Sun Rype Apple Juice (4 US gallons)
1/2 cup dextrose
1/2 cup brown sugar
SAF-ALE US-04 (the posts I read indicated this dry yeast left the most favourable fruity tones for Apple Cider - who am I to argue?)
Fermented at ~21C for 7 days, and bottled (no additional sugar). Cider was still for first few days, but gradually became sparkling.
I was extremely happy with the result. It did not last long (partly because I shared, partly because it was tasty).
So. Then I read an article about wild yeast on fruit (BYO - their source was Fast Brews (I think), which is a new book out).
Having a raspberry bush in the back yard, I decided to try my hand at Wild Yeast Cider.
Went to backyard and harvested about 20 raspberries.
Rinsed raspberries off and dropped them into a little bit of apple juice (1 L) in a slightly crushed 2L pop bottle (sanitized, of course).
Went to sleep.
By the next evening, the bottle wasn't crushed anymore (due to yeast activity) so I dumped the raspberries and juice into 2 gallons of Sun Rype apple juice.
Added yeast nutrient and 1/2 cup of dextrose (for no good reason really - I just thought, maybe wild yeast like dextrose)
It fermented for roughly 3.5 weeks. The fermentation was slow and constant.
Last night (15/09/10) I racked it and tasted it. Wow.
The depth of this cider compared to the other is incredible! The gravity was only 1.020. So. I didn't bottle it. Sadly, I did not get an OG. But the specific gravity apple juice alone is roughly 1.040 (~5%).
So then I decided, why not try to make a starter out of the small yeast cake?
I then processed the yeast cake (swirled it, put it in sterilized jars (like how you prepare jars for canning)) and let it sit while I mashed up 500 g of 2-row (Canadian Malting Company).
After my mash cooled, I added the yeast. And success! The starter is bubbling away.
So. Brew day tomorrow will be with wild yeast, and homegrown hops (I grew williamette and brewers gold this summer).
Just thought I share. Wild yeast!!