Experiment with an indigenous yeast

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BernardSmith

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Saw something on Youtube about cultivating your own yeast and I thought I would give this a try. I have some preservative-free raisins and I added a couple of tablespoons of them to about 500 ml of spring water and let them macerate for about 3 days in my kitchen in a mason jar. Each time I passed the jar I agitated it and after the 3 days I noticed a) the raisins floating and b) bubbles rising in the jar. I strained the liquid and squeezed the raisins into a bottle and fed the contents some sugar (about 2 tablespoons over 48 hours and the yeast was clearly very active. The smell was fine and so I am about to pitch the bottle into a gallon of heather wine must I made this afternoon (1 oz of heather tips boiled in 1 gallon of spring water to which I added 2 lbs of sugar

If this takes off and results a wine that finishes dry at around 11% I will know that I have a strong indigenous yeast. If the wine quits at a significantly lower ABV I will need to do some work to encourage the growth of cells with more robust characteristics and if the wine tastes pleasant I will have an interesting source of indigenous yeast to toy with.
 

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DoctorCAD

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You can make bread using that technique, so you will have yeast of some kind.

No quality control, though, so off-flavors or limited fermentation cycles can happen.
 

1d10t

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You really don't know if it is yeast growing. Or at least the 'only' organism. People that hunt yeast strains will streak the concoction on a petri dish to isolate what is growing and then check the white fuzzy stuff under a microscope to make sure it is yeast.
 

BernardSmith

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You really don't know if it is yeast growing. Or at least the 'only' organism. People that hunt yeast strains will streak the concoction on a petri dish to isolate what is growing and then check the white fuzzy stuff under a microscope to make sure it is yeast.
Very true, but the issue for me is not that I am a yeast "wrangler" as the expression has it. My interest here is in finding ways to make a delightful wine using natural products. If that means that my colony of yeast is made up of a variety of different yeasts and bacteria but that at the end of the day the wine they produce is something that invites everyone for another sip and then another sip then I guess I am not concerned that what I pitched was a mono-culture that would make a lab green with envy. I make cheese (for fun at home) and I use kefir I make fro kefir grains to inoculate my milk. I make sourdough by growing lab and yeast cultures on and in dough. I make pickles by encouraging/discouraging bacterial growth with brine. All these fermented foods embrace diverse cultures. Diverse cultures are important not just in society but in every aspect of life
 

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OK. I just wanted to make the distinction. My bread 'culture' is a little commercial yeast and yogurt. Simpler and repeatable. In beer making you find that not all lacto bacteria are equal. The wild stuff can make a pretty bad beer. I bought a pound of yeast for something like $8 if I remember correctly and have it in the fridge. Been good for well over a year now.
 

hounddawg

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this is the way the old hillfolk did it , once they isolated a yeast they liked,, they put it under the house or root cellar, in crocks and would cultivate it till they passed by moving it crock to crock, if someone family or friend wished they spent their life feeding and moving to other crocks , back and forth for their lifetime, i have drank enough elderberry and muscadine wines to float a boat, bread yeast was mostly taken from the stomach lining of a unborn or stillborn calf,
Dawg

PS,
Good Luck
 

BernardSmith

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Dawg, you say that folks in your neck of the woods would obtain bread yeast from the stomach of a newborn or stillborn calf? Are you sure? Bread yeast is identical to wine yeast. Sure today there are differences but we have encouraged those differences by how we selected the yeast from wines and beers - and bread making. The differences are like the differences between a Clydesdale horse and a racing thoroughbred. It's the same animal - only one has been bred to pull heavy loads and the other has been bred to run at speed.

The stomach of a calf provides you with animal rennet and rennet is a complex of enzymes used to coagulate milk in cheese making. I don't think that there is any saccharomyces cerevisiae (the yeast we use in bread making and wine making) inside a calf. Lactose - the sugars a calf would get from milk is not fermentable using bread yeast, so there is no reason why bread yeast would find its way inside a calf's stomach. More, to ferment whey after making cheese I need to either add a yeast that can ferment lactose (B. Classenii) or I need to add enzymes (lactase) that break lactose down into the simpler sugars that yeast can ferment. And I can tell you that that is what I did last night after making a batch of cheese. And the whey is happily fermenting away (pun intended) in my kitchen after I pitched some wild yeast I had collected from some preservative-free raisins and had harvested after racking off a batch of heather wine I had started with that wild yeast.
 

hounddawg

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Dawg, you say that folks in your neck of the woods would obtain bread yeast from the stomach of a newborn or stillborn calf? Are you sure? Bread yeast is identical to wine yeast. Sure today there are differences but we have encouraged those differences by how we selected the yeast from wines and beers - and bread making. The differences are like the differences between a Clydesdale horse and a racing thoroughbred. It's the same animal - only one has been bred to pull heavy loads and the other has been bred to run at speed.

The stomach of a calf provides you with animal rennet and rennet is a complex of enzymes used to coagulaone, te milk in cheese making. I don't think that there is any saccharomyces cerevisiae (the yeast we use in bread making and wine making) inside a calf. Lactose - the sugars a calf would get from milk is not fermentable using bread yeast, so there is no reason why bread yeast would find its way inside a calf's stomach. More, to ferment whey after making cheese I need to either add a yeast that can ferment lactose (B. Classenii) or I need to add enzymes (lactase) that break lactose down into the simpler sugars that yeast can ferment. And I can tell you that that is what I did last night after making a batch of cheese. And the whey is happily fermenting away (pun intended) in my kitchen after I pitched some wild yeast I had collected from some preservative-free raisins and had harvested after racking off a batch of heather wine I had started with that wild yeast.
sadly i only had the elders, misinformation was rampid to say the least, the old elders were very secretly on how things were done in very confused ways
i stirred, i packed water from creeks and i crawled under homes lining up one gallon jugs around the edges that;s how the age keep track of from one year to the next was to leave i gallon jug space, so no i can only repeat what they told me, the must was always done when no one was around, ,, but when i got my elderberry aged 10 years i was allowed to fetch my own, most people got 6 year age to 8 years age fr sell,,, 10 year wasit was a world class honor the elder only, and helpers usually got around 6 year old, so yes i was at the mercy of what i was told, my yeast, k-meta and sorbet i learned here, , i now make at their level using old and new ways, but i still believe that their is something to it, the lining had to never to have feed ever period, not one drop of anything in the stomach, to get the the stomach, beings at birth calves and colts eat their own manure, to getting there stomach to working properly, this i know to be fact since i have ran bans of horses, and herds of cattle both,, as well as pigs, goats rabbits and many more livestock, chickens, geese, ducks,, peafowl and game animals just to name a few, i've never read t so called facts, because since the day i was born i have liked this life,,,,,
Dawg
 
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Mead Maker

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While bread yeast and wine yeast may be chemically the same, they are as different as night and day.

While away at college for my freshman year, far from all my wine making equipment, I whipped up a few gallons of Welches grape concentrate for the boys and used bread yeast because it was the only thing available.

It fermented wildly and resulted in a high alcohol brew, which is what the college boys were looking for.

The downside was that it had a strong taste of fresh bread! Not a good taste for wine. And it left you with a monumental hangover.

One gallon of wine sat on the kitchen counter until my senior year. It still tasted like bread. We drank it anyways. Big mistake.
 

BernardSmith

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I don't doubt what you say Mead_Maker but bread tastes like wheat bread if you use wheat flour and tastes like rye if you use rye flour and tastes like barley if you use barley flour... and teff if you use teff.. The same yeast, different flour ...
Hangovers are typically caused by fusel alcohol and fusels are LIKE ethanol but are not the same beast. Some fusels smell like nail polish removal, others include methanol. But you can produce fusels if you stress the yeast... Nothing to do with whether you used bread yeast or the finest lab cultured wine yeast that money can buy... The most significant differences between bread and wine yeast is that wine yeasts have been selected to flocculate (gather together) and so are relatively easy to clear from a wine and yeasts that flocculate well tend to be poor fermenters of more complex simple sugars (important for brewers more than wine makers) and wine yeasts tend to have good tolerance for the acidity and alcohol in whereas bread yeasts have been cultivated to for their ability to quickly produce CO2 (you don't experience any measurable lag time when you bake bread). But both bread yeast and wine yeast are saccharomyces cerevisiae. Not just chemically identical, but, for all intents and purposes, microbiologically identical.
 

hounddawg

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While bread yeast and wine yeast may be chemically the same, they are as different as night and day.

While away at college for my freshman year, far from all my wine making equipment, I whipped up a few gallons of Welches grape concentrate for the boys and used bread yeast because it was the only thing available.

It fermented wildly and resulted in a high alcohol brew, which is what the college boys were looking for.

The downside was that it had a strong taste of fresh bread! Not a good taste for wine. And it left you with a monumental hangover.

One gallon of wine sat on the kitchen counter until my senior year. It still tasted like bread. We drank it anyways. Big mistake.
AMEN,,,,, not to mention if all were more or less equal that would negate different strains, the very reason hillfolk cultured their own,, not to mention my native American elders sure did not g to 7 eleven, ,one can go to walmart to get everything needed to make qurawie , go to the woods to make cotton explosive, strychnine from red elderberry, so on so forth, them books get proven wrong daily, columbus 1492 naw vikings and chinese better then 400 years earlier,, just in my lifetime eggs has went back and forth 7 times on being good for you to bad for you, like the sealacamp extinct for millions of years, then boom still living in the ocean, steven hawkins 2 of his biggest theories proven wrong just before his death, nothing by man is set in stone, no matter how you slice the bread,,,
DAWG
 

Mead Maker

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Bernard is no doubt correct, that I made a mistake by somehow stressing my yeast, resulting in fusel alcohol.

It was 50 years ago and my memory isn’t good enough to remember the production of the wine, only the results.

Thinking back 60+ years, I don’t remember having that problem either before or after that batch. And I had to have been using bread yeast because I didn’t have access to any other type of yeast.

I’ve been blaming the yeast for decades, but I should have been blaming myself.

Thanks for your insight, Mr. Holmes.
 

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