[Sca-cooks] brewing

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sat Jun 21 12:32:07 PDT 2008

> Okay, this question is a little silly, but I'm curious.
>>From what I can ascertain, brewers use a special yeast, which is more
> delicate, and provides a finer taste.
> But....what if you had a fruit beverage....(something like Ocean Spray,
> which is chock-full of sugars, or a fruit cocktail with pure sugar in it)
> and let it ferment from yeast in the air?  Would the resultant...uh...mess
> be safe to administer to humans?  And what would it be called?

One of the regions of Belgium produces a beer of barley malt and wheat by 
spontaneous fermentation called lambic.  Some varieties have a fruit 
component which is added to the wort and fermented.  It is usually produced 
in Winter and early Spring to reduce the possible contaminents.  So 
spontaneous fermentation can produce a beverage that humans can drink.

Strains of yeast tend to be localized, so you may or may not have a wild 
yeast in your vicinity that will produce a satisfactory result.

Simple fermentation of fruit juice produces wine.  Wine has been made for at 
least 8000 years and the original vintners didn't have cultivated yeast, so 
I'm fairly certain that people can drink the result of a spontaneous 
fermentation of fruit or fruit juice.  The safety and palatablity of doing 
so are different issues.

> Obviously, out-gassing is a concern, so you'd have to open the bottle, 
> from
> time to time.  Or you'd get exploded plastic.

True lambics are generally tank brewed and are flat.  If carbonation is 
desired, it is by secondary fermentation during bottling.  If I were doing 
this experiment, I would use a container with a pressure release valve.

> And how would it taste?  But the most important, would it be something 
> that
> would make people sick?
> -- 
> Ian of Oertha

Lambics and other spontaneous fermentations are notoriously sour tasting.

Ferment it cool and pasteurize the resulting wine after straining, but that 
will eliminate natural carbonation.


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