DCY01: The Beginning

The yeast in DCY01 came from a glass of pasteurized cider left out for a few days. The purpose was actually to test the pectic enzyme I had just bought, so I didn’t bother to sanitize the glass. Once I saw it was fermenting, I kept an eye on it and smelled it every day. It went from slightly funky to straightforward, which could perhaps indicate different yeasts at work that died off or slowed down as the alcohol level increased.

When it looked like active fermentation was mostly over I took some of the yeast sediment to a bit of DME wort. To my delight it fermented. I then brewed a very small one-liter batch from DME and some old Cascade hops in my fridge. I bottled with a very small amount of corn sugar a few weeks later, still fearing bottle bombs a bit due to the unknown yeast. Fortunately that didn’t happen, and I got instead a lightly-carbonated but quite good beer. The aroma was somewhere between some of the yeastier Belgian beers and a cloudy hefeweizen. To my surprise there was no noticeable sourness or indication of bacterial contamination.

My first project in yeast culturing involved isolating this yeast, both from the cider sample I had behind and from the finished beer. There was some mold in it, apparently, but I got some isolated yeast growth from both samples, which I then propagated. I’m not 100% sure if there are any differences between the two strains so I am calling them DCY01-A and DCY01-B pending further taste, alcohol tolerance/attenuation and flocculation testing.

Characteristics

Flavor and aroma: slightly spicy, phenolic. Low-medium flocculation leaves behind some yeast flavor in the beer, but not any significant cloudiness.

I will hopefully be able to expand this if I can convince other, more experienced brewers and tasters to brew with this yeast.

Growth: colonies are white and initially spherical, but later form peaks in the middle.

Attenuation: currently untested (the small size of my 1 liter beer made me reluctant to take any readings). Leaves behind some sweetness in a few tests I’ve done so far. More testing is necessary to see whether this is related to poor fermentation of higher sugars like maltotriose.

Origin and species: completely unknown at the moment. I doubt I’ll ever know either of these. The origin is unknown because as noted above I used an unsanitized glass which could have held other beers I’ve drank, bread yeast or sourdough cultures. None of those had been done recently so I don’t think this is the likely origin.

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