Monday, October 22, 2012

Updates on Pineapple Vinegar and Wild Yeast

Well, the pineapple vinegar got poured into the compost this afternoon.  Why?  Well, with all the layers of cheesecloth to protect it, bugs still got inside it.  EWWW!!  I had little gnats inside the cover, happily getting fat off the brew.

I had a great "mother" on top of it and it was getting near the harvesting period as it had gone from clear, to murky, and then almost clear like the original recipe had stated would happen.  When I opened the top, a few gnats flew out, so that was the immediate end of that experiment.

Next time, I'll skip the cheesecloth and instead use a flour sack towel to cover it, which is a much tighter weave than four layers of its recommended competitor.  I'll wait until the spring to revive this experiment.

As far as the wild yeast goes, I tried making bread with it, but it didn't rise much.  I did add a little bit of commercial yeast to the blend and it barely got to the top of the loaf pan, but it did have great flavor!  I've tried making another wild yeast starter, and it seems to work better on warmer days (75+ degrees F) and cooler days result in a total flop, which isn't surprising since yeast in bread likes a warmer environment in which to grow and rise.

We did have a few warmer days here where I tried to make another batch, but in the end it still didn't work.  I found trying to revive starter that was put in the fridge after successfully being capture didn't work for me (you're supposed to feed it equal amounts of water and flour), but mine never proofed a second time.  What did happen was it grew mold before it got there!

So use the fresh captured stuff fairly quickly, but add in some extra commercial yeast if you want to make bread with it.  I found making sour dough starter with commercial yeast easier and more predictable in cooler fall weather.

Chalk up another set of "FAILS" for me on this, but hey...that's how you learn.  I'm not discouraged, but I'm going to have to wait until next spring when the fruit's fresh and the weather's warm enough to grow yeast to try again. 

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