This yeast was isolated from the thought to be extinct Pure Nacional variety of cacao. In 2007, this rare variety with white beans was rediscovered in the remote Marañón River Canyon in Peru. The fruity, phenolic, and wild-like characteristics of this strain make it an ideal choice for farmhouse and Saison-style beers.
WLP546 Marañón Canyon Wild Cacao is POF+, this strain will contribute phenolic characteristics to finished products.
For faster fermentation or higher attenuation, use in conjunction with a higher attenuating strain like WLP001.
- Attenuation: 65 - 70%
- Flocculation: Low
- Alcohol Tolerance: 5 - 10%
- Optimum Fermentation Temp: 65 - 75F
How Maranon Was Discovered:
The coveted cacao bean was rediscovered in late 2007 by Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley, founders of Marañón Chocolate, while sourcing tropical fruits in the remote Marañón Canyon of Northern Peru. Not knowing what they stumbled upon, the pair sent the cacao tree leaves to the USDA Genetics Laboratory. USDA confirmed it was the same variety that had once dominated the chocolate market, but vanished in 1916 when diseases struck and killed the trees that grew these cacao beans.
Then, in 2015 and 2016, El Niño weather systems hit Peru, impacting the wild yeast responsible for the beans renowned characteristic flavor. To preserve the wild microflora, Dan reached out to White Labs technical laboratory manager, Kara Taylor, to see if they could capture the wild yeast from fermenting beans. Spoiler alert: they did.
From there, they asked the next obvious question, can it be used to make beer? While the odds of the strain being able to ferment maltose while tasting and smelling good were slim, White Labs team gave it a go and much to their delight, it worked!
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