Wild & Sour Brewing

I have had a long interest in brewing sour and wild beers, but my interest and brewing of these beers was frequently interrupted by the 12-year odyssey that fell between my completion of a BSc and my now-career as a scientist/professor.  Now that I'm (hopefully) settled, I am beginning to seriously brew these styles of beer, and have begun a new project to purify strains of wild yeast suitable for brewing.

This page contains all of my posts in relation to this topic - including recipes/updates/tasting notes on sour & wild brews, as well as a complete listing of all "Hunting Wild Yeast" series.  This series, planned for the upcoming year (i.e. 2013) will follow me (and a few members of my brewclub's) attempts to capturing, purifying and characterize strains of wild yeast.


General Sour/Wild Beer Brewing

Wild Brewing Organisms: Outlines of various wild brewing organisms - where they are found, what they look like, and what they do. 

  • Anatomy of a Wild Ferment - An article describing what goes on during a wild ferment.
  • Yeast: Species,Strains and Variability - a discussion of what comprises a strain versus a species of yeast.
  • Brettanomyces - An article describing the most commonly encountered wild yeast, including a brief description of how it can be isolated & identified from the dregs of a wild ferment.

Recipes & Brews

  • All-Brett Porter. An experimental porter, using Brettanomyces as the sole fermentative organism in the beer.
  • Gnarly Roots - barley wine double-fermented with saccharomyces & brettanomyces yeasts. Recipe & Brewday.   Tasting #1 (Nov 2013).  Fancy-Schmancy Labels.
  • Summer Sour - a simple, quick Berliner Weiss recipe based on a sour-mash method.  A great summer beer, and a great way for people to get into wilds & sours.

Video Series: Capturing Wild Yeasts

Hunting Wild Yeasts



  1. Thanks so much for the great info! I just plated by first batch from a mead starter that was inoculated with wild raspberries. The starter smelled a lot like kombutcha when I plated, so I am concerned that I have a lot of Acetobacter. Is there any way to identify Acetobacter colony morphology from a useful species?

    1. Not really; acetobacter forms colourless, circular colonies; much like lacto, pedio, and many strains of yeast. Acetobacter can be controlled by limiting access to oxygen - do you have your fermenter well sealed with an airlock?