It’s The Yeast We Can Do

Yeast Wrangling Kits in Europe, New Local Yeast, Freezing Microbes…and finally, Our Yeast in Your Beer!


If there is a universal truth for blog posts, it’s that the first paragraph usually contains an apology from the writer for taking so long to write a new post…

That being said, we’ve got a lot of exciting things to tell you about. So don’t you dare tl:dr this!

Backyard Yeast Wrangling Tool Kits

Yeast Wrangling in the U.K.!

Yeast Wrangling in the U.K.!

A year after officially being launched, you’ve all made the Backyard Yeast Wrangling Tool Kit and Official Refills an awesome success. They’re now carried in over 25 homebrew shops in the U.S and around the world.

That’s right! Yeast Wrangling Kits are now available in the U.K. (Brew U.K., The Malt Miller) and Sweden (Pot Belly Brew Shop)! We now have a helpful Google map showing the exact locations. 

Of course, we want the Kits available wherever you are. So please let your local homebrew shop know that you’d like to see them carry Bootleg Biology goodness and to contact us here.

Also, the Yeast Wrangling Tool Kit (and our furry-faced mascot) were recently featured in Mid-Atlantic Brewing News.

Local Yeast Project Contributors

CT Yeast = CT Beer

CT Yeast = CT Beer

Now that warm weather has kicked off for most of the Northern Hemisphere (sorry, Sweden) we’ve got a ton of new Local Yeast Project Contributors. So far, we have more than 85 LYP cultures with more in the works.

Please keep them coming! We have an absurdly ambitious goal, and we need your help to achieve it. Don’t forget: there are benefits to becoming a contributor!

Also, we have something very special in store for the Local Yeast Project that will be starting in the next few months (aside from the announcement at the bottom of the page) that we’ll let you know about soon. If you’ve thought about contributing local yeast and just haven’t gotten around to it, now’s the time!

[h/t to Maarten for first posting the Sweden meme]

Freezer Banking

Brr...It's Cold In here.

Brr…It’s Cold In here.

Speaking of having an absurdly large bank of wild yeast cultures….I regularly get asked how we store all of them. If you’ve read our Banking Microbes page, you know there are multiple options. But when you’re dealing with hundreds of cultures, with the goal of banking thousands, what works for homebrewing isn’t necessarily practical.

Thankfully, we were recently able to acquire a -80C freezer for banking our cultures. This is the most ideal way for us to store the cultures without the likelihood of genetic drift that can occur at warmer temperatures. All our cultures are now nice and happy in their Microbial Fortress of Solitude.

We can now also offer -80C banking to anyone interested in storing a pure or mixed culture for future use, even if it’s not part of the Local Yeast Project. Contact us for more info.

Yeast for Brewers

The Original

The Original Local Yeast

Our goal from the beginning has not only been to create the most unique bank of fermenting microbes imaginable… but to actually do something with them! Contributors have already had the option to receive some from our bank, but we really wanted to make them available to everyone interested. We knew this would be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

Thankfully, everyone who has previously, and continues to purchase the Yeast Wrangling Tool Kit and Refills, has really helped turn it into a Kit Starter for our future propagation program (and no constant begging for donations required!).

After founding Bootleg HQ, for several months we’ve been furiously preparing the space, jumping through hoops, isolating and banking cultures and brewing test batches. So it’s about time you get to enjoy the fruits of our labor!

This Summer we will officially announce when homebrew pitch cultures will be available for purchase in the U.S. through the store.

So if you haven’t already, subscribe to our email list (right panel of this page), or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to make sure you’re one of the first to know and can order from the limited supply.

There will be a series of one off releases for the cultures until we determine which have enough demand to justify making a regularly available flagship culture on our website, and through homebrew stores. It will be recommended to create a small starter for any cultures used for primary fermentation. We’ll also be able to offer up to 1BBL pitches for breweries (and prolifigate homebrewers), with larger pitches available at a time in the future.

To start, there will be two categories of cultures:

Local Yeast Project (logo)

Local Yeast Project Cultures

We’ll be picking some of our favorite LYP cultures to release to the world. This will be a great opportunity for brewers interested in the areas where these cultures were sourced to create a house wild culture for their brewing. The majority of these will be considered clean-fermenting, and work best at normal ale temperatures.

Due to their wild nature, there will be variations in fermentation performance and flavor/aroma contributions. Brewing with these local wild cultures will be a fun and unique experience, but will be far more variable than with domesticated brewer’s yeast. This is an opportunity to get a truly local flavor by starting with a local wild culture and shaping it to your preferences and brewing profile.

Dusty Bottoms Collection (logo)

Dusty Bottoms Collection

The Dusty Bottoms Collection is our ode to unique and hard to find cultures sourced from commercial fermentations. As much as we love local yeast, there are just some flavors and aromas that can’t be reproduced by plucking yeast out of thin air.

These are cultures used for generations to make some of the most consistently wonderful beverages in the world. Whether it’s brewer’s yeast, Brettanomyces, or Lactobacillus…these aren’t Local Yeast by our definition, but certainly were local at one time.


That’s it for now! Stay tuned for lots of exciting announcements over the coming months.

To fermentation!

About Jeff Mello

Chief Yeast Wrangler @bootlegbiology. I play with yeast so you don't have to. You may have already met my beard.

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