Yeast is like the Force. It’s all around us and it can be used to produce amazing things. I’ve been doing some ‘speriments with trying to capture some wild yeast and I’m finding it a lot less complicated than originally thought.
It does however require a lot of patience and a bit of luck to get anything really happening at small batches. A study was done on some grapes at a vineyard and they noted that it was about 1 in every 1,000 grapes that carried a viable yeast strain.
I’m trying it with apples and I have every type of growth you could imagine going on but it took awhile for signs to show. If you want to try it at home I suggest getting some mason jars and then drilling some holes in the top. Once you drill the holes add a little o-ring with a double edge so that you can seel it tight with an airlock and let it sit for a couple weeks.
If it smells like vinegar or mold is growing on the top you have failed. If it starts to clear up a bit and smells like cider still odds are you’ve had some success, on to decanting and culturing.
Further Reading: Yeast!