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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Interesting Experiment with wild yeast
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:51 AM   #1
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Default Interesting Experiment with wild yeast

I went to the local apple orchard's fall festival Saturday and bought four gallons of raw apple cider to make some of the infamous Brandon O's graff. They were refrigerated pretty well, with a little ice on top, so I left them out in a cool place to start the brew the next afternoon.

When I got up, two had begun fermenting on their own. I decided to go with it. I boiled the wort and cooled it, then added the raw cider and pitched some safbrew s-33 on top. I left this covered in the boiling pot, as I had to get to church. (Since SWMBO plays the organ there, I tend to be on time. It's safer.) The lid from SWMBO's skillet fits tightly, and has a nice rubber gasket to prevent leaks. When I got home after lunch, there was quite a bit of krausen on top. I skimmed this off with a sanitized slotted spoon and racked into the primary fermenter. It's been bubbling steadily, but not too rapidly, since.

I'm kinda happy about catching the wild yeast, but a little scared it'll foul the batch. If it turns out well, I'll do a quick pale ale and rack it onto the cake to try it on a beer. If it doesn't, I'll bleach heck out of everything and not sweat it. Anybody have any guesses what I'll end up with?

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Old 09-14-2010, 04:22 AM   #2
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I've fermented with wild yeast off of apples twice before. Both were ok, nothing really objectionable. One had a bit of a bitter edge that I wasn't sure whether it came from the yeast or the apples. Haven't ever tried them in beer (or graff for that matter), but I bet it'll be just fine.

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Old 10-17-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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I bet it'll be just fine.
You were correct. It was my first time to use wild yeast and my first time to make graff. I got around to bottling it Thursday. Love the way it came out, so I made some quick extract beer and put it on the yeast cake.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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Well I guess I don't understand, how do you know if it was the wild yeast or the safbrew doing the bulk of the work?

I suggest aquiring more of the apple juice and using only the wild yeasts.

Unless you wanted a mixture of influences, which is actually what you would have from the wild yeasts alone unless one strain dominated. In that case brew on!

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Old 10-18-2010, 03:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Well I guess I don't understand, how do you know if it was the wild yeast or the safbrew doing the bulk of the work?

I suggest aquiring more of the apple juice and using only the wild yeasts.

Unless you wanted a mixture of influences, which is actually what you would have from the wild yeasts alone unless one strain dominated. In that case brew on!
I gave the wild yeast a day's head start, which I see I wasn't clear about in my first post. I'm not sure which yeast dominated, one of the wild strains or the S-33. I don't really care, I'm just glad it turned out so well. After the beer I racked onto the cake is complete, I'll probably wash the yeast and save it, then try a batch of matching beer with S-33 alone to see if I notice a difference. It's a work in progress, as is my learning about brewing in general.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #6
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No worries, we're all still learning and this could be the best graff in the world. Maybe you'll end up with a good house yeast for numerous brewings, or forever. All yeast was "wild" at some point in it's lineage, brew on my friend.

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Old 10-19-2010, 12:07 AM   #7
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No worries, we're all still learning and this could be the best graff in the world. Maybe you'll end up with a good house yeast for numerous brewings, or forever. All yeast was "wild" at some point in it's lineage, brew on my friend.
Ordering some dme and hops today to make graff with hot apple cider spices for a Christmas party. SWMBO's idea. I'll probably use some of this new fun yeast I've found.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:05 AM   #8
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That's really cool. I hope all of the other beers you make with it turn out well. Keep us posted.

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Old 01-27-2011, 02:50 AM   #9
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That's really cool. I hope all of the other beers you make with it turn out well. Keep us posted.
The taste is pretty good, but it didn't carbonate well at all. I haven't had time to do anything brew-related due to working a million hours and SWMBO somehow becoming pregnant, so the cream ale I racked onto the cake is lagering in our utility room, which stays fairly chilly. It and 10 gallons of blackberry beer (5 hefe and 5 cream ale, same recipe as I racked onto this cake). I'm thinking I'll make a starter of Notty and put it in the beer with the sugar to have some yeast available to carbonate.
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