Isolating Wild Yeast Strains
Back in August of 2016, I collected 12 samples from the Yorholo farmstead. The samples consisted of elderberries, raspberries, corn, pine sap, flowers, etc. Each sample was then added to 10 mL of a low gravity wort & allowed to age inside of a small mason jar with a lid. After 6 months, I tasted & took notes on each sample. Looking for flocculation properties, carbonation, acidity, etc. 3 samples had distinct bad flavors & were discarded. The other 9 samples were added to a 100 mL flask with more low gravity wort & allowed to age an additional 3 months. Another 3 samples were discarded due to mold & off flavors. The final 6, in the above photo, were plated on malt extract agar to isolate strains. My next step is to grow the isolated strains & to perform various fermentation tests. My goal is to find 2 to 3 strains that are hardy, predictable & produce acid. Then blend those strains in with my favorite saison yeast strain to produce farmhouse style ales with unique yeast found on the Yorkholo farmstead. Our current PA Wild ales & sour ales do contain local yeast & bacteria but are included with known brettanomyces & lactobacillus.