This blog is a chronicle of my adventures in yeast culturing for brewing and baking. My experiments are both in re-culturing commercial yeasts as well as in harvesting wild yeasts. I have an interest in both pure cultures and mixed cultures such as lambic and sourdough.
I am particularly fond of wild yeast cultured and domesticated, if you will, through lab techniques.
A Note on Terminology
Wild yeast is almost always used to indicate sour and/or funky end products both in brewing and baking, like the aforementioned lambic and sourdough. In brewing in particular it is often synonymous with Brettanomyces, even if the strain comes from a commercial yeast lab. In contrast, my usage of the term “wild” is meant to indicate a naturally-occuring strain of any species, found in the air, on fruits, and so on. I’ve seen this indicated in scientific literature as “wild-type” of a particular species (e.g. “wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae“).
It seems a bit too pedantic to refer to propagated strains of these as domesticated, rather than wild, but I want to keep things as clear as possible.
DC Yeast Lab is not an actual lab, but rather a few lab-like things I occasionally set up in the kitchen of my Washington, DC apartment. I have no formal training in microbiology, sterile technique, etc. but thanks to helpful online resources have gotten enough information together to be able to successfully experiment in these fields. I am limited, though, in knowledge, experience, time and equipment, among other things.
If you happen to have studied these fields and can correct one of my mistakes, please let me know. I would hate to spread even more misinformation about this stuff.
You should probably not quote me on anything!
I am an IT guy by profession. My last formal training was a B.S. in math.
You can e-mail me regarding this blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.