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The following is the 'log' list for the Yeast Experiments (not a recipe).

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May 15, 2011 (3:49 PM)
Update on the rose hips strains: Not good. The yellowish looking one ended up being really unpleasantly funky, like decomposing jockstrap wine. The krausen sample proved to be quite tart and somewhat sour. Though not really unpleasant, it definitely belongs only in a sour beer. I'm contemplating adding it to my Sour Ale, though I may save it and make a new sour beer where this is the only souring agent, just to see how it turns out.
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April 23, 2011 (10:40 PM)
Just re-plated three separate colonies from the krausen plate, labeled WSP002-K1, -K2, and -K3. Unfortunately, right before doing so, the krausen plate slipped from my fingers and bounced on the floor. Therefore, I will have to look closely at the next generation of plates, and try to avoid any colonies that look to be different from the way the mother plate looked before I dropped it.

This is definitely an entirely different species from the WSP002-A2 plate, which was much more yellow and had a different growth pattern (looked kinda like slime spreading outward). This one is much whiter and grows in neater little circles. It also smells much cleaner, less "rich" than the A2 was.

Sure hope I didn't fuck it up too bad by dropping it, but I should know within a day or two.
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April 19, 2011 (8:09 PM)
I just took another sample from the "A" bottle, as it has maintained a healthy looking krausen for a few days now. To collect this one, I just dipped the inoculating loop into the krausen -- something like a top-cropping via inoculating loop.

The starter with WSP002-A2 has a very... rich... odor. Reminiscent of caramel apples, prunes, and wet leather. Or something else I can't place. Not a bad smell, but definitely far more complex than WSP001 was, without the solventy smells that WSP001 started developing from the constant aeration.
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April 17, 2011 (5:53 PM)
The re-plating of the yeast appears to have been a success, as there was no mold on the new plate, and the yeast appeared to be uniform in coloration and growth rate. Here's a picture of the plate about 30 hours after it was streaked:



Soon after taking that shot, I made some starter wort (100ml @ 1.020) and scooped some of the yeast from the plate into the starter, which went onto a stir plate. About 6 hours later, there was clear yeast activity, so I added more wort (500ml @ 1.031). I'll let that starter finish, decant, and pitch into a trial batch (1 gallon, probably) next weekend.

In related news, apparently there was a good reason the "B" plate had no apparent yeast growth on it: there doesn't appear to be any yeast in the "B" bottle. Yesterday, I poured off the mold that had collected on the floating rose hips in the "B" bottle, though the mold had disappeared in the "A" bottle once a good krausen got going. The comparison below shows the yeast activity in "A" and the lower level in "B" from pouring off the mold:

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April 16, 2011 (02:50 AM)
The floating rose hips have become rafts of mold, so I think I plated these samples just before it would have been hard to avoid getting mold throughout. I just re-plated the most promising candidate from the rose hips plates (plate A, to be precise). Mold of some pinkish-white variety was starting to overtake the plates, but I picked an apparently isolated yeast colony that also seemed untouched by mold. In this shot, it's the large circular spot in the middle-right of the lower plate:



This one shows a closer shot of the pink mold, which had a stronger foothold in the other plate (which didn't have any colonies that looked reasonably free of mold and good for propagating):



After streaking that colony onto a new plate (labeled WSP002-A2), I'm hoping there will be little or no mold on this sample when it's time to put it into a starter in a few days. I'm thinking I might start with about 100ml and work my way up to about a 2L total volume, abandoning if flavor or other characteristics are clearly a failure along the way.
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April 12, 2011 (11:26 PM)
The wort in the rose hips jugs has started forming some kind of bacterial-looking mass near the surface, and it's producing a pleasantly sour smell, with some hints of yeastiness. Here's a picture(click for full size):



I also streaked two agar plates today, one from each jug (hence the A and B labels).
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April 10, 2011 (12:25 AM)
I don't have any pictures yet, but I decided to try to harvest some wild yeast from rose hips. If anything comes of it, I'll update.
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April 5, 2011 (10:35 PM)
Though this isn't really a yeast experiment, per se, I did a sour mash with the spent grain after brewing the Tepache Ale on March 25. I had planned to use it for something earlier than now, but tonight I got tired of seeing the bucket sitting up on my fridge. I strained out the grain, boiled some DME, and added the boiled wort into the liquid strained from the grain. The color was so pale that I decided to throw in a small dollop of molasses to add both color and a bit more depth of flavor.

The total volume was about one gallon, maybe a little less. I'll step this up with some more wort in a week or so, add the Cuvee Rene dregs, and perhaps use it to inoculate a 5-gallon batch once it gets going good.
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March 31, 2011 (6:59 PM)
This is a starter that has the dregs of Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René, which were pitched on March 18, about two weeks ago.



It had a much more vigorous sacc-like fermentation from about day 5 to day 10, but now it's looking like something else is doing most of the work (bigger bubbles and pleasantly sour smelling).
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February 23, 2011 (11:01 AM)
The most promising candidate from the 108 date slurry is now chugging away in the Wild Ale I.
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February 9, 2011 (8:57 PM)
Before adding the domesticated yeast to The 108, I had set aside a jar of slurry so I could later see if any yeast was in there worth keeping. Once my agar plates came in the mail, I streaked one with the slurry.

Since then, the jar itself has started to smell extremely (and unappetizingly) pungent — somewhere between dirty socks and acetone — which leaves me with little hope for the yeast I've collected in there. However, on the agar plate, there are definitely at least two different yeast colonies, possibly three or more. One is a beige-bordering-on-orangish-brown color, another is a gray-beige color, and a third is an almost cream-white color. I'm hoping the nasty smells are coming from the gray and/or brownish-orange ones, and perhaps the white one is okay.

It is with that hope that tonight I made a 400ml starter around 1.035 OG, and used a sterilized inoculating loop to scoop up some of the white yeast colony into the starter. That went on a stir plate, and hopefully it'll start smelling tasty by the time I head to Miami in a couple days.
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