RateBeer

Wild/natural fermentation

read 2486 times • 35 replies •

Thread Frozen
 
bierkitty
beers 167 º places 13 º 14:42 Tue 10/2/2012

My husband and I are also kicking around some spontaneous fermentation ideas. The fruit or berry starter is a good idea. We have a friend who brews sours and he swears you need orchards nearby and lots of spider webs in the vicinity. Another idea is put out agar plates that are selective for yeast (inhibit bacteria) in high microbe areas. Or set out a few starters and pick the most promising. I was warned not to try any tasting untill the pH is high enough to kill off the nasties like Salmonella and E. coli. The whole topic is really interesting so keep us informed.

 
Cletus
beers 6355 º places 233 º 14:46 Tue 10/2/2012

Take a small thing of unpasteurized cider and throw an airlock on it. Let it start fermenting then pitch to your beer. Iíve done this with some success.

 
bierkitty
beers 167 º places 13 º 14:49 Tue 10/2/2012

Originally posted by HornyDevil

Originally posted by joeneugs

Most homebrewers havenít had good results from spontaneous fermentations alone, but some have had better results when also pitching a starter made from bottle dregs of bottle conditioned wild ales.




Personally, I think that this is the best way to brew sour ales period. Make a starter from the dreggs or just pitch the dreggs themselves into horny wort. The way that I figure it is that youíve got the microbes in the percentages that make great sour/wild beer within that bottle, so why not use that fact to your advantage?





The yeast used for bottle conditioning might not be the wild yeast used for fermentation. Some brewers add domesticated yeast at bottling time, but there may be some residual wilds in the mix.





 
SarkyNorthener
premium
beers 3075 º places 111 º 15:29 Tue 10/2/2012

Cobwebs always help. Have you ever seen some these belgian breweries. Food safety would have a fit. I would prepare for the worst though, but if it works mark the spot on a map. You may have a new style of beer.

 
HornyDevil
16:18 Tue 10/2/2012

Originally posted by bierkitty
The yeast used for bottle conditioning might not be the wild yeast used for fermentation. Some brewers add domesticated yeast at bottling time, but there may be some residual wilds in the mix.


Indeed, but a great deal of sour/wild beers have the constituent microbes in the bottle. OldSock has a great list on The Mad Fermentationist.

Of my latest round of sour beers (6 total beers with 4 base beers), 3 of those base beers started with dreggs only. I pitched a mixed Brett culture (B & C) into one of them, but the other two were left to ferment with only the dreggs and when I racked them onto fruit (4 half batches. One with dates, one with red grape concentrate, one with blackberries, and one with mango), the base beer was significantly tart after only about 4 months. However, they both lacked complexity. I hope they will pick it up in the next six months to a year. FWIW, the other base beer, to which I added the mixed Brett culture, was also nicely tart, but since it wasnít dreggs only, I really canít include it in the discussion.

 
joeneugs
premium
beers 4305 º places 188 º 16:24 Tue 10/2/2012

Unrelated question to the OP... if I was to ferment 5 gallons of wort with only a bottle dreg starter and/or spontaneous yeast, would I aerate the wort before pitching or no?

 
seymour
beers 1684 º places 45 º 16:26 Tue 10/2/2012

Originally posted by bierkitty

...he swears you need orchards nearby and lots of spider webs in the vicinity...




Originally posted by TheBookie

Cobwebs always help...




I donít get it. Why? What do nearby spider webs have to do with which microbes are on the wind?



Originally posted by bierkitty

...I was warned not to try any tasting untill the pH is high enough to kill off the nasties like Salmonella and E. coli...




Which is what, do you know?

 
HornyDevil
16:42 Tue 10/2/2012

Originally posted by joeneugs
Unrelated question to the OP... if I was to ferment 5 gallons of wort with only a bottle dreg starter and/or spontaneous yeast, would I aerate the wort before pitching or no?


Sure.

 
joeneugs
premium
beers 4305 º places 188 º 16:52 Tue 10/2/2012

Originally posted by HornyDevil
Originally posted by joeneugs
Unrelated question to the OP... if I was to ferment 5 gallons of wort with only a bottle dreg starter and/or spontaneous yeast, would I aerate the wort before pitching or no?


Sure.


The high dissolved O2 wouldnít inhibit pedio and favor acetobacter? Iím very sensitive to acetic acid.

 
bierkitty
beers 167 º places 13 º 17:07 Tue 10/2/2012

Originally posted by seymour
Originally posted by bierkitty

...he swears you need orchards nearby and lots of spider webs in the vicinity...




Originally posted by TheBookie

Cobwebs always help...




I donít get it. Why? What do nearby spider webs have to do with which microbes are on the wind?



Originally posted by bierkitty

...I was warned not to try any tasting untill the pH is high enough to kill off the nasties like Salmonella and E. coli...




Which is what, do you know?
Around 4.0 I am told.

Homebrew Shops - A collection of homebrew shops and supply houses submitted by RateBeer readers

Homebrewing Articles - RateBeer Magazine's homebrewing department

Homebrew Recipes - Experiment, share and post your own homebrew recipes

Until we can make beer come out of your monitor...

Beer2Buds
Send Beer Over The Net

Free signup now. Even out a trade, keep good vibes alive, say hi with a beer