Last week Mike the Mad Fermentationist gave me a sample of his spontaneously-fermented DCambic. I had just made some brilliant green agar plates, from BKyeast’s excellent post on media. This media is antibiotic, killing most types of bacteria while allowing yeast to grow. My first thought was to plate some sort of lambic, hopefully being able to isolate the yeasts present. I figured what better lambic than a local one, and Mike was kindly willing to give me a sample.
For this plating I did my first serial dilution. I had previously only done streaking using a needle, whereas this involves placing a small amount of dilute liquid and spreading it around the whole plate. I diluted it 1:1000. I picked that factor somewhat randomly. I was planning on doing at least 10^6 as I had read somewhere, but since I was starting with a clear beer sample and not the dregs, I figured it wouldn’t need anywhere as much dilution. I had previously prepared vials with 9mL of distilled water, so I just had to pick three of these vials. I added a small amount to a brilliant green agar plate and a simple malt extract agar plate, and spread it around with a cell spreader (“hockey stick”). At the same time I also added about 5mL to 50mL of sterile wort to see what would grow in liquid media.
I did this on Saturday, and as of today, Tuesday, there is nothing growing yet. The plates are clean, and the liquid sample is still clear. I am afraid I made a dumb move and tried to do this after the sample had settled in the fridge, without shaking it up. If nothing grows soon I will try plating again. I already added another 5mL of the shaken-up sample to the liquid. Hopefully there will be some growth there soon. In any case, I will definitely post updates as this goes on. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to isolate an interesting Brett from it. I would also love to isolate the saccharomyces that did most of the fermenting, though there might not be any more in suspension at this point.