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Old 03-20-2010, 04:02 PM   #1
Barmanpoet
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Default 1st Batch Question

A few weeks ago I put down my first batch of cider (before I found this forum), as follows:

5 gallons Mussleman's apple cider
5.5 pounds brown sugar
pectic enzyme
yeast energiser
redstar cuvee yeast

Fermented it out till the air lock pretty much quit bubbling, and then racked it to another carboy which I then put in the fridge for a week. After that I racked it back into the (cleaned) originial carboy. What I have now is a dark amber colored cider that is clear, not hazy or cloudy at all, and clearly, from the taste, has a high alcohol content. The problem is the taste. The cider has an incredibly yeasty taste to it. I've read that what I've created probably needs a few months aging to actually taste good, but I wanted to know if this yeasty taste is what works itself out over the aging process, or if perhaps I have a different problem and need to do something else, or pitch this batch and start anew.

Thanks for any help you can give me!

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Old 03-21-2010, 01:22 AM   #2
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The high alcohol is from adding sugar. You don't need to add sugar, or if you want to, maybe try only 2 lbs. More sugar = more alcohol = less cider flavor.

did you take a hydrometer reading, or only rely on the airlock to tell you when it was done?

I'll admit - I'm confused about the yeast flavor. My first couple of batches were on Cuvee, and I didn't have that problem. What temp was it ferementing at, and how long did it take?

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Old 03-21-2010, 09:58 PM   #3
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I didn't take a gravity reading when I started, and it fermented for about a week and a half. The temperature probably varied, say from 63-68 degrees.

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Old 03-23-2010, 01:40 AM   #4
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Maybe not done fermenting? Could be a lot of yeast still in the cider due to amount of sugar content.

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:07 AM   #5
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I'm not sure you should be worried that a brew you made and are sampling way before it's ready, doesn't taste ready. Obviously if it's infected then that's a concern but if you put yeast in it and after not nearly enough time, it tastes a bit yeasty, then I'd try waiting a bit longer. Cider often needs a bit of time and age on it to come into its own.

Unkess a brew is infected there's no point chucking it. Even if it's not perfect drinking it as it ages and working out how and why is the best way to make the next one more so.

I would guess (please note the word guess) that it is either far too early to tell or that you stressed the yeast somehow - maybe underpitching (all that sugar plus the juice may have needed more than you gave it)? Anyway best to bottle or keg it when the gravity is good and stable and forget about it for a while. If in the expected timeframe it is still no good - that's when you start wondering where you went wrong.

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Old 03-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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that is a real short time for fermenting a cider with that much sugar. Did you rack to a secondary? If not I would rack and let it sit in the corner for at least a month if not more. Also take a gravity reading when you transfer or if transfered all ready then thief a sample to check. then post the results.

I think my cider with 5 gallons to 5 lbs dark sugar is 1.090 range. (I am at work and can not look at my notes.)

you might want to consider pitching some yeast nutrient into the secondary to give the yeast a helping hand.

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:57 PM   #7
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We could be of more help if we new what the current gravity reading is right now. This was my first season making hard cider from fresh pressed apples. All of mine fermented in the 0.996 area, which is normal, and creates a very dry hard cider.

So if you could tell us the current SG, we would all know where your batch is at in the fermentation.

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Old 03-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #8
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Went out today and bought a hydrometer. The cider seems to be at 0.999 FG. I don't think it's infested with anything, just yeasty tasting. Sounds like aging is the thing to do.

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Old 03-23-2010, 11:46 PM   #9
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If you're reading .999 then that means it's pretty much dried out. You could also try backsweetening it with some wine conditioner or some other non-fermentables. It sounds though like you just put too much sugar in there, and thats why it's so alcoholy.

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Old 03-25-2010, 02:01 AM   #10
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The thing is, alcoholy tasting isn't the problem. Alcohol = good. Yeasty tasting is the problem.

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