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Author Topic: wild yeast mead?  (Read 154 times)

Offline rue

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wild yeast mead?
« on: November 25, 2014, 08:51:33 pm »
I am sure that this would have been discussed before but the forum is very big and FULL of information.  Please just sign post me if there is already a thread.  I have made mead three times now following Saunders Katz wild fermentation method where you 'catch' the wild yeast to make the mead.  I definately caught something that got it bubbling and fermenting ready to air lock. However the 1st batch was crap mainly because I had no direct previous knowledge of making alcohol and didnt manage sediment properly so the whole thing is well just awful.  The second batch I siphoned off the sediment better and let it stand for months and its as clear as a bell but tastes like vinegar!  I have a 3rd batch in a car boy still glugging away. I have no idea if Ive made vinegar or mead yet....... I havent made any more (I was using run off from cappings to make use of this) until I work it out better.  Any ideas on what Im doing wrong?  Partner thinks that using purchased yeast will rectify the problem.  Would love to be able to 'catch' my own wild stuff tho' and make nice alcohol.  We are into self sufficiency and just going out and buying stuff goes against the grain a little.  There again maybe its like sourdough?  If I got some good yeast from someone or even buy can I use my own sediment from this to start next batch?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 09:05:58 am »
>as clear as a bell but tastes like vinegar!

Then it is probably vinegar.  Honey vinegar is a very pricey product...  You probably had too much oxygen.

The yeast in the bee bread and the sugar tolerant yeast on the comb will work fine (albeit may taste a bit wild) if you keep oxygen away from the brew.

If you want to catch wild yeast for sourdough (I have no used it for mead so can't say how it would work for that) I get it from juniper berries (which happen to be in my yard or I might try some other berries).  Take a handful of juniper berries and put them in a jar with some sugar, milk, flour and water and put it in a warm place.


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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 01:02:23 pm »
Rue,
It used to be that people would talk about wines as being a very good year and then not so good. You do not hear that now. The reason is that in the past, the yeast used was the natural yeast that came in on the grapes and it was different every year. Now they control which yeast goes into the brew and are able to get consistant results year after year. If you want wild yeasts you are at the whims of nature. If you want the best mead you can produce, add the yeast that will allow you to control it. Here in Jacksonville FL we have a Just Brew It that sells yeast of all different kinds. I am pretty sure they are on the internet under that name if there are no brewing stores in your area.
Jim

Offline buzzbee

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2014, 06:43:38 pm »
As with any wine, leaving it exposed to the open air is risky. Even with catching wild yeasts it is best to kill all yeasts in the must when you start. Keep it covered with a cloth . Do not expose your wines to any vinegar vapors before airlocking. And be sure to keep the fruit flies out when no airlock is present.

Offline KeyLargoBees

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 02:46:17 pm »
Its the wild yeast thing.....some are good some are very very bad. None will kill you but unless you know whats in the air you are better off not taking chances on something that's going to use up a ton of honey and take 6 months to ferment out and clear. Home brewers and wine makers go to pretty extreme lengths to exclude wild yeasts from our products....in essence its because we want repeatable results and if you use a proven yeast you are one step closer to knowing its going to come out drinkable.

Spend a few dollars and get a package of dry champagne yeast from amazon or a local homebrew/wine shop (Lavelin EC-1118 works great) ....that way you are more guaranteed of a drinkable result ;-)
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Offline Kathyp

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 04:34:06 pm »
for the sourdough, the bugs you want are in the four.  rye and wheat are the best.  BUT, and I wonder for mead and will be interested to know, the yeast goes though various stages where it grows things you don't want before it grows what you do want.

With the sourdough, i'm learning to go by smell as much as taste.  maybe the mead wild yeast is also a learned skill?
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Offline buzzbee

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 09:05:11 am »
Have you tasted other meads and found it to your liking? I know I had made some at one time and didn't care that much for it. I thought I had done something wrong. Since then,I have sampled many meads and not found anything that was gang buster to my tatste buds. However ,I have had a few melomels I found tasty.

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Offline KeyLargoBees

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 05:19:17 pm »
Monteluce vineyards in Dahlonaga GA had a semi dry sparkling mead that was out of this world. They don't offer it on their website but if anyone is in the Northern GA area that winery is definitely a nice place for a tasting and some lunch at their restaurant.

 I am a homebrewer and just branching out into mead (and bees ;-) ) and the hardest part is waiting long enough for the dang stuff to finish out. My first batch was very young and I couldn't resist and drank it and it was excellent in a desert wine capacity...cant drink much at a sitting but was a nice nitecap after a meal. I have another batch in fermenter now and am going to give it a full year to age and mature so will let you know next spring if I have the makings of a mead maker lol.
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Offline OldMech

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2015, 05:58:01 pm »
My 1118 yeast seems to give a pretty strong alcohol taste..  I moved to the montrachet from red star to get a milder nicer mead and wine. 
  I do not care for straight mead. There are many Melomels that I find very good..  Not a sweet desert wine or mead, but I dont like dry either.  Back sweetening with honey has produced some very amazing flavors.
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Offline ldeano

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Re: wild yeast mead?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 04:23:17 pm »
A just Brew it recently opened here.  I can't wait to start trying my hand at brewing, especially  brewing with honey from my own hives.  I have tried several meads but I have not found one I just loved.  I think I will start with beers before I dive into melomels.
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