A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law gave us a bag of organic cherries from Costco that she said were too sweet for her. I thought, “Great! I will make a beer with them using some of the yeast I have been cultivating from a project I started well over three years ago.” I have been a little too busy to brew on the regular schedule that I normally follow. When I went to look at my yeast, I saw mold in it, and it smelled like old socks. Three years of use is a very good run for a yeast culture. I think it might have happened because I had started using a smaller malt-extract-to-water ratio for feeding it. So, I started over again, making a new yeast culture, and I got to play with my yeast science equipment.
After I collected the yeast in a baking pan from the air next to an open window in my condo in West Fairview in Anchorage, I put the starter into an Erlenmeyer flask. Before, I had used a growler. I brewed up a batch with the cherries after feeding the yeast for about two weeks. It was frothing in the flask when I pitched it into the cherry beer wort I made. When the flask was open, I also took a small sample out and viewed it with Maria’s new microscope (I gave it to her for her birthday, she requested it). It is now happily fermenting away in the corner of my second bedroom. I only brewed a gallon, and used one pound of cherries. The wort tasted great, so I have high hopes for the final product, but you never know when utilizing wild yeast. There will only be 8, or 9 bottles total as the cherry puree and trub will absorb some liquid. I intend to brew another gallon batch this weekend but I will use lingonberries instead of cherries.
Cheers out there! I hope you find tasty beers to keep you fortified during the pandemic!