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Old 03-26-2006, 01:53 AM   #1
ALPS
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Default Anyone naturally ferment?

I've read that using natural yeast can be risky but also give the best results. I just bought 5 gallons of week old cider, with nothing added, from the local apple farm for $10. They didn't want to sell it as sweet cider due to it's (now) short shelf life but for fermenting it should be OK.

My plan:
1) add to sanitized bucket with air lock
2) wait for fermentation and for gravity to fall
3) rack to secondary in a month or two
4) secondary in the basement and wait
5) bottle and wait
6) drink at Christmas

I know in the old days nothing was added to the cider and the yeast did it's job just fine. Has anyone made cider this way? I've got two other batches in secondary (with added yeast) and want to try a third "recipe". Just looking for some input from others here. Thanks.

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Old 03-26-2006, 02:01 AM   #2
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Only once and not on purpose. Had a poorly sealed bottle of fresh juice that had "turned" before we got the batch started. We decided to let it run the course. It was good. The rest of the juice we added cider yeast to, it was better and fermented much faster.

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Old 03-26-2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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I haven't, but from what I've heard, natural fermentation of cider using wild yeasts can give you a lower ABV than using packaged yeasts. Then of course there's always the possibility that the wild yeasts won't take at all... you'd pro'lly be better off just pitching packaged yeasts.

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Old 03-26-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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'Wild yeast' is how hard cider began and it's still made that way. I wouldn't attempt it at homebrew level. Better to use a 'tried and trusted' brewing yeast.

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Old 03-27-2006, 04:24 PM   #5
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Keep us updated!
I'm a bigger fan of still cider, kinda like a mulled cider. And I would rather naturally ferment, let me know how it goes as I intend on trying a brew for x-mas this year.
Cheers!

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Old 03-28-2006, 02:23 AM   #6
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While the cider I found was a sweet cider, what you'd normally find for drinking as is and not the ideal blend for fermenting, it's what was available and was at a good price. I added about 30 ppm of sulphur dioxide to knock out the bacteria and "spoilage yeasts". Maybe less than ideal but I figured I'd go easy on it. About 24 hours after adding the campden tablets I have positive pressure on the air lock. Now, only time will tell...

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Old 03-28-2006, 09:39 PM   #7
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Post your results on your wild yeast findings - I'm interested!

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Old 03-28-2006, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplan
Post your results on your wild yeast findings - I'm interested!
No problem. It may be a while, though.

I found good info at the Whittenham Hill Cider Portal.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/andrew_lea/
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Old 04-15-2006, 02:26 AM   #9
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Default so far so good!

This started out at 1.050 and fermented strong for about a week to10 days. Haven't seen any activity in several days so I decided to check it out tonight (day 20).

FG is 1.0 so I figured ABV to be 6.5%. The cider looked and smelled pretty good, with only a little foamy scum on top. The sample, though very cloudy, tasted good. While it seemed a bit "thin", it was still had a little sweetness left with a mild apple flavor and a slight bite.

So far this is going well. Tomorrow it goes into a carboy and off to the basement for a couple of months to clear.

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Old 04-15-2006, 03:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALPS
1) add to sanitized bucket with air lock
2) wait for fermentation and for gravity to fall
That's not really my teritory, so bear with me. But isn't the idea of natural fermentation that you leave the juice/wort exposed to the air so it can pick up the yeast? Or do you rely on the yeast to be already in the juice?

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