• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Obtaining yeast naturally  RSS feed

 
Jason Vath
Posts: 158
Location: Hardiness Zone 5
14
chicken forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Was curious if anyone has experience on obtaining yeast naturally for use in say bread baking?
 
Bill Crim
pollinator
Posts: 93
Location: Issaquah, WA
77
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you create sourdough starter, you don't have to get yeast. It is already present on the grain naturally. When creating a new starter, you just want to make sure your flour is Organic(you don't want fungicides or yeast inhibitors), and as close to whole grain(increase the likelihood of getting yeast). When just starting out, perhaps try to find whole grains and put some into the starter. Other people put organic rasins(grapes have natural yeast that is acid tolerant as well).

The hard part isn't getting yeast. The hard part is try to get the Yeast + Lactic Acid bacteria + Acetic Acid bacteria into a stable balance before mold, slimes, or "bad" yeast gets in and turns the mixture pink or green. Once you get a balanced starter, it will be so high acid that the whole culture becomes remarkably stable.
 
M.R.J. Smith
Posts: 73
Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What if you do want a strain of yeast because you only make bread every so often or you make beer once every two months? Isn't there some way to harvest naturals every time you need them rather than try to save them via refrigeration and whatnot? Anyone have experience?
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason, it sounds like you want to harvest your local yeast only? You can grow the grain you intend to use in your back yard, and it will have the local yeast on it. Or if you can get some local grain that you know comes from very close to your house, then that's considered local for yeast. If it's 60 miles away, that's not your local yeast. But it may not be extremely different, unless you are talking coastside yeasts as opposed to mountain yeasts growing on plants that only grow in those mountains.

But if you make your own sour dough starter, it will eventually use the local yeast if you keep it alive over the years. If you make beer from local grains, you can make a sour dough starter from that beer that has local yeast in it. One example is the famous San Francisco sourdough French bread. They have a sou dough starter that's over 100 years old, meaning it has a small percentage of the original starter still in it, and their French bread cannot be reproduced anywhere else because it's their local yeasts that give it the flavor it has, if you're into that kind of thing.

I know a winemaker who uses local yeasts in his Cabernet wines, and that makes them distinctive. I am not an officionado of wine and how the yeasts change the flavor, but I think his French oak barrels probably play a bigger role in the flavor he gets. He wouldn't agree with me, but I can't tell the difference.

I make Kombucha with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and my kombucha has a kind of salty taste compared to others I've had. Could be the water, maybe, but I think it's the local yeasts.

 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
Posts: 107
Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
1
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bill Crim is 100% correct; small note; one must feed said yeasts DAILY with a coupla heaping spoonfuls of flour and sometimes a dash of unchlorinated water. After about a week you should be able to use half the mixture to start bread; saving the other half & continue to feed it daily until jar is full again. There are great recipes for waffles and such that can help you use extra starter should you not desire a new loaf of bread.
Yeasts need daily or every other day feeding no shortcuts
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6413
Location: Left Coast Canada
795
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a great question and a very enjoyable thread to read.

There are lots of different ways to do work with wild yeast. It all depends on what your schedule and what you feel like doing.

Two great reads that tackle this topic in easy to understand detail are Wild Fermentation and the more indepth art of fermentation both by Sandor Katz. Your local library should have these books. If they don't they SHOULD have these books, and feel free to tell them I said so.

'Though, from what I've read here, Jason could buy Wild Fermentation. Once you've read it, I think you'll absolutely love it.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein wrote:Yeasts need daily or every other day feeding no shortcuts


While there are no SHORTCUTS, doesn't the feeding pace dull down in cooler environments and times of year?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kyrt Ryder wrote:
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein wrote:Yeasts need daily or every other day feeding no shortcuts


While there are no SHORTCUTS, doesn't the feeding pace dull down in cooler environments and times of year?


Yes. In cool temps or fridges, you can get down to twice a week feedings easily and probably stretch it to a week.

There is a difference in natural yeast and sourdough, but I am not fluent enough to explain it coherently.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6413
Location: Left Coast Canada
795
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wild yeast is just that - yeast
Sourdough is a symbiotic relationship of yeast and bacteria. Sometimes called a SCOBY.

Sourdough can have wild yeast, or domestic yeast, or sometimes both.

I'm over simplifying.

Katz does a marvelous job explaining this in his Wild Fermentation book.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And it is easy to dry and store your own starter. Just spread it thin on a piece of parchment and set on a cookie rack to dry. Crumble it and put into a baggie or jar and store as cold and dark as you can (freezer if you have one, coolest spot in the basement if you don't). Rehydrate and start again when you need it. It takes a week or two to get going again, so it isn't an instant ready thing but a great way to take a couple months off. Or, as we do, keep a couple spare starters in case one goes bad.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is the first video in a really good series on natural yeast

 
Vera Stewart
Posts: 244
Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
23
bike books dog food preservation greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Scott wrote:And it is easy to dry and store your own starter. Just spread it thin on a piece of parchment and set on a cookie rack to dry. Crumble it and put into a baggie or jar and store as cold and dark as you can (freezer if you have one, coolest spot in the basement if you don't). Rehydrate and start again when you need it. It takes a week or two to get going again, so it isn't an instant ready thing but a great way to take a couple months off. Or, as we do, keep a couple spare starters in case one goes bad.


My mind just exploded.

So...so...all these stories I've heard about "old timers" wandering around with sourdough starter necklaces to keep it warm and alive over the winter are...are...not necessary?

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6413
Location: Left Coast Canada
795
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Vera Stewart wrote:

My mind just exploded.

So...so...all these stories I've heard about "old timers" wandering around with sourdough starter necklaces to keep it warm and alive over the winter are...are...not necessary?



I suspect they did this so they could make bread the next day. Freezing/cold slows down the yeast and it takes a few days to get active again.

If you are going more than a month between bread making, then drying definitely makes sense. It also helps to dry a few tablespoons of a particularly successful sourdough batch as a back up. A week between baking days, and keeping the starter going makes a tastier and easier to bake bread.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Ranson wrote:
Vera Stewart wrote:

My mind just exploded.

So...so...all these stories I've heard about "old timers" wandering around with sourdough starter necklaces to keep it warm and alive over the winter are...are...not necessary?



I suspect they did this so they could make bread the next day. Freezing/cold slows down the yeast and it takes a few days to get active again.

If you are going more than a month between bread making, then drying definitely makes sense. It also helps to dry a few tablespoons of a particularly successful sourdough batch as a back up. A week between baking days, and keeping the starter going makes a tastier and easier to bake bread.


Exactly. Plus old timers didn't always have good drying or storage conditions. Airtight containers were rare.

 
Mick Fisch
Posts: 235
8
bee duck fish food preservation forest garden fungi trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The whitish powder on the surface of juniper berries and blue berries is wild yeast. If you want to try it, make a sugary or at least starchy water mix and put some juniper or blue berries (it's probably on lots of berry skins, eating an sugar it can get) and you can make your own sourdough.

Might be better than what you can get elsewhere, probably worse, because it'll be wild and I assume the varieties we normally use in brewing or baking were selected because they produced a better flavored product. Fun to try though and good to know.
 
Drew Moffatt
Posts: 127
Location: New Zealand
6
food preservation goat hunting
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We don't feed our starter every 2-3 days 2 weeks was the longest without feeding. Usually it gets fed once a week when I make bread and 1 cup of each flour, water, sponge just gets chucked in a mason jar, stirred and put in the fridge for next time. Nothing is measured.
It was similar when I made my starter just flour and water outside in the warmth uncovered and all I added was water to keep it at a batter consistency. Why keep adding flour when the yeast hasn't eaten it yet.
Making diastatic malt right now too for the first time.
 
Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly first. Just look at this tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!