I wanted to make use of the one gallon glass jugs I had purchased some apple juice in from whole foods. I figured these would be perfect for some small experimental batches.
With this one, I also wanted to try making a wild ferment mead.
Ingredients – Primary
3 lbs of honey
2 Large Pears
Ginger bug – wild yeast starter
Ingredients – Secondary
1/2 lb honey to back sweeten
I did not measure the gravity for this batch, unfortunately.
You’ll notice in this batch I did not use a commercial packet of yeast to get started. Instead I created what is known as a ginger bug to use as my starter. Essentially I took a small mason jar, sliced up some fresh ginger root (which is a good source of wild yeast), and added maybe a cup of honey to it. After shaking it all up, I covered this with a cheese cloth but left it otherwise uncovered. After a day or two, I noticed I had some bubbles forming and knew my fermentation had kicked off. I had cultivated some wild yeast!
Again, I cut up the pears into small pieces and boiled them in some water to extract as much juice as I could. I’ve tried this on both of my small experimental batches. While it works well to keep the sediment down in the jars, it also limits the flavor, I have found. Trying this again, I’d either add more pears, or add them directly to the primary. Maybe both, pear is a light flavor.
This one turned out not too bad. It’s not immediately recognizable as pear. I think even the small amount of ginger overpowers it. But it is a nice little kick. It is currently still sitting in it’s jug, unbottled, so I could add some more pear juice to it and see how that fares.
Overall, it was really cool to see I could ferment a drink without any added yeast. But had this been excellent, that may have made it more difficult to reproduce, unless I use some of the lees, or a small bit of this mead as a starter. Yeast can have a decent effect on the flavor of your mead, so putting that aspect on random can have an interesting outcome.