hist-brewing: Slow Ferment

ulfin at mail.portup.com ulfin at mail.portup.com
Wed Jul 7 16:18:30 PDT 1999

Nathi quotes me:

>>We want quick starts to stave off infection.  Fresh must is much
>>more susceptible to infection than must once it is active.   Once
>>you have a well-established colony of the happy beasties, outsiders
>>don't have much chance to cause problems.   We want to eliminate
>>the period during which the yeast is just waking up and beginning
>>to reproduce.
>This also, we can call a FACT, for BEER.  However, I dont think this is all
>that big of an issue with mead.

Not sure why you would say that.  Do you think the glucose in
honey possesses some unique resistance to wild yeast?

>And, the biggest reason we try to
>shorten the lag with beer is DMS, and the issue there is more with the pH
>of the beer wort then competition from yeast.

Isn't that a chill lag issue, rather than a yeast lag issue?

>One example is making fruit wine and ciders with the natural yeasts on
>the fruit.  Very slow start, all kinds of exposure to beasties, but the
>results are often better then anything you could make with store bought

Substitute "rarely" for "often" and I'd agree with you 100%.
Wild yeasts on fruit are seldom single strains, are almost
never saccharomyces cerevisiae, and almost always have some
major character defect.

>Maybe the point about
>consuming  sugars during propagation has something to do with it, this
>would correspond to Als results of ending up with a dryer, smother
>mead because you would be consuming sugars w/o producing alcohol.

Makes sense, but somehow I don't think it's that large of a
factor or vintners would bring up the issue more often when
discussing method for particular recipes.  However, the
chemistry really does imply that it's pretty significant.

>This makes since, but it is just a guess.
>My point is that someone has told us that they make good meads using
>this method, and I do not think we should just pull out our brewing texts
>and say "you are wrong"

One of the first things I always tell my students is that for
every absolute rule in vinting, someone has been making award-winning
wines for years doing the exact opposite.

>I also try to work in my bee pollen experiment with this,
>though I have not convinced myself it would be wise to through whole
>bees into the must :)

The honey I use from local apiaries is always raw and unfiltered,
with ocassional bee parts.  (We sell it in 60# buckets at the
natural foods co-op where I work.)  The blended "Grade A Fancy"
honey one finds in conventional grocery stores has usually
been cooked and filtered, has almost no aroma.

Dan Butler-Ehle

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