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Old 09-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
Munns86
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Default Wild yeast and yeast nutrient

I have a lot of fresh cider and I wanted to take a chance and see what happens if I just go the wild yeast route with a small batch. The question I have is "does adding yeast nutrient help wild apple yeast or is it really just for commerical yeast?"



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Old 09-26-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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It should also help with the apple yeast. With a whole apple, the yeast has the whole cell to work with, but with just juice - ok you have cider which is unstrained juice - there is less cell material . This means less YAN (yeast available nitrogen) for the wild yeast to work with.

While I would recomend using some nutrient, I probably would do a little less, maybe half of what the recomendation is for, because there is some material in the cider (juice would be different, needing the recomended amount).

If you don't put any in, it probably will take longer. IF you are using a specific wild yeast (ie just what was on the apples) then you still want to be careful of 'infections' from like your house.

It really isn't just a question of the yeast needing nutrient - all yeast do need some. And some more than others. It is also a question of does the must base have it it.



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Old 09-26-2011, 07:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info!

For clarification I am pressing my own apples and the most cleaning I do to the apples is just letting them float in some water.

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Old 09-27-2011, 03:10 AM   #4
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I would recommend not adding yeast nutrient for a wild yeast batch. The key to a decent wild yeast batch is to keep as cool as possible and go slow. adding nutrient works against you in this respect.

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks CvilleKevin, that sounds logical.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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CvilleKevin - What sort of damage would one be looking at if you were to add say 1/8tsp yeast nutrient to round 1 of harvesting wild yeast off of an organic apple? This topic got my wheels turning yesterday, I started reading around, then on my way home I ended up running by the store and grabbing everything I would need to give it a try:



Shavings from 1 organic granny smith apple
1 cup 100% pure apple juice
1/8 tsp yeast nutrient

I'm sorry Munns, not trying to hijack your topic - I thought maybe some input on this might help us both gather some more information therefore I posted here instead of making a new topic..

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Old 09-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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Jsmith82 - If you want to harvest wild yeast, I'd recommend getting apples from a no spray or low spray orchard. That way you have more chance of getting the indigenous yeast that lives with the apples. If you get the apples from a store, no telling what sort of yeast they might have picked up along the way. Or better yet, get gallon jugs of unpasteurized apple juice from various orchards and let them ferment out to see which ones have good yeast strains. That way you are not introducing anything else besides the apple juice.

which isnt to say that you cant get lucky on this batch - from what I have read from folks doing this method, it is mostly a matter of lots of trials until you get one that works.

I've made a lot of wild yeast batches and had some success, but its still somewhat hit or miss with wild yeast. A buddy of mine experimented around with wild fermenting various juice batches that we got last year and isolated the yeast from the best batch, so I might try that this year, but I would wait until it is a lot cooler. Wild yeasts like temps in the 45-55 range. If its warmer, they become nearly impossible to stop and put off a lot of funky esters.

While its immensely satisfying to make a drinkable wild yeast batch, I'm not sure if its worth the effort. The only person I know who consistently gets great results with wild yeast ferments is the guy who runs the press at the orchard where I get my juice. He ferments in a used whiskey barrel which he keeps in one of the apple cold storage sheds. The ferment takes all winter, with sg dropping very very slowly.

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Old 09-27-2011, 02:51 PM   #8
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Great feedback, thank you! I've cultivated and grown yeast strains from breweries using unfiltered beers but this is my first time going for a wild yeast in general.

I may go to Eckert's Farm in Belleville IL this weekend and pick some apples to get a couple more samples going that are a bit safer and local, I couldn't help thinking while buying my apple yesterday that even though it's certified organic, I have no idea where the apple originated, the guy who picked it may have scratched his !@# right before handling it, or it rolled around in the floor of the truck before getting tossed back in the bin, then 20 people ahead of me picked it up and looked at it while buying apples at the store, etc...

When you recommend getting unpasteurized organic cider and letting it ferment out, would that be as simple as pouring a jar full, slapping on an airlock, then tucking back in your brew closet and forgetting it exists hoping that something carried on or would you recommend apple shavings in that as well? Also (sorry for the question brigade), still curious as to what yeast nutrient would negatively bring to the table? I'm guessing stressing the yeast out in turn making unwanted esters and flavors?

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Old 09-30-2011, 02:03 PM   #9
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lots of good info. I read here that a company call JK Scrumy uses small amount of champagne and predominantly wild yeast. So does that sounds like somthing I could do at home. Add maybe a half or a 1/4 of a packet of champagne yeast to five gallons? Or would the wild and champagne yeast fight or not get along?



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