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Old 07-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #21
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You really should reduce that headspace. Racking to a smaller carbouy(or 2) would solve the problem easily. Looks like you've got about 4.4 gallons in that carbouy; rack to a 3 gallon, a 1 gallon & a 1/2 gallon. Put them all under airlocks. Whenever you rack, top up with must from the 1/2 gallon. Blend them all when you bottle.
Regards, GF.

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Old 07-24-2014, 04:23 PM   #22
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Sampled some last night, 5 weeks from beginning primary.

Overall, I am pleased with the flavor, color, and clarity, so far. It still has a nice, reddish tint, and I clear enough to read the salt box behind the carboy.

ImageUploadedByHome Brew1406218977.168749.jpg

I only tried 4 ounces or so, at room temp straight out of the carboy. On tasting, the strawberry is front and center, which is very nice. It's like nothing I've tasted before, very pleased with how the strawberry flavor as survived.

The yeasty-ness is gone, but I must admit, there's a subtle, almost styrofoamy aftertaste. I've never noticed this in my previous cider/cyser attempts, so I'm not sure if it's something specific to the strawberries, or what. It's summer down south, and I'm wondering if my temps were/are a little higher than optimal, causing increased fusels.

From my reading, a 5 week old cyser is young, so I am hoping that this will age out, and leave behind the strong strawberry flavor.

Has anyone else noticed this kind of thing before? If so, does the aging help?

Thanks

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Old 08-28-2014, 04:40 AM   #23
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So, at 2 months since starting primary, and I went ahead and bottled the 4 or so gallons of cyser left in the carboy (mainly because I needed room). On tasting, I've got to say I'm disappointed. The strawberry flavors seem less discernible now, and the overall flavor is more sour. And there is an undeniable nail-polish, styrofoam-y quality to it; to be exact, it reminds me precisely of Super Elastic Bubble Plastic from when I was a kid (if anyone recognizes the reference).ImageUploadedByHome Brew1409200396.986622.jpg

Needless to say, I'm pretty disappointed, as I had high hopes for this brew. Any thoughts on what could have produced this off flavor, and if it will age out? My assumption is that the room were I keep my carboy has been hotter than usual this summer, and the off tastes are from fusels. I'm also wondering if these off flavors are specific to the yeast strain I used, to strawberries, or could be a result of too much head space, as noted above.

At present, I'm considering dumping the whole batch. Any insights?

Thanks!

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Old 08-28-2014, 10:34 AM   #24
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From Jack Keller's site:

"Fingernail Polish Remover Smell: The wine is contaminated with ethyl acetate. There are three ways a wine can become thus contaminated. (1) Ethyl alcohol and oxygen can interact to create acetaldehyde, which can react with oxygen to create acetic acid (vinegar), which in turn can react with ethyl alcohol to create ethyl acetate. This pathway can be easily shut down by preventing oxygen exposure with the wine. Since this is impossible, one can at least minimize it to what is absolutely necessary (racking, stirring, testing, bottling). This can be done by topping up adequately, using an inert gas (such as argon -- or even CO2) to sparge the new carboy of oxygen when racking, leaving the bung on the carboy except when absolutely necessary to break the seal, and keeping sulfur dioxide levels sufficiently high that no vacant molecular interstices exist for oxygen to populate. (2) Bacterial contamination of the wine (by acetobacter) can allow the creation of acetic acid, which then combines with ethyl alcohol in the wine to form ethyl acetate. The key to prevention, again, is maintaining an aseptic level of sulfur dioxide to preclude contamination and/or prevent contamination the same way oxygen exposure is prevented. (3) Finally, ethyl acetate contamination can be created by yeast under stress as well as by many bacteria besides acetobacter. In the first instance, maintaining an optimal temperature for the yeast strain employed, using a good mineral water in the must (if water is even used), yeast nutrient for non- grape wines, and a nitrogen source (Yeastex-61 or some other specialized nutrient) for yeast strains requiring ample nitrogen (see Strains of Wine Yeast) will eliminate yeast stress. In the second instance, if you follow the procedures for preventing acetobacter contamination, you will prevent the others as well.

In many cases of ethyl acetate contamination, running a small aquarium pump through an airstone "blows" ethyl acetate away in just a few days. Of course, the wine usually oxidizes during this treatment but can be consumed quickly or converted into a fortified wine in which oxidation is a requirement (such as Sherry or Madeira-type wines). In more severe cases, the ethyl acetate will be blown off only to reveal excessive acetic acid. When this occurs, the wine cannot be saved."

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/problems.asp

Acetaldehyde is formed from partial oxidation of ethanol:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetaldehyde

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_fault#Acetaldehyde
Avoiding oxidation is the main reason we try to avoid large amounts of headspace.
Regards, GF.

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Old 08-28-2014, 12:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
From Jack Keller's site:

Avoiding oxidation is the main reason we try to avoid large amounts of headspace.
Regards, GF.


Thank you so much GF for all of the great info! It's really helpful for someone, like myself, whose just starting off in the fruit juice game. I'm going to chalk this one as being a very valuable learning experience, dump this batch, and try again -- better informed this time.

Learning, trial and error, and having a community for sharing info (like this forum) really makes this home brew stuff fun and interesting.

Many thanks!
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:44 PM   #26
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Thank you so much GF for all of the great info! It's really helpful for someone, like myself, whose just starting off in the fruit juice game. I'm going to chalk this one as being a very valuable learning experience, dump this batch, and try again -- better informed this time.

Learning, trial and error, and having a community for sharing info (like this forum) really makes this home brew stuff fun and interesting.

Many thanks!

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Old 08-29-2014, 08:39 AM   #27
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You have a horrible amount of headspace in that carboy, it should be kept filled up to near the top of the neck. Make sure you really really sanatize that carboy and hoses and all the stuff contacting it. Second time its going to work easy. WVMJ

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Old 08-29-2014, 12:37 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRueff View Post
Thank you so much GF for all of the great info! It's really helpful for someone, like myself, whose just starting off in the fruit juice game. I'm going to chalk this one as being a very valuable learning experience, dump this batch, and try again -- better informed this time.

Learning, trial and error, and having a community for sharing info (like this forum) really makes this home brew stuff fun and interesting.

Many thanks!
Too bad you lost a batch, I know how that goes, I've had to dump a few batches. For some reason, mead seems to oxidize far easier than wine. At least you know now & hopefully won't make the same mistake next time.
Regards, GF.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:40 PM   #29
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Thanks again everyone. I was wondering if you would share some of you preferred yeasts for mead and cyser?

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Old 09-02-2014, 09:51 AM   #30
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I like to use K1-V1116, EC-1118, 71-B, Montrachet. I refuse to use D-47 anymore, it's NOTORIOUS for producing fusels; they take a LONG time to age out.
You might find this useful:
http://winemakermag.com/resources/yeast-strains-chart
Regards, GF.

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