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Old 08-19-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
chelleomi
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Default Cantaloupe Country Wine - Super active but smells funny

Hey all,
Not sure where else to put this, but since it uses fruit like cider does...

I came into two very, very ripe cantaloupes and decided to try to make country wine out of it (idea from Katz's The Art of Fermentation). I previously had made a delectable raw honey mead fermented with wild yeasts from the honey and when I reracked it, I pulled the lemons I had added out and saved them. As an experiment, I decided to throw those lemons in the cantaloupe mixture as the source of yeast.

I originally had melon-balled both cantaloupes into a gallon glass container, covered with water and added a cup of sugar and the lemons. Two days later, the cantaloupe was forcing itself through the airlock. I've split it in half now and added more water and sugar, because upon tasting, it wasn't very sweet, but there is a very strange smell that I can't quite put my finger on. A sort of plastic-y, medicine-y smell. There is nothing growing on the surface. The liquid was syrupy, which I imagine was from the sugar and the fruit, but could be microbial I guess...

I'm wondering if that smell means I have an infection coming on or maybe it is just esters from the yeast? I imagined I would leave the fruit in there over the course of the fermentation but now I am wondering... Any ideas? This is an experiment more than anything but it would be awesome if it worked out. Like liquid summer.

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #2
inexplorata
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If the smell/taste is sort of a camphor/medicine-y/mentholatum sort of thing, welcome to the world of Colorado wild yeasts. At least my experience with them, they don't make particularly nice tasting ciders. Very active, though. Just the taste is off, and doesn't get better with age.

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:28 AM   #3
chelleomi
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Is it a sour flavor? Right now, its so early, all I can taste is sweet and cantaloupe but I wonder what's going to happen as the sugars ferment away. I'm a huge fan of sours though so maybe if I wait long enough...?

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:53 AM   #4
chelleomi
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Hey so I just added some wild grapes from the neighborhood to add a little tannin quality, and it smells and tastes good now! I read about some fruit wines that you let the fruit + water sit overnight before you add the yeasts. Is this because something is degassing? Perhaps that was my issue.

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