Bootleg Biology Contribution (Adventures in Yeast Wrangling Around the Globe)

Who is this for?

I’ve taken the effort here to compile as much information about the yeast/bugs I have gathered in order to aid the kind folks at Bootleg Biology in their quest to collect yeast from every zip code around the world. Theirs is a worthy goal and I hope to continue to aid them in this task.

SourceCapturedCity/ZIPState/ProvinceCountryFermentation NotesTaste/Aroma NotesName (on vial lid)
Flowers and leafy materialApril 2019Ao Sane Beach/83130
PhuketThailandLeaves and flowers and or fruit where added to a low gravity wort of 9°P (maybe hopped or unhopped). Grown in this manner twice then streaked onto a slant.Musty and Earthy aroma (probably from leaves not yeast)AS
Mango Steen (or something like it)April 2019Phuket/83130PhuketThailandsame as abovenoneMSF
Honey BeesMay 2019Xining/810007QinghaiChinasame as abovenoneH2
Open Air Capture under Hop plantMay 2019Xining/810007QinghaiChinasame as abovenone HOP
Rose pedals May 2019Karamay/834000XinjiangChinasame as abovenoneKCR
Russian Olive leaves and fruitMay 2019Karamay/834000XinjiangChinasame as abovenoneKRO
Bumble BeeJune 2019Waterloo/50702IowaUSAsame as abovenone BWI
Bees near clover and raspberry bushesFall 2019Cimarron/81220ColoradoUSAsame as abovenone BCRC
AcornsNovember 2019Whitney/76692TexasUSASee notes below for details on propagationSee notes belowA
Osage OrangeNovember 2019Whitney/76692TexasUSAsame as abovesame as aboveOO
Open air capture near Nan Jing Plum hedgeMarch 2020Olathe/81425ColoradoUSAsame as abovesame as aboveNJP

Acorn and Osage Orange

When I started these I thought I was being clever, and so decided to use the “Yeast Bootcamp” method talked about on Milk the Funk. The method is no doubt solid. But my goal was not to isolate strains (myself) to brew with but to brew 1 gallon test batches with the mixed cultures.


Each element was added to a low gravity wort of 9.62°P with yeast nutrient. No airlock was used. Ambient temp was 25 C. Both showed signs of active fermentation after 12 hours. Day three activity had slowed and by day four no activity was visible.

Day Four of Fermentation

Osage Orange was at 2.57°P and the aroma was fruity

Acorn was at 3.29°P and the aroma was quite similar to a Belgian Saison fermentation

The Next Step

Both got stepped up with 500mls of low gravity starter of 9°P.

After those starters where complete, I brewed some of Drew Beecham’s Saison Experimentale. Each culture got pitched into 1 gallon of wort. The resulting beer was bottled and is being enjoyed.

Tasting Notes

Acorn: very much a “saison”. Spicy and phenolic. Keeps me going back for another sip. Intriguing. No citrus/lemon like some saisons.

Osage Orange: Much “cleaner” than the acorn. pear/fruity. doesn’t get in the way. This one, simply put, tastes like beer.

I would brew with each one of these again. I was very surprised and impressed with how great the resulting beer is. As is evident from my descriptions, I would benefit from some sensory analysis training.


Nan Jing Plum (NJP)

For this one I used a method described by Brian at Sui Generis. Approximately 500mls of wort at 8-10°P, pre-acidified to a PH of 4.5, and unhopped was added to a mason jar and set outside for the night. The temp that night was around 55F (12.7C). After collection I placed an airlock on the jar and let it go for about 4 weeks.

After four weeks I set the yeasties to work on a 1 gallon batch. After another four weeks or so they its in bottles and will be enjoyed in a week or two.

*I have not taken FG readings for any of these beers (that’s my little disclaimer).

If anyone actually reads this crappy blog feel free to comment!

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