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Old 11-17-2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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The only way to really "sterilise' is in an autoclave. Even then there is always yeast floating in the air waiting to re-infect. Most wild yeasts are only weakly fermentative, if you had a vigorous ferment after 4 days it was probably a sacchromyces yeast and would produce decent cider. In france and Spain most artisan cider is made with wild yeast, it starts off with a lot of different yeasts but eventually the sacchromyces dominate.

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Old 09-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #12
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Cvillkevin, how exactly do you prevent the cider from fermenting below 1.014? Do you just keep an eye on it and when it gets in that range add camden tablets to kill the yeast?

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Old 09-18-2012, 04:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Cvillkevin, how exactly do you prevent the cider from fermenting below 1.014?
cold crashing - BUT - in order to cold crash wild yeast, it already has to be fermenting very cold and slow. Once a wild yeast ferment really gets going strong, it is nearly impossible to stop it. I would not recommend doing a wild yeast ferment this early in the season unless you can control for temps and keep it around 50-55F for several months, then drop to 30F to crash.

I've used k-meta and sorbate to stop wild ferments. The chemicals are more effective on wild yeast than on ale yeast, but I dont like the taste.

I've done a lot of experimenting with wild yeasts and made some really good ones, but at the end of the day concluded that it was more trouble than it was worth. It is very satifying to have a keg of cider that is made from nothing but apples and the flavor is unique if you get it right, but too many batches ended up tasting like ass, so I havent done a strictly wild yeast batch since 2010.

I dont sulfite any of my ciders before pitching ale or wheat yeast, so they still get some of the positive flavor contributions from the wild yeast, but are a lot easier to control, since the wheat and ale yeasts will eventually out compete the wild yeasts and its a lot easier to stop a wheat or ale yeast.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:54 PM   #14
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I'm a total noob at this and have a small batch in a 1 gallon demijohn made from apples in our back yard.
I pressed the fruit and checked the SG at 1.05 then realised I had no cultured yeast left. While waiting for an order to arrive the batch began fermenting with the wild yeast and is fairly aggressive right now after a week.
Would you recommend I:

a) Kill the wild yeast (not knowing it's origin therefor risky) and add the cultured yeast?

b) Allow the wild yeast to ferment out and see what comes of it?

c) Allow the wild yeast to ferment out and then continue with cultured yeast?

What alcohol level do most prefer for their cider?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Pete

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:19 AM   #15
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If the ferment seems sickly, then add a commercial yeast (a). Or if it's already going strong, then let it ride (b). Depending on what's alive in there it may go dry, or not, so option (c) can always be a backup to (b).

One of the best ciders I ever made was a wild ferment, using ~30ppm SO2 to knock down any weaklings initially. Fermented from 1.055 to 1.004 vigorously. Appley, clean yet earthy & delicious. People have been making cider with wild yeast for thousands of years, don't fear it!

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:31 AM   #16
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Thanks LeBreton,

That gives me confidence.
Once it's fermented out, will the wild yeast be alive enough to promote a secondary fermentation in the bottles after it's been racked a few times to produce a clear product?

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #17
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I would recommend getting the temps as cool as possible. I've done a lot of good natural ferments, also a few bad ones. Main difference is the temps

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Old 04-10-2013, 07:36 PM   #18
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Thanks for that advice.
We're heading into Autumn here so the days are still warmish but the nights are definitely chilling off.
I may have started this a little early in the year.
Still, it hasn't cost anything and it will definitely be good data for future consideration.

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