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Old 12-24-2008, 03:37 AM   #1
T-rags
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Default My wild yeast cider

Newb here. First project ever. I have 3 gallons of fresh cider in a 3g better bottle. I used the natural yeasts only and no extra sugar. Had some good fermentation, I think. It's been in 3 and a half weeks. Lots of sediment and the body is starting to clear. Bubbling is slowing considerably. I was thinking of racking to a clean bottle at 4 weeks, then letting it go another 4 weeks in the secondary bottle, before bottling. Let me know if you think this plan works.

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Old 12-24-2008, 05:13 AM   #2
pen25
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dont see why it shouldnt work. but you might want to take a taste and see if its turning to cider or vinegar

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Old 12-24-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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Ouch! Vinegar! what a vote of confidence... I guess there's some risks going with the wild yeasts. I'm looking forward to finding out!

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Old 12-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-rags View Post
I guess there's some risks going with the wild yeasts.
Oh, heck yeah. You have no clue what critters exactly are in your juice. They may be good, they may be bad, they may be a mix of both. My experiments with wild fermentation have been successful thus far, but a lot of people recommend against it because of the uncertainty.

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I'm looking forward to finding out!
That's the attitude! I've personally found the wild yeast stuff more exciting because of the crap shoot, and, honestly, more interesting than any of the cultivated yeasts I've used. Hell, I've fermented one batch of cider with sourdough starter and even that came out pretty interesting.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:09 AM   #5
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I don't want to scare you, but I had 40 gal turn into vinegar. I was so demoralized I almost quit brewing. I'll never ferment in uncontrolled, unsanitary conditions again.

My recommendation would be to monitor yours carefully and when the primary fermentation is slowing down, rack into secondary, stun the wild microorganisms with potassium metabisulphite, then repitch with a champagne yeast. You'll still have the taste profile of the wild yeasts and have a vigorous yeasts to finish and carb, but will have stopped the reproduction of acetic acid bacteria. The bacterial load should be low enough to prevent it turning into vinegar in your lifetime.

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Old 12-25-2008, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Good advice, thanks

I appreciate the advice. I can see why having 40 gallons fail would be discouraging. I had thought for the first project to kill the wild yeasts but then thought what the heck? I did understand the risk from reading up on this site and elsewhere. But it's only 3 gallons. I think I'm going to take your advice and try that. I presume campden tablets are sufficient to do that? thanks...

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Old 12-28-2008, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Racking my cider - I don't think it's vinegar (?)

So after 4 weeks in the primary I took the suggestion above and racked to a secondary, added 3 campden tablets (3G batch) and will re-pitch some yeast tomorrow. However, the gravity was 1.00 so I think it's largely done fermenting. I decided to add some honey for the secondary which will get eaten up by the new yeast. Here's my question. I tasted this and the first taste I got was a little smelly sulfur taste. It was also a bit fizzy, but not vinegar like. And fairly tart. No real sense of alcohol. I didn't take an OG but I know from other bottles of the same farm's cider it was probably low, about 1.045. I wouldn't say it was bad, but I wouldn't say it was good. I added a shot of fresh cider and poured it over ice - not bad. Anyway, if anyone thinks it's bad let me know. I plan to just let it sit in the secondary now for a month or two and check it again.

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:32 AM   #8
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Just go with it, its not real scrumpy cider if you add to much. It will be tart until its aged this is how it should be, we in England class this as class 1 cider, if you like magners or strongbow you should not brew your own. Remember real cider takes time, i would say yours is not ready yet.

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