The first aim of my project is to isolate different strains from the dregs of commercial bottles. Before doing this however, I want to mention my sources for growth conditions and culture media for different strains of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. The best online source so far for Brettanomyces research is the Brettanomyces Project by Chad Yakobson, MSc. For his dissertation, he grew different strains of Brett under various conditions and characterized flavor compounds produced from fermentation on a molecular level. I wanted to make sure I cited his work as he is the authoritative person online for Brett and I will rely heavily on his techniques. Jamil Zainasheff’s Yeast book also has great information.
My goals are not as extensive as Chad’s dissertation. I just want to make homebrew with the strains grown in my lab and learn what I can. To this end I need good sources of wild yeast and I obtained the dregs from two American sour ales, Russian River’s Santification and Temptation. I was lucky enough to be at a tasting of NYC’s Brew York crew who were generous to leave the dregs for research purposes. You can see pics of me isolating yeast and the eventual inebriation here. That was a crazy night with an insane amount of bottles being opened and sampled. Huge thanks to Jonathan Moxey for organizing the event and Kenny Sherr for bringing Temptation. Lee Williams of Hoptopia provided the Sanctification. It was great to meet so many awesome beer geeks in one room! I brought sterile pipettes and centrifuge tubes from the lab and collected the dregs as quickly as I could.
I brought the yeast back to the lab and followed this protocol harvest them. All lab procedures were done under sterile conditions:
- Equilibrated at 4°C for two days.
- Transferred to a new centrifuge tube and centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 5 minutes.
- Separated liquid from pellet in tubes.
- Took 20 μl samples to visualize under a microscope.
- Added 2 mls of sterile wort to pellets along with 2 mls of 100% glycerol.
- Added 2-3 mls of 100% glycerol to supernatants (beer siting on the pellets).
- Aliquoted into 0.5 ml samples and froze at -80°C.