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Old 08-27-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
stacie
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Default Saving Wild Ferments?

Hi everyone -- this is my first post, and I feel like I should thank everyone for being so informative here.

I've been experimenting for a few months with wild ferments, just mixing honey water and herbs and leaving it out to begin fermenting. I've made some fantastic meads, but I have about three gallons of various batches that for whatever reason (and there's really no way to tell for sure with the wild process) didn't take off.

I'm not great with the hydrometer, but in "WTF is wrong with you" tests, it didn't float much.

So my question is whether there's any problem with straining these into my stock pot, boiling them up, maybe with a few more pounds of honey and another gallon of water, and then putting that into a 5 gallon carboy with commercial yeasts?

I'm not asking about flavor -- that'll be odd, but that's kind of the fun part -- but will boiling kill off the earlier colonists and give me a clean slate?

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Old 08-30-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
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Ya, Boiling should kill off anything funky...and actually, so will a decent ferment. As the alcohol rises and the PH drops, you will have perfectly safe (Taste may vary) drink.

I say give it a shot, maybe boil one and not the other, aerate like crazy and pitch yeast...see what you get.

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Old 08-31-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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Yeah, I went for a few different approaches, just for experimentation's sake. That day, I made a spiced mead with coffee and garam masala (those soaked for 24 hours prior. I love the aroma of garam masala and have wanted to try a coffee mead for a while) and pitched some champagne yeast.

With the wilds, I boiled one for a while and let it cool. Threw in a little of the yeast slurry while it hydrated for the coffee spice mead. One I didn't boil, but added a little yeast slurry. One, which was bubbling nicely on its own and smells wonderful, I transferred to a new jug, hopefully aerating it.

The boiled took a day or so to generate enough yeast to gas off, but it's gradually gaining steam. I can't tell if the non-boiled one I added yeast to is bubbling faster or not. The aerated, non-yeasted wild is bubbling nicely and I imagine still smells lovely.

The coffee-spice mead is bubbling like crazy, and having no TV, I've been amusing myself watching all these things percolate on my counter. I also keep kefir (a milk ferment) under air lock on my counter. I feel like I need to bring some plants inside to utilize all this surplus C02.

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