After those failed attempts I decided to try another way recommended by Jeff Mello of Bootleg Biology. This is also the technique that I spoke with Gerard Olson from Forest and Main Brewing Co. when I visited there earlier this year. Basically you use foraged objects like flowers and fruits (among other things) to try and capture a wild yeast culture. I recently wrote a small primer article for Craft Commander on foraging for wild yeast. You can take a look at that here. It's not exactly scientific but it covers the basic steps I used in capturing my culture I used in this beer.
For my culture I decided to user clover flowers from my front yard. The afternoon I picked the flowers there was a ton of activity. A mild breeze was blowing and bees were visible all over the flowers. Hopefully I'll get something really nice out of this!
Recipe: Foraged Yeast Beer
Batch Size: 4.0 gal
Boil Size: 6.04 gal
Post Boil Volume: 4.16 gal
Estimated OG: 1.042
Actual OG: 1.044
Estimated Color: 3.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 74.60%
Est Mash Efficiency: 74.60%
Boil Time: 75 Minutes
100% Pilsner Malt (Avangard)
24.6 IBUs of Aramis @ 60 min
Foraged Yeast from Clover Flowers
Temperature mash of 149F for 75 min with a 10 minute mashout at 168F
|100% Avangard Pilsner malt|
I mashed in for 75 min with the temperature of 149F. I wanted to get something really fermentable and give the foraged culture something easy to work with. 100% Pilsner should give a good base to let whatever I've capture shine through.
|Love seeing clear wort.|
I boiled the wort for 75 min and added around 14g of Aramis hops at 60 minutes. With this batch being so small I wasn't able to use my stainless hop spider so I put the hops in a nylon hop bag.
|Nylon hop bag and 14g or so of Aramis hops|
After the boil I recirculated the wort for about 15 minutes and then ran it through my heat exchanger to get the wort down to 68F. I collected just under 4 gallons in the carboy and pitched my culture while keeping back a small bit for further propagation. If this beer turns out well, I'll send some of the yeast slurry over to Jeff Mello. I covered the top of the carboy with sanitized aluminum foil as I do with most of my beers. I'll add a bung and airlock after activity starts to slow.
|Now it's time for some fermentation!|
Super simple brew day. The smallest batch I've done on my system so far. I didn't even have enough in the mash tun to use the thermometer in the side. This wasn't a problem as I rely on the temperature probe I have in the outlet to regulate my mash temps. I'm really looking forward to the outcome of this beer! I'll also be foraging some more cultures very soon!
7-10-16: 6AM krausen has already formed and fermentation is under way!
7-11-16: Very active. At least 3 inches of thick krausen on top and a nice yeasty smell coming from the carboy.
7-12-16: Activity has slowed just a bit. I swapped the foil for a bung and airlock but steady CO2 off gassing came through the 3 piece airlock when I added the Star-San solution to it. Looking really promising. The aroma was very similar to the starters. Hints of honey, light tartness and a bit of citrus seemed to come through too.
7-24-16: All signs of fermentation have stopped. Looks like it has even flocculated really well. I'll be packaging soon!
9-7-16: Bottled the batch.
10-7-16: Tasted one bottle. Slight bit of THP there so I'm going to give it some more time before I do tasting notes.
Final tasting notes here!
Andrew "Gus" Addkison
@aaddkison on Twitter