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wild fermentation, hard vicer vs apple cider vinegar making?  RSS feed

 
travis hoeffel
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I am interested in making hard cider with wild yeast. However, people have told me that i might get apple cider vinegar instead. Is there a way to discourage it from becoming apple cider vinegar? Would it work if i peeled apples and juiced the flesh than readded some peels to the juice set aside with airlock on top and just wait for 5 days?
 
Henry Jabel
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Using the wild yeast is fine, whoever told you that doesnt know what they are talking about. What will turn the alcohol into vinegar is oxygen and bacteria. So as long dont have the oxygen you will be fine.
The fermentation will provide it own blanket of co2 to protect itself and the excess air is expelled through the airlock.

Dont bother peeling the apples. Not entirely sure why you would think it would make any difference?! I am guessing it could be from people saying the wild yeasts are on the skin of the apple. Well they are but they are also everywhere in nature so it wont really make any difference!










 
bud smith
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Henry's answer is spot on, I just want to add that if your recipe calls for additional sugar then you need to use a wine making yeast, because the natural yeast found on apple skins has an upper alcohol tolerance of about 7%. That is fine when just using the natural sugar from the apple but some recipes use additional sugar and then the wild yeast won't be able to ferment that to dry, leaving you with a sweet hard cider.
 
Henry Jabel
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bud smith wrote:Henry's answer is spot on, I just want to add that if your recipe calls for additional sugar then you need to use a wine making yeast, because the natural yeast found on apple skins has an upper alcohol tolerance of about 7%. That is fine when just using the natural sugar from the apple but some recipes use additional sugar and then the wild yeast won't be able to ferment that to dry, leaving you with a sweet hard cider.


I am not sure what the upper limit might be for wild yeast but myself and the company I used to work for have fermented up to 11% and have never used a cultured yeast before. The 11% was quite exceptional as there was sugar solution already in the tank which we filled with sugary juice. However its not unusual to get some thing fermented flat with an alcohol level of even 8 - 9% with wild yeasts ( with no added sugar if you get the right fruit). I live in the south of England too, so you might find some of the highly russeted fruit we were using in a climate with more sun produces an even higher gravity!
 
travis hoeffel
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What is the difference between single ferment and double ferment? Is there a big taste difference?
 
Henry Jabel
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travis hoeffel wrote:What is the difference between single ferment and double ferment? Is there a big taste difference?


They do different things. One ferments the sugars with yeasts into alcohol the second is malo lactic fermentation which is bacterial, changing the malic acid to lactic acid (creating less acidity etc). The artsitic side of wine and cider making comes into play here and its up to you how you control this. For example cider made from true cider apples might need a lot longer malo lactic fermentation than cider made from eating apples. If the cider you have made has undesirable characteristics etc usually storing it long enough will allow the malo lactic fermentation to improve it.
 
Ann Torrence
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Ben Watson's book Cider, Hard and Sweet and Annie Proulx and Lew Nichol's book Cider: Making, Using and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider are good places to look for more information. Both should be available at the library.
 
Ann Torrence
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And just to clarify: vinegar comes from a second fermentation process where acetic acid-producing bacteria feed on the alcohol. What you want is to 1) produce the alcohol with yeast fermentation, then 2) prevent contamination from the acetic acid producing bacteria. One common source if you want to make vinegar are fruit flies, but the bacteria are everywhere. Hygiene is your friend! So is an oxygen-deprived environment. There are plenty of other beasties that can impart bad flavors if your hygiene is suspect, so good sanitation practices are a general principle.
 
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