New Vault Strain: WLP546 Marañón Canyon Wild Cacao


WLP546 Marañón Canyon Wild Cacao

We've teamed up with Marañón Chocolate to bring you one of our sweetest Vault strains yet: WLP546 Marañón Canyon Wild Cacao. This unique strain was isolated and produced rare cacao variety—Pure Nacional—that was once thought to be extinct in Peru, and is the first known wild cacao yeast available to make artisan beer!

Tell me more

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 our technical laboratory manager, Kara Taylor, to see if we could capture the wild yeast from fermenting beans. Spoiler alert: we 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, our team gave it a go and much to our delight, it worked!

Quick facts

Name: WLP546 Marañón Canyon Wild Cacao
Style Recommendation: Farmhouse/Saison
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium (5-10%)
Attenuation: 65-70%
Flocculation: Low
Optimum Fermentation Temp: 65-75℉ (18-24℃)
Strain Description: 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. 

How to get it

WLP546 Marañón Canyon Wild Cacao is being released through the Vault, making it available for professionals to order year-round via Custom Pour packaging and must have a minimum order of 1.5L for most strains (1L for wild yeast and bacteria) and a 17-30 day production lead time.

Homebrewers can pre-order the strain on our website. Once it hits 150 pre-orders, we'll move it out of the Vault and into production!

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The preorder has been met. When are the orders shipping?