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Old 10-17-2012, 06:58 PM   #1
markowe
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Default Wild yeast cider, tastes awesome, 7% ABV, better than "proper" cider yeast!

I got a mixture of apples from a local orchard and pressed them, pitched a Bayanus cider yeast into most of the batch, but left literally just a litre bottle of the same juice as-is and put an airlock on it just to see what happens as I have never tried brewing with wild yeast.

Once it got going it was fermenting great, all by itself, all done in just a few days, from about 1.052 down to about 998. I make that about 7% ABV.

And though it smelt and tasted a bit funky just after primary was finished, even a week later, it is tasting amazingly good, I mean better than the Bayanus batch, which has some overtones I can only describe as "vaguely fruity but not apple".

Is that a typical result with wild yeast? I have to say I am quite surprised - at the taste, and the attenuation (was expecting 3 or 4% abv or something, like you get with yeasts with low alcohol resistance, like bread yeast). I have washed some yeast from that wild batch to keep, but I daresay using apples from the same orchard would produce a similar effect again next year.



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Old 10-17-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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I noticed the same thing. A small, gallon jug that I put an airlock on has action that is equal to the carboys which contain champagne yeast. While I haven't even finished my first batch yet, something tells me that with cider, less is more.



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Old 10-17-2012, 11:51 PM   #3
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I always used wild yeast for my barrels of cider that I use to put up , they turned out great . I started using carboys to experiment with and tried one with a cider wyeast one with a beer yeast and one with wild yeast , the wild batch is 10 times better !!

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:43 AM   #4
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Best batch I ever made was with wild yeast.

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
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Spontaneous fermentation in Colorado tastes like medicine. It's too bad cause I wanted to try and keeve a cider this winter.

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
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Yeah, I haven't spent much time on the wild yeast forum, but I imagine from what I have read that local strains really do vary considerably. Sounds like if you land on a gem you should roll with it. Next year I will almost certainly do it this way again, making sure I get apples from the same orchard.

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Old 10-18-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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If it worked out, why not wash the yeast and freeze it?

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Old 10-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlh42581 View Post
If it worked out, why not wash the yeast and freeze it?
I have indeed saved some, though there is not much of a cake from my litre or so, but I suppose it would get a starter going. But I just wonder if there is any point, probably the good result has everything to with an auspicious yeast, or combination of them, from that particular orchard, and I would get pretty much the same result from the same apples, in fact it might be more reliable that way than reusing an old yeast. Don't know, like I say, one for the Wild Yeast forum perhaps.

BTW, you mention freezing, I had a batch of washed beer yeast freeze on me (left it in an outdoor cupboard, it got down to -20C over the winter) and I couldn't get it to activate again. Though I may not have left it for long enough before giving up, still, my feeling is that the freezing killed it?
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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If you didnt add glycerin to your vial before freezing it probably exploded the cell walls of the yeast.

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Old 10-19-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlh42581 View Post
If you didnt add glycerin to your vial before freezing it probably exploded the cell walls of the yeast.
Ahh, sure I knew there must be a trick with glycerin there, I know animal and plant cells aren't really up to being frozen. Once thawed, do you wash the yeast again to lose as much of the glycerin as possible (if that even works..?), or just leave it in as a harmless additive?


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