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Old 10-04-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
Guthdog
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Default Pitched yeast in untreated/unpasteurized Juice

Hello All,

Longtime lurker, first time poster. I am working on the modified, EdWort's Apfelwein, which I plan to backsweeten and carb in the kegerator.

I went to our local apple growing tourist trap in the Sacramento area, (Apple Hill), and purchased 5 gallons of unpasteurized juice. I added 2 pounds of dextrose, a little fermaid and pectic enzyme and pitched a packet of S04. It's already started working, (I wish I had someplace cooler to ferment, the house stays around 75, though I would personally keep it at 65 if electricity were free, homebrewing or not).

What I did not do was treat the juice with campden or anything else prior to starting fermentation. Should I be concerned about the safety of my final product, or just the loss of control? I can live with rolling the dice on the taste of my product, I just don't want to hurt myself or anyone else I can talk into trying it.

Thanks for your thoughts, take care.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthdog
Hello All,

Longtime lurker, first time poster. I am working on the modified, EdWort's Apfelwein, which I plan to backsweeten and carb in the kegerator.

I went to our local apple growing tourist trap in the Sacramento area, (Apple Hill), and purchased 5 gallons of unpasteurized juice. I added 2 pounds of dextrose, a little fermaid and pectic enzyme and pitched a packet of S04. It's already started working, (I wish I had someplace cooler to ferment, the house stays around 75, though I would personally keep it at 65 if electricity were free, homebrewing or not).

What I did not do was treat the juice with campden or anything else prior to starting fermentation. Should I be concerned about the safety of my final product, or just the loss of control? I can live with rolling the dice on the taste of my product, I just don't want to hurt myself or anyone else I can talk into trying it.

Thanks for your thoughts, take care.
I did the same thing ( 2, 1 gallon batches). Around day 3 or 4 (while still bubbling pretty heavily ) I added 1 crushed campden tab per gallon. I noticed it didn't seem to slow my fermentation or bubbling at all. 1 gallon did have a kind of head forming on but after the campden tab it helped the head settle into the lees.

I would say go a head and add the campden. If fermentation slowes (compare against your original gravity) then add more yeast and maybe some yeast nutrient.

Happy brewing. Hope it comes out good
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Just heat pasterurize the final product. No fears!

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Old 10-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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@Brewsser - Is the Campden there to smoke everything but my S04, or are we counting on the SO4 to be so numerous and dominant that enough will survive to restart once the Campden dissipates. It is bubbling along at less than a second b/w bubbles in the airlock.

@MarkkKF - I was planning to keg this product when all is said and done, is there a good way to heat pasteurize 5 gallons of cider without specialized equipment, or should I just use K-Meta/Sorbate at the end to bring everything to a screeching halt. I read somewhere that if I use one I have to use the other or I run the risk of my cider smelling like Geraniums???? Not sure I could identify a geranium, but I am quite sure I don't want my cider to smell like them. Apples would be fine...

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Old 10-05-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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You don't have to pasteurize or sulfite the must. Some people just take the fresh pressed cider and let it ferment naturally from the yeasts on the apples or still add yeast. The argument supposedly is that there is a greater risk of something going wrong that way, but supposedly if something really bad does get hold in there it will smell and taste so bad you wouldn't want to drink it anyway.

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Old 10-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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In the sticky at the top of the forum talking about yeast experiments he tries adding different amounts (down to nothing) of the campden and while it has an effect on taste it doesn't have one on safety. I have a completely wild yeast gallon going on right now as an experiment however I don't think I would do a large batch this way as it seems there is a lot of variability and its very luck of the draw how it turns out.

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Old 10-05-2012, 11:52 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'll be bummed if my $5.95/gallon goes funky, but I can live with it. It sounds as if the odds are in my favor with a whole packet of healthy SO4, though.

I'll make sure to monitor taste and smell before I serve it to some other unlucky soul.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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Yes, I would personally say the odds are very much in your favor. Really you likely don't even need to add any commercial yeast. The main benefit in my mind of commercial yeasts is their possible increased tolerance over wild for alcohol percentage. So if trying to brew something in the 16% abv range I almost always add a commercial yeast.

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthdog
@Brewsser - Is the Campden there to smoke everything but my S04, or are we counting on the SO4 to be so numerous and dominant that enough will survive to restart once the Campden dissipates. It is bubbling along at less than a second b/w bubbles in the airlock.

@MarkkKF - I was planning to keg this product when all is said and done, is there a good way to heat pasteurize 5 gallons of cider without specialized equipment, or should I just use K-Meta/Sorbate at the end to bring everything to a screeching halt. I read somewhere that if I use one I have to use the other or I run the risk of my cider smelling like Geraniums???? Not sure I could identify a geranium, but I am quite sure I don't want my cider to smell like them. Apples would be fine...
From what I understand, the campden can kill your yeast too, but mine was very active when I added the campden so I think it was just so numerous that it didn't slow it down.

Markkkf - I worry about heat pasteurization because a lot of people say if its not the right temp or too hot it can influence the final flavor. If you've done it before I would say don't fix what ain't broke and keep on keepin' on.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
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definitely don't add it now, your yeast have happily established themselves. i add it before fermenting, but i have also done many batches by just pitching yeast to fresh juice. none of those has ever had a problem. i should say that i am pretty clean and careful not to oxidize after fermentation has finished. well- i'm clean after fermentation has almost finished. before that i am clean but not anal, i don't see the point, the apples were just hanging on a tree all summer.
when i first started making cider (before i ever thought to look up online how to make cider!) i used to think metabisulfite was a nasty extraneous chemical that was going to pollute my body, until i looked up what happens to it when you add it to juice. it's a nice safety measure but without it you are still pretty unlikely to get anything nasty growing in your cider. i add it to wild ferments also, it doesn't kill the yeast, they take off fermenting almost as fast as those batches without it, and it keeps moldy things away as the wild yeast slowly get established.
personally, i would not heat pasteurize unless i was using that technique to prevent further fermentation, like with backsweetening. if you don't have an infection in the cider then there's no need to kill anything off, is my motto. i haven't had it printed on t-shirts yet, but i's definitely my motto. what, not catchy?

there's my 2 euro cents for what it's worth. (depends on greece i guess)

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