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Old 09-02-2008, 12:26 AM   #1
g_rath
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Default Naturally fermented cider

Just wondering if anyone has tried this. And if they did how did it turn out? I’m going to give it a go this fall just for fun. My plan is to get the cider fresh out of the mill/orchard and go with the natural yeast in the air there.

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Old 09-02-2008, 12:47 AM   #2
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My dad used to do this years ago. I tried some and it was quite good. The local yeast probably make all the difference, I lived in upstate NY if that helps.

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Old 09-02-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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I would do a little research in these forums and learn how to cultivate the yeast that lives on the apples you get. You will stand a better chance of a good flavor than just using any yeast floating around in the air. That will work but the yeast on the apple is pretty much a sure thing.

My 3.5 cents worth.

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Old 09-02-2008, 12:54 AM   #4
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that makes me feel better about this experiment. Lets see how Maine yeasts taste

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Old 09-02-2008, 03:29 AM   #5
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Do a search here on this subject.

There is at least one entire thread devoted to this subject.

I've done this as well!

I took a small half-ripe apple off of the tree in my backyard.

I sanitized a pair of needle-nosed pliers, grabbed the apple's stem and pulled it off of the tree, and placed it untouched, and uncontaminated by human hands, into a pint of sugared water mixture in a quart Mason jar, with an airlock fitted into a drilled and rubber grommeted lid.

Once I saw yeast activity, after about a week (I should have kept notes) I removed and discarded the apple, added a pinch of nutrient and about a half an inch of apple juice to the jar.

Once the culture is going good, another day or so, it goes into in the fridge until needed.

Add a teaspoon of sugar every few weeks or so, so that the mostly dormant yeast cells will have food till they are needed again.

This method will allow you to always have hydrated yeast ready to go. When you draw a portion out to use, replace the volume with apple juice, and leave it out of the fridge for a couple of days so they can reproduce (re-populate themselves) and be ready to go again, the next time to need them.

Pogo

Edit - The thread that I'm refering to is on the second page of this forum by jay415 and titled 'Quick sweet cider for the impatient'!

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Old 09-02-2008, 03:34 AM   #6
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I think Landhoney has done quite a bit in this field. A quick search yielded this thread:

Ambient/Spontaneous Fermentation

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Old 09-02-2008, 03:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g_rath View Post
that makes me feel better about this experiment. Lets see how Maine yeasts taste
Rather good (although I am waaaay south). We normally do this yearly with the help of a friend who runs an orchard. We don't have our own equipment but for the exchange rate of a couple cases of cider scented soy candles I get a couple gallons of naturally fermented cider.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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I did 5 gallons last year. Well 15 gallons in total of Cider, but 5 I just let go 'au natural'. I have the yeast saved. It is still in suspension in the bottled Cider and I am guessing it will take probably another 6 months to continue dropping out. I am fortunate in that I get my apples pressed at a small local press, where there is an abundance of wild yeast just raring to go! The process is very simple, just put the unfermented Cider into a sanitized Carboy, put an airlock on it and wait. The yeast are usually already present on the Apples.

The one risk you do run though, is picking up an Acetobacter infection, which thankfully didn't happen to me this past year. Worst case scenario though, you have Cider Vinegar.

In terms of flavor etc, the verdict is still out, but to be honest I did 3 types this past year (07). One was a Wine yeast, another Ale and the final was naturally fermented. All finished at identical gravities. In terms of flavor I have not done a side-by-side comparison but for me, the intermediate tastings seem to indicate that the Yeast choice doesn't have a huge impact. At least when fermenting at around 65 F.

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Old 09-03-2008, 01:13 AM   #9
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One of the reasons that I’m going to do 2 big batches is to try some more yeast. I made one with the Montrachet yeast and one with wheat yeast. I like the Montrachet one much better. I’m going to do that again, the 1 gal naturally fermented, and then one that’s TBA. Any suggestions?

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Old 09-03-2008, 01:30 PM   #10
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The Ale yeast finished the quickest for me. Just use something neutral like Nottingham.

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