Capture Wild Yeast

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Figured I'd post this since everytime I mention it in the forums I get tons of questions. It's very easy to capture your own wild yeast. This is different than lambic brewing, since you can make "regular" styles with it (with a bit of a twist)! I love using the wild yeast I captured this way, it will eat its way thru anything.

  1. Clean & sanitize an empty glass jar.
  2. In it mix up a bit of DME with warm water. Not much, you want the gravity of the mixture to be 1.030 at most. You could try boiling it with a bit of hops, but I didn't do it that way.
  3. Leave it by an opened window until you start seeing bubbles and foam on top (I think it took me about 2 weeks). Awesome! Your culture of your local wild yeast is ready! You can now use it to start a beer!

How long you leave it out will affect what you get. If you use it right after you first start seeing signs of life (2 weeks) you will just get wild yeast. Leave it out longer and you will get other things in it. This is what happens (from Lambic by Guinard):

  • (3 to 7 days) Enteric Bacteria and Kloeckera Apiculata
  • (2 weeks) Saccharomyces
  • (3 to 4 months) Lactic Acid Bacteria
  • (8 months) Brettanomyces plus Pichia, Candida, Hansenula and Cryptococcus

Note that a group of microbes take over from the previous one, so for example, at two weeks, Saccaromyces has completely taken over and there is no Enteric Bacteria or Kloeckera left in your culture.

Ok well, now you know everything about capturing your own wild yeast! Hope it helps!