We are one of a handful of breweries (well, brewery related companies) in California that has a proprietary, locally sourced, wild yeast strain for brewing some terrific beers. Beancurdturtle Sacc WLP5179 expresses lots of citrus characters, peachy chardonnay aromas, and an earthy “farmhouse” character.
The short story is this. Sometime around June of 2015 I harvested yeast from the skin of a tangerine growing in the Beancurdturtle Brewing yard.
- I propagated the wild mixed culture up to cell counts appropriate for brewing a 5-gallon test batch called Ordinary Wild.
- I brewed a one-barrel batch at BCT Brewing Project called Cali Native with the wild mixed culture. One of the fastest selling beers made by BCT Brewing Project.
- I took the mixed culture to White Labs for analysis, where they isolated and genetically identified the two predominant organisms as a wild Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and a strain of Lactobacillus casei.
- White Labs is banking both the mixed culture as “BCT Cali Native”, and the S. cerevisiae isolate as “Beancurdturtle Sacc”.
- White Labs propagated up Beancurdturtle Sacc for a one-barrel pitch and I brewed a test batch at BCT Brewing Project called Wild in the Sacc that was released on February 27th 2016.
The beer was well liked, and if I can convince a brewery with a seven barrel brewhouse - the minimum pitch size White Labs propagates for private strains - to collaborate with me, we'll brew with it again.
If you want to flesh out the story with some details about how and where we harvested and tested the yeast, here’s an article on our BCT Brewing Project web site.