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Cherry Yeast Water - question on activity

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Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

Cherry Yeast Water - question on activity

I've got a batch of cherry yeast water I've been brewing since 2 days ago. I recently put it in a bigger home, fed it a little snack of brown sugar (just a few sprinkles since I thinned it out when I transferred it,) and it's already developing bubbles. In fact, it's got enough bubbles developing on it that when I gave it a shake to mix it, the top popped off (since I've got the top on loosely to let out some CO2.)

Am I looking at bacterial activity, or is this just a really quickly-developing yeast? Or is this typical?

I've read the "Wee Bonnie Beasties" thread (which was a great primer on what I needed to do to get started,) used tap water (even though it says not to,) and used organically grown (and therefore not chemically sprayed) cherries, crushed, with the stones removed. The "WBB" thread gives a lot of great info and links, but it seems to skip directly from "here's how you make it" to "here's how you test it." There's nothing specific (that I can find - which is why I'm asking the experts :) about how you can get an idea whether it's active or how you tell whether it's been cultivated enough to use (short of using it, of course.)

Picture of the little buggers:

Temperature has been roughly between 69 and 75 while it's been brewing. Note, the mixture is so dark that a high-powered LED flashlight held behind it won't shine through it, even after settling - again, not sure what this means, if anything.

Hopefully my questions are clear, and hopefully I'm not missing an easy search term. :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

7-14 days to take YW to the bread ready stage.  Don't feed mine sugar though.   I use honey.  In a few days you can test it by making a levain and see how long it takes to double.  it it doubles in 8 hrs you are ready.

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

Thanks for the reply. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when you see the bubbles going up the side of the glass like the bubbles in a soda pop.  It should also smell good, yeasty.  Might try dropping in one or two thin slices of lemon to bleach out the red so you can see something.  

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

Huh. I've got some "100% lemon juice" - think that'd work?

And do you know whether a vinegar smell means the little yeasties are starving, or something else? <_<

Almost all my search-fu fails against this subject. *grin*

(also, thank you for the reply and the idea!)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is working hard to set up for the yeasts.  Give it some more time.  Skip the lemon... might get it too sour.  

You could float a smaller straight glass inside the liquid to see it "thinner" where the two glass surfaces touch.  You might then be able to see bubbles forming.

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

I'm starting to worry about this yeast water. The vinegar smell seems like it's getting worse, rather than dying down any. It's still giving me some CO2 bubbles, but it's definitely got me wondering. I just shook it up, and it's like opening a bottle of white vinegar. >_<

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Have a salad  :)

Start another one. This time don't squash the cherries and let them burst on their own... seeds worms and all.  a few leaves might also be good.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

well, I guess you got vinegar then.

Have a salad :)

 

.... ever practical, is our Mini! :^)

 

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

"When life gives you vinegar, make a salad."

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the solution to be slightly acidic in the beginning and a little orange juice would heve been a good choice or mini's recomendation - lemon.  But, if you have made vinegar you now have one of the hardest things to make at home - a mother for making your own unique one of a kind vinegars- very cool.  Mine just died from a lack of attention, too me  year to get one going - retirement doesn't leave much time for anything else :-)

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

Figures - problem is, I'm not overly fond of vinegar in the first place. *grin* I'd rather have just the yeast.

I'll give it a little while longer. I did some research, and apparently vinegar happens when the yeasts start converting alcohol to acetic acid. So I guess the trick is to figure out how to keep it from generating (excessive) alcohol from the sugars in it.

After looking around some more, it seems like when yeast works in the presence of oxygen, it generates CO2 and H2O. When it doesn't have enough oxygen to work with, it generates CO2 and Ethanol. So the trick, presumably, would be to make sure the little yeasties have plenty of oxygen. This might mean I need to stir it more often than twice a day, and possibly that I need to legitimately shake it up to get the oxygen properly distributed in there. I almost wonder if a little unit (like you'd put in a fish tank) to oxygenate the water would be ideal for this purpose...

I also might want to drain a good chunk of the water and replace it - just to see if I can "try again" with the same batch and without getting more cherries.

Edit: The first half is just from looking around and seeing how vinegar is made. The second is from this article I found on Google: http://courses.bio.unc.edu/2009Fall/Biol423L/Pdfs%20published%20forwebpage/BakerYeastLife.pdf