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Old 03-14-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Wild Yeast Experiment.

Okay, I saw a guy online who did this:

Take an organic apple and peel it, put the peel into a sugar solution and allowed fermentation to take place. Washed the yeast and used it for his cider.

My question is this: First and foremost, is this possible? Safe?

If it did work, what are the possibilities that this yeast would be a good yeast to use for a cider?

Right now I have had the peel in a sugar solution for about a week. It may just be my imagination, but the plastic soda bottle I had it in seemed harder to squeeze. I took out the peel and transfered the liquid to another bottle. I have put that in a warm place and hopefully it will continue to grow the yeast(if there are any). If it does grow them I will pitch it into a gallon of apple juice and see how it turns out.

Let me know if you guys have done anything like this or have any insights.

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:15 PM   #2
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landhoney actually sat his fermenter, uncovered (except for cheesecloth) in an apple orchard and let it pick up all wild yeasts floating around there. he is attempting a lambic/gueze/whatever it turns out to be, and it looks like he's on the right track. Awesome experiment too! Let me try to dig up the link, its a good read if nothing else!

EDIT: Linkey to landhoney 'experiment' - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43888

I don't see how this is too much different as far as end results go - maybe even safer b/c you only get the wild yeast on the peel and not any/all floating in the air outside. I would get the yeast off the apple in a solution of what you plan to brew though (cider or beer)... not just regular sugar solution.

People ferment wine like this often (using only the natural yeast on the skins), I believe?

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:22 PM   #3
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It's possible, safe and a roll of the dice. For a cider 99% of the time, you'll be fine.

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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Trying it with 1g of juice first sounds like a plan... If it ferments it out and tastes decent, then you know you have cultivated something decent, harvest it, and reuse it in a full-size batch.

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
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sounds like a neat experiment. Would there be a change of acetobacter getting in there on the apple peal? I know it's probably all yeast on the peal, but personally I wouldn't want 5 gallons of apple vinegar.

btw, where are you at in IL?

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k
sounds like a neat experiment. Would there be a change of acetobacter getting in there on the apple peal? I know it's probably all yeast on the peal, but personally I wouldn't want 5 gallons of apple vinegar.
That's why its a roll of the dice as david mentioned... aceto-vinegar is a possible outcome? I think if you read the landhoney post, he timed his ambient ferment in the orchard for a time when aceto was supposed to be at its lowest. And it looks like it worked...

Another good reason he is doing a trial of 1g first...
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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This is a good read:
http://www.babblebelt.com/newboard/t...=2&tpg=1&add=1

Specifically: "A comment on apple skin yeasts. I make at least one batch of fermented cider every year, I always naturally ferment. Well, actually I didn't last year, I pitched wine yeast. Lets just say that this year I'm back to the natural way. Anywho, usually the cider I ferment is made with apples that never touched the ground. I don't specifically avoid windfalls, but the orchard where I get my seconds only sells hand picked ugly ones ($5/half bushel!). I always get terrific fermentations by just squeezing and sealing the juice up in a carboy. It does not work fast, but it works well. Plenty of "good" yeast is hanging on the tree." - SteveG

And: "I'm not sure I can offer a direct comparison, I am using natural orchard yeasts but they are on the skins of the apples I press. So they are in solution immediately whereas you are relying in air born innoculation. But that being said I would expect a batch of cider to be frothy after a couple days tops. My results are very unbug-like though, I might go as far as to say clean (following a long stinky, sulfery fermentation period)." - SteveG

He get's very clean, good tasting fermentation from the apple skins in his cider. But as you can see he's just using the yeast that end up in the pressed juice, not trying to culture anything up. My advice would be to limit oxygen exposure when trying to make this apple skin starter, in hopes of avoiding acetobacter which must have O2 to work its 'magic'(?). Good luck, I'd love to see how this works out.

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Old 03-14-2008, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k
btw, where are you at in IL?

Eureka Illinois. Its a small town about 20 miles from Peoria.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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I made a batch of white wine last September the natural way. I'd pressed about 3 gallons worth, and even though I'd used campden tablets I left it for awhile and it fermented out on its own. Still haven't bottled it yet, but it sure smells gooood.

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Old 03-16-2008, 03:39 AM   #10
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Well, there are deffinitely yeast growing! It smells a little funky, but Its wild yeast... Tomorro I will go buy a gallon of apple juice and pitch in my yeast, I am really really really excited to see how long it takes, how low a FG it makes and how it tastes.... I'm pumped!!!!

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