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Cryssunshine
08-06-2013, 02:01 PM
I wanted to try wild fermentation and read a book by Sandor Katz. I follow a few people (Daniel Vitalis, Chef Frank) who wildly ferment beverages.
My first attempt is of raw honey, well water and nectarines. I mixed the honey and water (1:7) and cut up about 7 nectarines and left them in an open wide vessel for a day. It was then suggested that I go ahead and put it all in the carboy. I did this and put the airlock on... and realized 2 days later that I was suppose to put water in the airlock! This entire time I kept shaking the carboy to prevent mold from forming on fruit; there was a slight bubbling but not enough to cause a foam/ froth or noticeable bubbles from a distance.
I took the fruit out last night (after about a week) by siphoning the must (I guess thats what its still called at this stage)out. The fruit no longer had its flavor, but it also had a slightly vinegary taste to it. The must is in the carboy with the airlock and some CO2 is pushing through the airlock.
So, I guess my question is, "Is this stuff good and should I continue?" "If so, what should I do next- let it sit for 6 weeks or so?" "Do I need to keep shaking it?" "Should I drop a few raisins in there for tannins?" "Is this a bad batch?"
I really wanted to do this without adding packaged yeast or nutrients, but if the only way to save it is one of those than I suppose I have no other choice. I have a package of inexpensive bread yeast- would that work?

Marshmallow Blue
08-06-2013, 02:52 PM
if you had a waterless airlock AND it tastes slightly of vinegar, than its probably an acetobacter infection (vinegar),since it needs air for that to happen, which is what you provided. There's a pretty cool article on HBT about wild yeast culturing and selection. You may need to get more equipment but you'll be able to have more control.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/entries/plating-yeast-selecting-colonies.html As your yeast sample you would want to make a starter and harvest it form there, grow it , and select the best. Then use those to make liquid starters.

Have you done any meads before? You may want to get some regularly fermented meads under your belt first if you haven't already.

Welcome to gotMead

Cryssunshine
08-06-2013, 03:02 PM
No, this is my first attempt at making any beverage. Thank you.

Cryssunshine
08-06-2013, 03:03 PM
So, do you think I should scrap this batch? Add tannins? Let it sit and see if it will continue to ferment? Add yeast?

Marshmallow Blue
08-06-2013, 04:03 PM
I wouldn't add anything. You can let it sit and see if the vinegar gets worse or better (probably worse).

In the meantime you can read the newbee guide and try this as a starter recipe
http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_rapidrecipe&page=viewrecipe&Itemid=6&recipe_id=118

If, after the Joes Ancient Orange mead is done, the vinegar is worse, then you can keep it until its actually vinegar and use it as such, or dump it.

joemirando
08-06-2013, 04:16 PM
I wouldn't add anything. You can let it sit and see if the vinegar gets worse or better (probably worse).

Why "worse"? I would suggest cultivating both the yeast and the Mother of Vinegar. So instead of this batch being the intended mead, perhaps a 'hand crafted honey vinegar'.

I mean, when life gives you lemons...
Smile, cuz, hey, free lemons, right? <chuckling>


Joe

Marshmallow Blue
08-06-2013, 04:55 PM
Why "worse"? I would suggest cultivating both the yeast and the Mother of Vinegar. So instead of this batch being the intended mead, perhaps a 'hand crafted honey vinegar'.

I mean, when life gives you lemons...
Smile, cuz, hey, free lemons, right? <chuckling>


Joe

Worse as in he meant to make mead, not vinegar. I also said later that he could keep it as vinegar. However, I wouldn't continue trying to save a batch from going vinegar once its started when you could be investing your efforts to one that will work.

joemirando
08-06-2013, 05:24 PM
Worse as in he meant to make mead, not vinegar. I also said later that he could keep it as vinegar. However, I wouldn't continue trying to save a batch from going vinegar once its started when you could be investing your efforts to one that will work.

Quite true. My admittedly uninformed guess is that once it has BEGUN to become vinegar, its pretty much lost as an alcoholic drink.

And yes, he had meant to make mead. I doubt that is possible now, as its pretty much the same as ADDING acetic acid out of a lab bottle. Even if its "only a little bit"... yuck. And I don't know of any way to remove the acetic acid without ruining the mead.

I apologize for missing the part where u mentioned keeping it as mead. That changes the whole point of your post. Sorry.

Joe

ScotRob
08-07-2013, 02:08 PM
OK- this is the very experienced wine maker (10 yrs+) in me speaking, not the relatively inexperienced mead maker (1 yr): firstly, it is seldom a good idea to rely on wild yeast to ferment your must, even more so if it's honey (with grapes you might get away with it)....it's way too unpredictable and variable...

secondly: if this was a grape must and I detected a hint of vinegar aroma/taste, my immediate plan would be to add 50 to 100 ppm of sulphite (1 - 2 campden tabs per gallon), wait 24 hrs then rack the liquid off before adding a good dose of yeast nutrient AND a vigorously fermenting yeast starter culture (yeast which has had some hours in water with a bit of sugar/honey and is visibly fermenting well)...if you can get a strong fermentation going quickly you might save it, otherwise the acetification is irreversible and I would chuck it and start again

joemirando
08-07-2013, 02:45 PM
Quite true. My admittedly uninformed guess is that once it has BEGUN to become vinegar, its pretty much lost as an alcoholic drink.

And yes, he had meant to make mead. I doubt that is possible now, as its pretty much the same as ADDING acetic acid out of a lab bottle. Even if its "only a little bit"... yuck. And I don't know of any way to remove the acetic acid without ruining the mead.

I apologize for missing the part where u mentioned keeping it as mead. That changes the whole point of your post. Sorry.

Joe

Dammit, I MEANT "I apologize for missing the part where you mentioned keeping it as vinegar".

Sigh. Sometimes I'm such a yutz.


Joe