Pineapple mead problem

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G259

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I wanted to make a pineapple mead (1 gal.), put 3 cans (46 oz.) of Dole pineapple juice into bucket, and about 30 oz. honey added as well. I went to the fridge to get yeast, I forgot that I used the last package, and my supply store is relocating, and is closed for a few weeks. Ok, I snapped the lid shut, and added an airlock, I figured it might keep it away from SOME air. I ordered some yeast online (Sun.), and quick shipped it. It came in today.

Last night I heard something that sounded like a constant drip, and was searching high and low for it. My pineapple mead was fermenting, fairly quickly (3/sec. in airlock), that was my 'drip'! Here's my problem: I will assume, after thinking about it, that the yeast was in the honey, as I sanitized everything, and the juice was pasturized. Now I have no way of knowing what this yeast will do, should I:
A. Roll the dice and let it go, not knowing the alcohol tolerance of the yeast.
B. Use campden, and start over with a fresh packet of yeast, I have a variety of Red Star, what kind?
Note: I didn't use campden in the beginning, figuring that pasteurization would suffice, And I thought that 'honey is pretty pure.
C. Put an aggressive yeast in to take over the ferment, like Premier Blanc.

Any help would be appreciated, Thanks.
 

bshef

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I recall the first mead I made many years ago was prefemented (my honey got water in the container where it was stored). I just added more yeast and it was fine. I would go on and pitch your fresh yeast into the fermenting must. Some people speculate that the stronger yeast will win out.
 

G259

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Smells fine. That was my first choice, to pitch a fresh packet of yeast. I was just looking for some insight, as I'm sure that something like this has happened to someone else. Do you think that the yeast came from the honey?
 

bshef

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Maybe. Yeast is in the air, everywhere. More so if you have been making wine, beer, bread... Who knows? I think it will be fine. Keep us posted. Remember, some people are doing natural fermentation.
 

G259

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Ok, it's 1 gallon, I have decided to just let 'er go then. If it stops early, because the yeast is done, then I'll pitch a packet of Cote des Blancs. It won't have to compete with the dead yeast.
 

Rice_Guy

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If you are considering reinnoculating do it now while the yeast has oxygen available to reproduce.
The chances are that the current ferment is good, , however as with any wild fermentation it could stop early. @G259 you have been making wine for a while so you are fairly well colonized with yeast. (dry yeast survive quite well, remember dry packets say 2 year shelf life) The honey probably did not contribute live yeast. The pineapple was commercially sterile, ie no yeast.
IF you face a must without a yeast packet consider inoculating with one of your wines racked to a secondary. Any batch under 6 months should have live yeast. If the temp is cool to frozen in the garage I would extend live yeast to a year.
 

G259

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. . . so you're saying that it's wine yeast in the air then, ok I could see that. bshef, said that as well, so I"ll go with it!
 

Rice_Guy

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. . . so you're saying that it's wine yeast in the air then, . . .
The commercial/added selection of yeast needs oxygen to build cell walls and build up a usable population. Once it is anaerobic/ has an air lock added yeast will not build up a large population.
 

BernardSmith

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Sorry, coming late to this party, so this may be irrelevant for this batch but taste it. If a wild ferment tastes OK and you like the way it is going then let it go (as you say you intended to do). If you don't like it, you have a couple of options. The first is to toss the batch. It's a gallon not a barrel. OR you could simply pitch some lab cultured yeast and they will almpost certainly dominate the indigenous yeast and then you will have a quite unique wine with flavor notes from the indigenous yeast.
 
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