Wild type Cider

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Firstnten

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Last fall I picked up a few gallon of fresh pressed cider. I left the jugs out too long and they started to ferment. A few people here said I should throw an air lock on each jug and see what I get. What I did was throw all five gallons into a better bottle. I forgot about it until today when looking for an empty carboy. It had what looked like small blobs of mold skim coating the top. I was gonna dump it but thought better of it and siphoned it to a keg and threw it on a tap. I gave it a pull warm and uncarbonated. It tasted like dry white with zero sweetness but no off taste. Anyone else have experience with fermenting with wild type yeast? Should I backsweeten it? Or just go with it.
 
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Whether you back sweeten or not is up to you. Did you like it the way it was? I have only made one cider (planning on one again this year, since I only have about twelve 16 oz bottles left), and I used a champaign yeast. I would have rather had it a little sweeter, but I'm not complaining about my first cider. I think it might be interesting to see how one would naturally ferment out.
 
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Firstnten

Firstnten

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Whether you back sweeten or not is up to you. Did you like it the way it was? I have only made one cider (planning on one again this year, since I only have about twelve 16 oz bottles left), and I used a champaign yeast. I would have rather had it a little sweeter, but I'm not complaining about my first cider. I think it might be interesting to see how one would naturally ferment out.
I've used Champagne yeast a bunch of times, the wild type tasted like that, very dry. But I didn't add any sugar so there was not afterbite. If I could throw a suggestion out there for you next cider batch use montrachet yeast it keeps the apple flavor. When I first started brewing I did nothing but batches with Champagne yeast to get the highest ABV I could. Then from reading countless posts genuflecting to the legendary Edwort's recipe I tried it and now I too bow to his greatness.
 

emr454

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I've got a wild cider fermenting right now in my basement. I caught wild yeast from fresh berries that were picked off our property. I put the berries in a sanitized jar with some apple juice, covered with cheesecloth, and let sit outside near an apple tree for a few days. Viola! I caught wild yeast and have just recently found out that I caught some Brett as well. Tastes fruity, kinda like mangoes and pineapple, nothing at all like the apple juice I started with.

As for other yeasts, I'm a big fan of Nottingham ale yeast. It is clean fermenting and doesn't strip away all the apple flavor. It's good up to 10% abv too.

The last time I used Montrachet it made my cider taste like hooch! Not much apple flavor left. YMMV.

Eric
 
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Firstnten

Firstnten

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I've got a wild cider fermenting right now in my basement. I caught wild yeast from fresh berries that were picked off our property. I put the berries in a sanitized jar with some apple juice, covered with cheesecloth, and let sit outside near an apple tree for a few days. Viola! I caught wild yeast and have just recently found out that I caught some Brett as well. Tastes fruity, kinda like mangoes and pineapple, nothing at all like the apple juice I started with.

As for other yeasts, I'm a big fan of Nottingham ale yeast. It is clean fermenting and doesn't strip away all the apple flavor. It's good up to 10% abv too.

The last time I used Montrachet it made my cider taste like hooch! Not much apple flavor left. YMMV.

Eric
Allot of people like notty I've used it once and had bad results, albeit I did go out of the temp range.
 

Edcculus

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Its awesome that it fermented dry with no off flavors.
Was the juice pasteurized, or did it just pick up bugs from the air? Most sources say there really isn't enough of the right kind of natural yeast on apples to actually ferment cider without some funky off flavors. As for sweetening, its really up to you. An English cider is traditionally drier. Since you keg, backsweetening with more juice won't be a problem though. Did you take a FG reading? If its all the way down to 1.000, it might be worth your while to sweeten up to 1.008 or so with fresh juice. That will still be a dry cider, but the slight residual sweetenss gives a little more character and drinkability. Esp since carbonation will lend a drying sensation too.

As far as yeast go, I'm a big fan of ale yeasts. The wine/champagne yeasts I've used really rip through the cider and leave it kind of bland and hoochy. I haven't taken the advice they guy on The Jamil Show gave about fermenting ciders around 50F, which will give a slower more controlled ferment.
 

emr454

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Allot of people like notty I've used it once and had bad results, albeit I did go out of the temp range.
I used it when I made a batch of Graff, and it fermented a little warmer than normal. There were a lot of fruity flavors (esters) present at bottling, but they mellowed over time and it ended up being quite an enjoyable drink!

Eric
 
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Firstnten

Firstnten

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Its awesome that it fermented dry with no off flavors.
Was the juice pasteurized, or did it just pick up bugs from the air? Most sources say there really isn't enough of the right kind of natural yeast on apples to actually ferment cider without some funky off flavors. As for sweetening, its really up to you. An English cider is traditionally drier. Since you keg, backsweetening with more juice won't be a problem though. Did you take a FG reading? If its all the way down to 1.000, it might be worth your while to sweeten up to 1.008 or so with fresh juice. That will still be a dry cider, but the slight residual sweetenss gives a little more character and drinkability. Esp since carbonation will lend a drying sensation too.

As far as yeast go, I'm a big fan of ale yeasts. The wine/champagne yeasts I've used really rip through the cider and leave it kind of bland and hoochy. I haven't taken the advice they guy on The Jamil Show gave about fermenting ciders around 50F, which will give a slower more controlled ferment.
I took no SG readings I thought I was wasting my time with it. And the fact that it looked like is was contaminated I was almost certain is was trashed. It was unpasteurized. I have three orchards in near my home. All of them have fresh pressed 2 do not pasteurize. Fermenting your cider at 50F!?!? you mean lager yeasts? This is why I love this site just when you think you thought you've read everything someone comes out with another cool idea. What yeast specifically are we talking about here?
 

Edcculus

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I'm not 100% sure what yeast to use. I just heard it when I was re-listening to the "Cider Again" episode of The Jamil Show. They interview Gary Awdey for the show, a pretty well renowned homebrew cider maker. Toward the end of the show, he mentions fermenting at lager temps. He seems to say he uses regular wine yeasts though. No mention of lager yeast. I was rather taken aback (as were the guys on the show). Unfortuately, they don't really press the issue, so he doesn't go into a whole lot of detail.
 

HokieBrewer

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I'm pretty sure fermenting cold has something to do with nitrogen levels...

Shows how much I know huh :p
 
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Firstnten

Firstnten

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I'm not 100% sure what yeast to use. I just heard it when I was re-listening to the "Cider Again" episode of The Jamil Show. They interview Gary Awdey for the show, a pretty well renowned homebrew cider maker. Toward the end of the show, he mentions fermenting at lager temps. He seems to say he uses regular wine yeasts though. No mention of lager yeast. I was rather taken aback (as were the guys on the show). Unfortuately, they don't really press the issue, so he doesn't go into a whole lot of detail.
I know Lalvin has some wine yeast that ferment at 50F at the extreme low end.
 

truckjohn

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Glad to hear it worked out well for you...... It probably came out well partially because you forgot about it -- and Malo-lactic fermentation ran it's course..... Aging smoothed it out good..... If it was 2 weeks old, you would be saying "Who put battery acid in my cider jug?"

Ale yeasts will still work down in the 50's... they just go sloooowwwwww.....

One of the things I like best about Nottingham is that it is fairly neutral/clean fermenting... Not a lot of ester/weird flavors to muck up your Apple flavor... unlike most proper wine yeasts... I really don't want "Big Bold Reds" or "Lots of Tropical flavors like Mango and Banana" flavor in Apple cider.... Bleah!

Thanks
 
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