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Old 12-03-2006, 03:00 PM   #231
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Any opinions as to how long this can be left in primary? Mine has been four weeks and is still producing a few small bubbles on the surface of the cider. It has cleared up a lot in the last week - I can hold my hand on the other side of the carboy and see clear through to it.

I would transfer to a secondary, but I'm fresh out of carboys. Need to buy some more.



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Old 12-03-2006, 06:01 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by alemonkey
Any opinions as to how long this can be left in primary? Mine has been four weeks and is still producing a few small bubbles on the surface of the cider. It has cleared up a lot in the last week - I can hold my hand on the other side of the carboy and see clear through to it.

I would transfer to a secondary, but I'm fresh out of carboys. Need to buy some more.
I think Ed said that 4 weeks was a minimum. I can't see why leaving it in primary longer wouldn't hurt--it will probably help.



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Old 12-03-2006, 06:39 PM   #233
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Sounds good, just wanted to make sure autolysis isn't going to be a problem. I'm in unfamiliar territory here with the wine yeast.

BTW, smells great coming out of the airlock.

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Old 12-03-2006, 06:41 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by alemonkey
BTW, smells great coming out of the airlock.
Are you beyond the sulfur stage yet? That will bring tears to your eyes
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:44 PM   #235
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Oh yeah, SWMBO was NOT happy about that. It stunk so bad I thought someone had either dropped a big old steamer in the basement toilet or the sewer was backed up. Luckily that subsided after a few days.

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Old 12-03-2006, 08:04 PM   #236
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Oh yeah, SWMBO was NOT happy about that. It stunk so bad I thought someone had either dropped a big old steamer in the basement toilet or the sewer was backed up. Luckily that subsided after a few days.
Ah yes, the big steamer.....

When SWMBO tastes the fruits of your labor, steamers will be long forgotten
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:43 PM   #237
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Well, I am drinking my fist batch of cider so quickly that I thoght I had better get a second batch going so I can have something to drink around New Years! So....I stopped by my local HBS this evening and bought 4# of dextrose and a few packets of montrachet wine yeast....gonna get a batch of Apfelwein going! I have a great aunt from Germany that I am close to and called her and told her what I was going to brew...she went crazy and made me promise her a six pack of it!

My wife has never had a homebrew (not a beer drinker) and doesn't care for cider...but she does love her merlot and cabernet....thinking that maybe this will be something I can brew that she will enjoy! Fingers crossed!

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Old 12-04-2006, 01:24 AM   #238
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Wegen deinen Frau, Das Stimts!

Mann braucht eingfach geduld. Oder?
Du hast Recht!

Daß hab' ich zu meinem Frau erklaren!!

Hab' Spaß in Muenchen!!
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:51 AM   #239
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What a great thread. LMAO about the steamers and dogs. I nearly died laughing reading about using the pickle barrel !

I'm going to make some of this tomorrow.

Questions.

1) What is up with the sulfur smell ? I brew fruit wines all the time and I never get sulphur smells. (Peaches, apricot, etc.) I've never done an apple wine though. I suspect that something needs to be added to the "must" (as they call it in wine circles) to kill off natural yeasts. I'll look into it and report back.

2) Could (sterilized) water + frozen concentrate be used instead of liquid apple juice ? I've never purchased apple juice in half gallon or gallon jugs before, so I am not sure about the price. But we make apple juice with concentrate all the time and its pretty yummy by my standards.

3) As far as sweetening things, we do this all the time with fruit wines, because some fruits ferment out perfectly dry, especially with active wine yeasts. To sweeten them, we use something called wine conditioner, which is a yeast sterilizer (I forget the name at the moment, but I know I have some, potassium sorbate comes to mine, but I'm not sure) and a sweetener.

I wonder if one wanted more sweetness and apple taste if one could use the yeast sterilizer and then add a can of concentrate ? Seems to me that would both sweeten it and give it more apple flavor. My SO other will want a bit of sweetness and apple flavor.

My inlaws and my wife's grandparents are German to the core. They should like this.

I am going to brew to Ed's recipe, subject to the replies about concentrate + water. I'll experiment a bit with sterilizing the yeast and sweetening.

I wish I would have found this a few weeks ago, so we could have some for Christmas. Looks like it will be too late now ! I hope not though...

One more thing... I wouldn't age in the plastic pail primary. Wines are more delicate than beers and very prone to oxidation. Some winemakers even add a little sulfur at each racking to allow the wine to generate some CO2 to fight off oxidation. If it was mine, I'd age in a carboy. Heck, I won't won't even primary ferment in a plastic pail anymore.

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Old 12-04-2006, 08:57 AM   #240
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OK, I did some research and I don't think the sulfur generation is normal or desireable.

The source, as far as I can tell, could be wild yeasts in the juice starting to ferment or the production of H2S from a combination of factors, most likely the wrong yeast, lack of racking, etc.

I make fruit wines as well as beer. My textbook for fruit wines is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Winemaking-Recipes-Equipment-Techniques-Making/dp/0156970953/sr=8-7/qid=1164667737/ref=pd_bbs_sr_7/103-7685839-5323030?ie=UTF8&s=books

I've never had an sulfur smell from any fruit wines that I've brewed.

As far as the wild yeasts go, on page 238, it states to add 80 to 100 ppm of sulfite to "kill wild yeasts prior to fermentation". I add sulphite crystals as directed to all the fruit wines I make.

One has to remember that fermenting wine musts is different than fermenting wort. Wort has just been boiled and it and the container is sterile. Fruits are exactly the opposite. They are simply washed and used. They are loaded with bacteria, organisms, etc. Never the less, I strongly suspect that the apple juice from the store is basically sterile.

I think the real problem is the fermentation conditions.

Page 267 says this:

"Hydrogen sulphide is created by wine yeast during fermentation and some strains such as Montrachet, produce more H2S than others. Generally the problem is not apparent until the secondary fermentation stage. During the secondary fermentation, the dead yeast cells build up in the sediment, and as they break down, their natural sulfur content is reduced to Hydrogen Sulphide. The heavier the deposit and the warmer the temperature - the greater the probability of hydrogen sulfide developing."

It goes on to say that if the smell stays in the wine for longer than a week, it changes to other substances and ruins the wine.

Treatment

aeration, adding sulfur dioxide, adding copper sulfate. According to them, these are only make shift actions.

Prevention

Use a different yeast. After INITIAL racking, don't leave the wine on the yeast more than 10 days. For these authors, initial fermentation is done when SG hits 1.020 or so and they rack to a secondary fermentor at that point.

They don't say it, but fermenting at a colder temperature will help as well.

All their apple wine recipes use a champagne yeast. (Bayanus Champagne.)



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