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Old 10-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #21
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That sounds like a better (and probably better producing) plan to me. You might end up with something like an apple wine if things go just right. The variables have to be right on. Good yeast, good fermentation, good temperature. Crossed fingers for you.
Thanks for the well-wishes. I don't have huge hopes for this batch. I'm not sure I want to be pitching it into a brew if it still smells and/or tastes revolting by the time I'm done breeding, but if I can collect some new wild yeast with my new little solution I've set outside, I'll be much more conservative with my methods.

When you say I might end up with apple wine, are you referring to a) the weird thing I'm making now, b) the honey/apple thing I just set outside to grow new wild yeast, or c) a new product made using wild yeast starter and some apple wine ingredients? Not sure what you mean.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:01 PM   #22
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7 hours after I added the sultanas. They've risen to the top and the mixture appears not to smell so bad, but maybe it's just because of my blocked nose. It's bubbling heartily and a good portion of the sultanas have risen to the top.

How will I know the mixture is populated enough?

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:57 AM   #23
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20 hours after the sultanas and the brew is smelling a lot nicer now, a little bit like the banana, honey and sultana sandwiches I remember from my childhood.

There's a layer of caramel-coloured stuff at the bottom of the bottle, and the sultanas (which have all risen to the surface; getting lighter?) are covered with similar coloured stuff. There are still plenty of bubbles. I'll put a lid on and shake it now.

Haha, it's very apparent that the sultanas I missed with the knife are rehydrating themselves. They just look like small grapes now. The colour on the sultanas might just have been the sultanas themselves, which is a bit of a bummer. I got all excited about the idea of yeasts perching themselves on the fruit and eating away.

So what could that caramel coloured stuff be? A component of the grapes? Stuff that didn't strain when I strained it (even though I used a teatowel)? Or something more microbiological?

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Old 10-07-2011, 08:52 AM   #24
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Smelling really quite pleasant now. Tastes pretty dumb, though. Still sweet and convoluted from all the weird crap I put in there. It's still also quite opaque. Would it be better if I blended the sultanas that have been in there for the past few days? I'd pour off the liquid into a different container first, then recombine after whizzing in the processor.

I have an inkling it would make the sultanas sink more to the bottom because there wouldn't be so many gas bubbles between them holding them up, and a sub-inkling that that would make it ferment better, since it would all get the chance to be immersed in brew. A lot of the sultanas are floating above the liquid on top of some of their luckier brethren.

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #25
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My advice.

Be. More. Patient.

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #26
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It would be easier to be patient if I actually knew what it was I was waiting to happen.

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Old 10-07-2011, 12:37 PM   #27
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That's where you need to simplify your method. Use your apple/honey mixture. Only use it. Leave it overnight. Oxygenate. Wait 5 days. No yeast? Dump and try again. Adding more sucrose and glucose and different components will only complicate an already long-shot process. I would also suggest getting some extra light dry malt extract to use in the process of building your first starter of whatever it is that you catch, that way it ferments in maltose and can then better ferment in beer. I only suggest this to help you on your mission. Not to in any way discredit your process.

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Old 10-07-2011, 12:54 PM   #28
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That's where you need to simplify your method. Use your apple/honey mixture. Only use it. Leave it overnight. Oxygenate. Wait 5 days. No yeast? Dump and try again. Adding more sucrose and glucose and different components will only complicate an already long-shot process. I would also suggest getting some extra light dry malt extract to use in the process of building your first starter of whatever it is that you catch, that way it ferments in maltose and can then better ferment in beer. I only suggest this to help you on your mission. Not to in any way discredit your process.
Ah well. It's started now. I'm still quite a beginner, and have learnt a lot through experience. I'm sure nothing interesting will come of this experiment, but I have nothing to lose so why dump?
I'll just let this ferment until it stops, then taste it and see if I can use it in anything. If not, I'll dump it. I promise. It's got "wild yeast" in it, whether from the honey or the atmosphere, and that's still an exciting concept to someone so new as me. I really do appreciate the time you've taken to teach me the things you have.

Also, I'm not sure I made this clear: At this point in time, I cannot see myself ever making or drinking "beer". It might just be because I've only tried commercial Australian beer, which makes me wretch.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:23 AM   #29
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Anyway, the mixture has cleared now, and tastes unpleasant in a dry way. It's also quite beery in taste and aroma. Probably because I added that fruitcake and the grain in it got fermented.

It's still bubbling a bit though. Is the objective to keep it constantly bubbling and pitch when you're ready, or to pitch when it's stopped bubbling?

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Old 10-15-2011, 07:01 AM   #30
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You can do either, if it stops bubbling, put it in the fridge to settle, then decant the starter and pitch the yeast. You can also pitch it while it's fermenting, it's really up to you.

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