Nutrients for wild fermentation?

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S-Met

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Title is the question.

Bought a 1/2 gal of local apple juice poured a glass and kinda forgot about it in the back of my fridge. About a week or so later I noticed the jug was getting "puffy." I poured a small glass and it tasted great. I decided to use it as a starter for a wild ferment of apple juice.

I wasn't sure if yeast nutrients were usually encouraged on spontaneous fermentation. I usually use nutrients when pitching yeasts, but unsure what is standard for spontaneous.
 

madscientist451

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I don't use yeast nutrients in cider anymore, but I have in the past. I follow the low temperature and slow ferment model. I found that a fast ferment (usually) leaves a cider with less flavor and aroma, so I don't want to add anything that will make the ferment go faster.
I do at least one wild yeast batch every year.
Edit: Some yeasts, like Nottingham, may produce sulfur if you don't add nutrients.
 
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RPh_Guy

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I don't use yeast nutrients in cider anymore, but I have in the past. I follow the low temperature and slow ferment model. I found that a fast ferment (usually) leaves a cider with less flavor and aroma, so I don't want to add anything that will make the ferment go faster.
I do at least one wild yeast batch every year.
Do you use active temperature control or just ambient?
 

madscientist451

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No temperature control with cider, my basement is pretty chilly, I ferment cider down there in the fall when it hits about 55F.
 

RPh_Guy

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I ask because active temperature control lets you use nutrients without any ill effects.
 

RPh_Guy

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I have had H2S, which is why I recommend nutrient. :)

Nutrient also increases yeast esters, which I consider desirable.
 

Nick Z

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My first batch of cider, without nutrients, produced noticeable sulfur as well. It wasn't a wild ferment. I have much less sulfur now that I use nutrient at the beginning. Otherwise I might not bother.
 

wasully

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I have had H2S, which is why I recommend nutrient. :)

Nutrient also increases yeast esters, which I consider desirable.
Doesn't adding nutrients oppose the low&slow philosophy so commonly recommended for cider?
 

RPh_Guy

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Doesn't adding nutrients oppose the low&slow philosophy so commonly recommended for cider?
Apple aromatics are volatile, so low TEMPERATURE is recommended. Low temperature decreases the volatility and therefore you lose less flavor through the airlock.

Being slow is a side effect of low temperature, there nothing about slowness itself that does anything beneficial for flavor.

Yeast need nutrients to perform a healthy fermentation. However, with access to more nutrients, the yeast will fermenter faster and raise the temperature unless you are actively controlling it.
 

MarkKF

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Doesn't adding nutrients oppose the low&slow philosophy so commonly recommended for cider?
You can slow a ferment with low temp. or lack or nutrients. Low temp. won’t stress the yeast.
 

landwaster

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Cidermaker's Handbook recommends not adding nutrient, as it helps speed up fermentation. Low and slow is the way to go.
 

RPh_Guy

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Cidermaker's Handbook recommends not adding nutrient, as it helps speed up fermentation.
That is true, but it's a scientific fact that adding nutrients helps avoid many common off-flavors in cider and wine production.

Jolicoeur's book is good and has a lot of useful info, but it's not the final word on cider production, mostly just one guy's anecdotal experience.
Low and slow is the way to go.
There's no intrinsic problem with fast fermentation. What you want to avoid is fermenting too warm because the apple aromatics are volatile. Lower temperature means less of the flavor will blow out through the airlock. Therefore it's good to use an active form of temperature control.
 
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