Thanks for the responses and encouragement everyone! I talked with my dad today and found out that he has been trying to make this recently with my grandfather. Pretty sure they've only tried using bakers yeast as well. They've said that all their attempts have just turned out 'soured'. I'm thinking that is due to other critters taking over before the yeast can get to really working. Would a cultured, properly activated yeast help offset that?
The available yeast selection is quite simply overwhelming.. I've picked a few dry yeasts to order online and would consider a liquid yeast if I knew where to start. Any suggestions? The cane juice has a flavor/aroma somewhere between fresh cut grass on a cold day and molasses..
From what I gather talking with my dad, I believe my best course of action will be to heat the juice from ambient up to just shy of a boil. At that point all of the "skimmings" (impurities/debris) float to the top of the juice and can easily be removed. (we usually dump the skimmings from syrup making into a barrel, the next morning that barrel will already be fermenting from wild yeast or what ever critters are floating around in south georgia.) After heating I'll cool the juice and move into a carboy to be sealed away from airborne critters and add my own yeast of choice.
I'm ordering two 5-gallon carboys to try this out it. Maybe I'll use cultured yeast in one and let the other go au naturale..
Thanks again for all the help!
Originally Posted by neo71665
My grandpa used to do something similar but with sorghum. They used bakers yeast to ferment with. Of course there was only one type of yeast and they used it for all their wines back then lol.
Any chance you could pass any details from your grandpa's methods? Thanks!