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Fermented Fruit -- Photo Essay: The Process of Fermentation

By: Brewing Journeyman Lynnette de Sandoval del Valle de los Unicornios (a.k.a. Debbie Coyle)

Day 1 *  Day 2 *  Going Forward


Day 1

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3:12 pm Started Fermented Fruit started with 2 cans each of drained peaches, pears, and pineapple.
White sugar to cover the fruit. And 1 package of baking yeast.

In this case I used a old sun tea jar with a loose fitting pour spout.

3:12 pm Started The jar must have a LOOSE FITTING lid or cap, so the CO2 can escape with out exploding the bottle.

Keep the lid or cap closed throughout the process, if it is loosely seated it will let the CO2 gas leak out as needed.

3:12 pm Started Just plain old baking yeast. Fleischmann's or Red Ball work well.
3:12 pm Started Those specks are the yeast cells sitting in the liquid.
The house was very cool, so I put the jar on a heating pad set to medium.
Yeast cells are living things that work best if the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees F.
6:50 pm Started The white lacy fringe looking stuff is tiny bubbles starting to form as the
yeast starts to convert the sugar into CO2 (the bubbles) and alcohol.
6:50 pm Started Tiny bubbles on the surface of the liquid.
8:36 pm Started More, bigger bubbles in the liquid.
And bubbles can be seen rising to the surface
8:36 pm Started More, bigger bubbles at the surface.
Things are really happening now!!
11:25 pm Overnight Because it's February and we're having a cold waver in in SoCal the house will be to cold to keep the yeast working overnight. So we covered the jar with a towel and and a basket (to help keep the heat in without blocking the escape of CO2).

It was still sitting on the heating pad, and we turned that on to medium. The heating pad only runs for an hour before auto-shutoff, but that at least gets some heat into the towel and hopefully it will stay at a decent temperature until morning.

Day 2

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11:19 am Day 2, LOTS of bubbles Tim turned the heating pad to medium at 5:30 am before he left for work. Then again at 10:15 after he got home.
That 2 extra hours of heat made the yeast VERY HAPPY!!

LOTS of bubble foam at the top, not so tiny bubbles throughout the liquid, and you can see streams of bubbles making their way up to the surface.

11:19 am Close up of bubbles Close up of the bubbles in the liquid.
Left alone at room temperature, this progresses more slowly. But with the cold nights we wanted to make sure the yeast didn't go to sleep and stop working ... it sure didn't!
5:31 pm Before stirring Before stirring the mixture
11:19 am After stirring After stirring, shows how many small bubbles were in the liquid. It's still working!
7:41 pm Added sugar Added more sugar becasue it didn't seem saucy enough. Also turned the heating pad on to low for an hour since the fruit was starting to feel cold.
10:55 pm Overnight Wrapped it up for the night and turned the heating pad on to medium.

Going Forward

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Day 3
and onward
Day 3 Tim turned the heating pad to low at 5:30am again. The photo here was taken at 5:40 pm. The fruit is still working, you can see bubbles, but not much foam. The alcohol content is about 5% at this point.

Things will progress the same from here on. For the next several days try to stir the fruit once or twice a day to keep the fruit on top from drying out. As the fruit ages in the alcohol it will be soaked enough that you don't need to worry about it drying out.

You can start eating the fruit now, but as it ages the alcohol "edge" will mellow out and the taste gets better. It all depends on what you prefer tastewise and how long you can stand to wait.

As you use the fruit you can add more canned fruit to the jar; as you run out of sauce, add more sugar. When you add sugar it will kick off fermentation again, but it won't be the full blown fermentation we saw at the start of the project. Just know that the yeast are living things that are sleeping in the sauce waiting for more sugar to turn into alcohol and CO2.

ENJOY!

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