accidentely made mead with no yeast

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Wayek

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So a few weeks ago I accidentally made a very small batch of wild session-ish mead...
I had some spruce tips infusing in a 1 liter jar of water for a few weeks and mixed that with a liter of green tea with tulsi a few drops of lemon juice and some raisins..covered the container with cheesecloth and sure enough I got fermentation! after 3 days this stuff started bubbling and smelling like beer.... but GOOD beer!
my goal was to make a very young low alcoholic viking style mead anyways based on a recipe that said 3 day primary then what was supposed to be a 2 day secondary fermentation then it's supposed to be drinkable like how this guy describes in this video
but I didn't really do that ... so I strained that after day 3 then racked into another jar with a turkey baster (chya I know...but I live in a small town and there's no equipment here for stuff like this) but instead of cold crashing it after the 2 days I just left it in my closet with a sealed lid and burped it every day, (no airlocks here!) had a small glass a night and it tasted stronger over the course of the 8 days it lasted but still pretty good!
I dunno if that was too wise to not cold crash it and pretty much just drink it off the lees but meh..... for only 3 days primary with wild yeast I was impressed

Fast forward to now and I'm trying the same thing with rosemary and sage and it's bubbling pretty good but the smell is quite different than whatever yeast came off the spruce tips .....
it smells well..kinda "farty" ... 😒 but regardless it's on the way... I moved it away from the heater and just have it in the closet now but I'm wondering if I leave it longer in the fermenter how it would turn out ... but this smell isn't as pleasant as the last batch with the spruce and I'm a little afraid to do the strain and rack now .. wondering if I leave it longer if the fart smell will eventually go away
 

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Dgallo

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Cultures tend to evolve to colonize on specific mediums. I’ve been dappling in wild captures and spontaneous fermentation for about two years now. I’ve had far more starters that I’ve thrown away that either didn’t attenuate or produced undesirable phenols/esters than were good for brewing. If my memory serves me current I’m about 4 for 15 of successful wild captures with desirable fermentation character.
 
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Wayek

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Hmmm, wondering if it was the spruce tips in general or if it was the location/time of year that I picked them...
I previously heard that rosemary yeast for brewing generally gives off this type of smell at first though .. just wondering if it goes away

again I don't know anything about this stuff and I probably just had a good batch the first time entirely by accident
 

Dgallo

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Hmmm, wondering if it was the spruce tips in general or if it was the location/time of year that I picked them...
I previously heard that rosemary yeast for brewing generally gives off this type of smell at first though .. just wondering if it goes away

again I don't know anything about this stuff and I probably just had a good batch the first time entirely by accident
Spruce tips/boughs are a very typical Ingredient in historic brewing, prior to cultivated yeast, specifically Norway. When this occurs, it’s a good indicator that the microbes that colonize that plant is good for fermenting wort.

Do some research on milk the funk. They have an entire section dedicated to spontaneous captures
 

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Did you happen to save out some of the original good tasting spruce tip yeast? That would give you a big step ahead.

Wild yeasts are a crapshoot, but when you start selecting the good ones and culture those, you're building a novel, unique yeast library.

We had a local homebrew club here that did just that, culturing wild yeast. The one gal leading the club really knew what she was doing. The beer they had brought to a large homebrew event 3 years ago (our State's Homebrewers Guild holiday party) was delicious!
 
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Wayek

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Spruce tips/boughs are a very typical Ingredient in historic brewing, prior to cultivated yeast, specifically Norway. When this occurs, it’s a good indicator that the microbes that colonize that plant is good for fermenting wort.

Do some research on milk the funk. They have an entire section dedicated to spontaneous captures
thanks!

I just found a video where this couple pretty much did the same thing I did
an looks like they encountered the same smell lol.. from what they describe though I don't think I got it really that BAD as they did though..mine is definitely not like rotting eggs but it's not as pleasant as the "oh?!.. is that beer!?" smell we got from the spruces
but I guess their end result was okay but looks like they had to work with it a bit to really degas it so maybe I might not let this sit then

Hmmm.... well I'll do what I can with mine but out of the two of them spruce tips is a big thumbs up for making a quick and good mead
 
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Wayek

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Did you happen to save out some of the original good tasting spruce tip yeast? That would give you a big step ahead.

Wild yeasts are a crapshoot, but when you start selecting the good ones and culture those, you're building a novel, unique yeast library.

We had a local homebrew club here that did just that, culturing wild yeast. The one gal leading the club really knew what she was doing. The beer they had brought to a large homebrew event 3 years ago (our State's Homebrewers Guild holiday party) was delicious!
y'know what .. I wish I did! :rolleyes: and as I dumped it I did think probably should've saved that

was thinking that maybe using any spruce tips could give the same results but I'm not gonna be quick to buy spruce tips online from somewhere else and try this again although mine were just sitting in a ziplock bag and dried out since I picked them so what would the difference really be?... But that's not to say I can't do it again ... the tips came from our local beach and I could even get them from the same exact trees in the same spot after winter is over

it was good stuff too! and did not make the mead taste like pinesol....at first it tasted like honey and really good beer and fizzy too! then as it went on a few days it tasted more alcoholic. but that was a 2liter ferment for 3 days then the rest of the time it was aging while I was drinking it and you really didn't taste much spruce at all
 
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IslandLizard

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y'know what .. I wish I did!
You may never throw anything out anymore, without that thought.

the tips came from our local beach and I could even get them from the same exact trees in the same spot after winter is over
Best off picking your own from the trees that worked before. I doubt it was a fluke, those yeasts will be there again.
When buying online you have no clue where they originated, or if they're any good for that purpose. They may have been washed, or even sterilized.
 
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Wayek

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You may never throw anything out anymore, without that thought.


Best off picking your own from the trees that worked before. I doubt it was a fluke, those yeasts will be there again.
When buying online you have no clue where they originated, or if they're any good for that purpose. They may have been washed, or even sterilized.
stick to what's good you say! I agree with that too...even though june seems a long wait I can gather some better honey than this unpasteurized beemaid stuff the grocery store :rolleyes:

so I'm half thinking to either let this one keep going or to just stop the fermenting now and cold crash it for a really low abv mead before it potentially gets even more funky since I think it's caused by the rosemary yeast

isn't there a thing about wild fermenting the longer you let it brew for you could also potentially create amyl alcohol and other poisonous stuff? :oops:
 

IslandLizard

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so I'm half thinking to either let this one keep going or to just stop the fermenting now and cold crash it for a really low abv mead before it potentially gets even more funky since I think it's caused by the rosemary yeast
Since it's all experimental at this point, if you're happy with what you got, cold crash most. But also let some continue, to see how she develops with time, maybe sacrifice 1/4-1/2 liter* for the experiment. Otherwise you'll never find out.

* Perhaps move the smaller "experimental" leftovers to smaller containers to continue fermenting them. Such as mason jars or large jelly jars, etc. Or PET containers, such as those used for peanut butter and mayonnaise, especially the larger ones.

isn't there a thing about wild fermenting the longer you let it brew for you could also potentially create amyl alcohol and other poisonous stuff? :oops:
Not sure about wild fermentations creating fusel alcohols, such as amyl alcohols (there's a whole group of those), or in large amounts.

Usually when ferm temps are too high for the yeast strain(s) used, the yeast starts binging, pumping out lots of byproducts aside from ethanol. That's when fusel alcohols are created. Fusel alcohols taste bad (sometimes nicknamed rocket fuel), so that's why we (tightly) control ferm temps, which prevent that from happening.
 
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Wayek

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Since it's all experimental at this point, if you're happy with what you got, cold crash most. But also let some continue, to see how she develops with time, maybe sacrifice 1/4-1/2 liter* for the experiment. Otherwise you'll never find out.

* Perhaps move the smaller "experimental" leftovers to smaller containers to continue fermenting them. Such as mason jars or large jelly jars, etc. Or PET containers, such as those used for peanut butter and mayonnaise, especially the larger ones.


Not sure about wild fermentations creating fusel alcohols, such as amyl alcohols (there's a whole group of those), or in large amounts.

Usually when ferm temps are too high for the yeast strain(s) used, the yeast starts binging, pumping out lots of byproducts aside from ethanol. That's when fusel alcohols are created. Fusel alcohols taste bad (sometimes nicknamed rocket fuel), so that's why we (tightly) control ferm temps, which prevent that from happening.
Aye, I hear ya!... Well good thing I took it away from the wall heater on day 3 I guess....

and I think I'll take that advice and try some young but still keep some going at the same time
after all it is experimental :)
 
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Wayek

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Update - So I strained out the rosemary mash since it did what it needed to do and the longer that sat in there it was smelling like our pulp mill...it only hung around for a day or two anyways rosemary is out and strained into two masons leaving NO yeast/sediment behind then when I went to the city I picked up a carboy and airlock and transferred it to there yesterday leaving no sediment behind again so all that yeast from the beginning is now in the carboy

Anyways ..after sampling some yesterday with a friend I realized I used WAY too much honey for 1 gallon (probably 900g) So I added more water and topped off the carboy (maybe 2 cups) I'm guessing if you do something like that the fermentation needs time to adjust again? ... the bubbles are a little smaller since I did that but it's still bubbling pretty good .. guessing this is normal? or is there something else I gotta do too to make that work .... (too much honey for a gallon just drink some down and add more water, right?) I dunno.... full me in here guys!
 

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CKuhns

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By racking and adding water, if the yeast were still present and sugars available you very likely restarted fermentation.

Let it do its thing.
 
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