Can anyone describe the general process you manage the levels of wild yeast in air?

I'm thinking have a maltose solution exposed and measure the change in specific gravity of it over time while opening/closing airflow from your vents and changing the settings on those large air filters for people with allergies

  • FWIW, most commercial brewers making sour beer aren't doing it with wild microbes romantically caught in the wind. They are pitching blends of microbial cultures that were identified and purified in the lab. Those that have done some true 'wild' ferments it was trial and error. Sometimes they'd catch something nice, sometimes they don't.
    – brewchez
    Jan 14, 2016 at 16:44
  • man, that's not romantic at all lol. Do you have any insight to Jester King? It's in Austin, I haven't been able to meet em yet. I heard they selectively pressured their local wild yeast over time, my source is good but I haven't heard from the horse yet
    – codyc4321
    Jan 14, 2016 at 16:57
  • I see your blog now, nvm. Nice blog btw Are there any other breweries you've heard of gunslinging and using yeast in the air any more so I can research?
    – codyc4321
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:05
  • Allagash in Portland ME does this annually. They built a coolship and and a traditional room for it.
    – brewchez
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:09
  • Cheers! Good luck!
    – brewchez
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


Traditionally the wort is put in a cold ship over night to inoculate . This is a large shallow vat to maximize air exposure for spontanuous fermintation.

Once wort is inoculated the growth phase happens pretty fast, and the brewer is happy.

I don't know of any method outside of a lab to test if there is X many yeast cells in Y volume of air.

Most of these famous wild strains have been isolated for traditional pitching.

  • seems dirty to keep callin em "wild" at this point lol. I think I'm confusing lambics, which are literally wild, with sours, which use bacteria
    – codyc4321
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:07
  • @codyc4321 I don't think these souring bacteria are airborne. Jan 14, 2016 at 17:14
  • the bacteria definitely aren't, but I thought the yeast were in sours. I think I associated the sour lambic with all sours and lumped them into a narrow category. But this week I'll be readin, because it seems sours are taking over for now and overtaking IPAs in demand
    – codyc4321
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:15
  • @codyc4321 There are several ways to make a sour, basically split into two categories. Kettle souring (adding acid) and having a bacteria added just before or with the yeast pitch so the alcohol produced by the yeast kills the bacteria before it produced too much acid. The later is definatly an art of the craft. Jan 14, 2016 at 17:21
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    @brewchez thank you, yes that was a missuse of the term. So basically you can sour two ways, add acids or allow bacteria to make it. Both can be done at various stages of brewing. newschoolbeer.com/2015/06/… - kettle souring uses bacteria but limits brewhouse infection on since the wort is soured preboil. Jan 15, 2016 at 15:14

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