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Wild Fermentation?


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#1 neddles

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:02 AM

About three weeks ago, while we were out of town, we stopped by an organic orchard that had just pressed a mix of Cortland, Honeycrisp and Whitney Crab and threw in a small portion of their blueberries as well. The juice tasted fantastic and I picked up their last gallon and a half (a one gallon jug and a half gallon jug). Half forgotten about and hiding behind a keg in the fridge I went to check on these last night to make a small batch cider but it seems the half gallon has taken off on its own. The jug is swelled and has a small cap of foam on top. So what to do from here? What would you guys do? I'm thinking of just putting the gallon and half gallon together in a bucket and letting it go. Thoughts?


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#2 neddles

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 09:46 AM

I split the 1.5 gallons between two 1 gallon glass jugs that now reside in a 55F tub of water. Hoping for a happy accident here. OG was 1.054 of the still tasty and not fermenting gallon volume. Obviously whatever is fermenting this it doesn't mind 33-34F. Is a good ferm temp anyones guess? I usually do about 55F on cider but that is with nottingham, not a wild bug.


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#3 ScottS

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:00 PM

I won't make cider any other way. :frank:

#4 neddles

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:16 PM

I won't make cider any other way. :frank:

Yeah I knew I would try this sooner or later. I guess the time is now.


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#5 dmtaylor

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:04 AM

I had a spontaneous ferment start with one gallon of unpasteurized cider in my refrigerator a couple of weeks ago.  It is at about 44 F (is my refrigerator warmer than most??).  It tastes great so far, so I am just leaving it in its original milk jug container, with the cap a little loose to relieve pressure.  I think it could turn out awesome.  Cider experts will usually tell you that colder and slower is better.  So if it ferments just fine in the 40s or maybe even 30s, that might turn out even better than in the 50s or 60s.  Maybe.  I have never done a cold primary ferment before so we'll have to wait and see what happens.


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#6 neddles

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 07:01 AM

I had a spontaneous ferment start with one gallon of unpasteurized cider in my refrigerator a couple of weeks ago.  It is at about 44 F (is my refrigerator warmer than most??).  It tastes great so far, so I am just leaving it in its original milk jug container, with the cap a little loose to relieve pressure.  I think it could turn out awesome.  Cider experts will usually tell you that colder and slower is better.  So if it ferments just fine in the 40s or maybe even 30s, that might turn out even better than in the 50s or 60s.  Maybe.  I have never done a cold primary ferment before so we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Sounds good. Let us know how it turns out.

 

FYI, I believe safe refrigeration is 40F or less if you are talking about a food storage fridge.


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#7 miccullen

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 11:36 AM

yum

 

Even the UV treated cider I buy will take off on it's own I have found


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#8 neddles

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:54 AM

So after a few weeks of slow fermentation, with yeasty pellet-like blobs bobbing up and down in the jugs, these have finally gone clear and inactive. Very clear. Never done a wild ferment on my ciders. What next? Do I manage a wild fermentation any different than a standard sacc. fermentation? Do I let these age out on the wild lees? Get it off the lees and bottle? Or just do a standard secondary?


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#9 neddles

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:25 PM

I sur lees on my wild ciders. One I have now may or may not have been on lees for two years now...

Something different about wild yeast as opposed to sacc. that makes doing this OK?


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#10 MtnBrewer

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:42 PM

Any yeast will eat O2.

#11 neddles

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 08:32 PM

Well I couldn't help but take a sample taste. Solid nail polish remover note right at the front. After that it finishes very dry, slightly apple-y and wine like with a mild and pleasant astringency at the finish. Anyone know, does the nail polish remover fade with time?


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#12 Genesee Ted

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:41 AM

Unfortunately, it will not 



#13 dmtaylor

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:46 AM

FWIW, my spontaneous ferment tasted okay for a while... then it went real bad.  Oh well.  A learning experience.


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#14 Mando

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:21 AM

i'm doing my third year of wild ferments.  the first two years no problem.  so far with year three i'm not picking up an issue yet.  it doesn't taste great yet though since it's so young but i suspect it will mature into a nice cider.


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#15 neddles

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:12 AM

I'll let it sit awhile and see what happens. It was pleasant after that initial hit of nail polish remover.


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#16 neddles

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:25 PM

I'll let it sit awhile and see what happens. 

 

Pellicle now forming in one of the jugs. That's whats happening.


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