how to separate it. Also, if all of them taste bad together that doesn't mean that each individual one will make bad beer, so I want to have a more methodical approach.
tom sawyer
03/01/11 04:48 PM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
You're kind of trying to re-invent the wheel by isolating pure strains from a wild mixed culture. YOu can get pure strains from streaking plates and culturing colonies, but of course they may or may not be different strains. Only growing and using them and comparing the rsults will tell that. Or I suppose you can use a scope to look for diffeent cell morphologies, or even use colony morphology differences.

Whats this all intended to do if you don't mind my asking? And I'm not trying to be a smartass, just curious what your motivation is.

03/01/11 09:37 PM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
I really just want to see if there is a viable brewing yeast/bacteria living on the grapes in my back yard. I feel like if I don't brew with isolated strains I won't learn anything. If I isolate them, , I can smell/taste the starters and rule out the ones that are gross. So in the end I will be trying them all.

I actually found someone who will isolate the strains, grow them up, and take pictures(microscope) of them for me.

I'd have brewed with this already if it wasn't for the fact that there is mold in there. The scientist in me said that I should approach this culture I have a bit differently than the just close my eyes and pitch method.

By they way, you don't sound like a smartass at all, I just wasn't clear enough.

tom sawyer
03/02/11 07:51 AM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
Glad you found some help, looking forward to your summary of results.
03/02/11 09:29 AM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
For future reference, if you are trying to undergo a crude isolation method, you can try streaking several DME-agar petrie plates (and possibly for a few repetitions) then as individual cultures appear, you can tell them apart based on morphology, and you can use inoculation loops to scoop up single cells of the ones that look most like yeast, then make several very small starters with each that can slowly be stepped up. Did this once to culture up some wild yeast from an orchard, and it worked pretty well, but if you have someone with more scientific approach, then the point is moot...
tom sawyer
03/02/11 12:13 PM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
Do different yeasts have different morphologies or are you talking about telling the difference between bacteria/yeast/mold?
03/03/11 12:11 AM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
I am sure that different yeasts do have different morphologies, but I am not sure if you would be able to differentiate them with the naked eye, nor if the differences would be exhibited between different strains of the same yeast, or only between completely separate species (ie. brett and sacch). I have only used this to get other bacterias and molds out of wild culture, as the small, tan, circular yeast cells that grow on the dish are pretty easy to tell from the myriad of forms that the other bugs take.

Again, this is still a pretty crude method of culturing, so I would advise that you try to take a few yeast cultures from the plate and see which ones culture up cleanly (or as clean as a wild yeast will). Also, if you have a pressure cooker, I would advise using that for your culture tubes, flasks etc. in order to fully sterilize your medium and futher reduce the risk of foul play from unwelcome microbes. Hope this helps, and if anyone with a more formal microbiology background could chip in any info on how this process could be improved without prohibitively expensive/advanced equipment, I would be much obliged.

tom sawyer
03/03/11 10:58 AM  
Re: Captured Wild Yeast Needs Taming
Pressure cooking is an alternative to autoclaving. I'd do my culturing in a box to limit airborne contaminants, maybe praying Lysol in the box prior to doing your work. It'd be nice to make something with holes for rubber gloves to further reduce airborne floating contaminants. a laminar flow hood is the best thing to use but isn't available to a lot of people.
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