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Old 11-14-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
jordanelwell
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Default Can you identify these floaters in my post-primary cider?

Just opened up my first cider after a month in primary. I used 3 gallons of unpasteurized cider, adding only Nottingham dry yeast. Since I didn't have a fermenter big enough to hold all three gallons, I split the batch into two smaller buckets. I forgot to check the seal, though, and bucket #2 didn't bubble through the airlock, whereas bucket #1 bubbled heartily.

The first two pictures show the surface of bucket #2, and the third image is the surface of bucket #1. What do you think? I was planning on combining the two buckets into a bottler, but I'll at least do them separately and/or toss bucket #2.

EDIT: OG/FG were the same for both buckets. (1.059/1.000)


Bucket #2 just after opening.


Bucket #2 after taking a sample for hydrometer.


Bucket #1 after opening, looks like I would have expected.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:30 AM   #2
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That's surface yeast in bucket #2. Damn stuff is rampant in cider making, with it's simple sugars, low alcohol, and long batch times.

Luckily you caught it early, so there is still time to save the batch. The basic solution is to rack out from underneath the yeast film to a new container, leaving behind as much film as possible. Then dose the cider with ~50ppm sulfites. The new container should minimize any cider/air contact, ideally a carboy filled to the neck or similar, buckets are just too damn wide for long term storage. Alternatively, if the batch is ready and you have no carboy or sulfites, you could bottle ASAP (leaving the film behind again) and pasteurize to minimize any effects on your product.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #3
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I don't think it's yeast at all- it's bacteria and definitely the start of the pellicle formation.

Don't combine it with the others, and instead rack it with campden tablets (1 crushed tablet per gallon, dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water) into the correctly sized carboy. Maybe you can arrest it, maybe not.

Headspace is an issue, so you don't want to have any headspace once fermentation slows.

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Old 11-14-2012, 05:30 AM   #4
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Definitely an infection. I wouldn't combine with any of the others. Are you bottling or kegging? Or is this a still cider?

Yooper, you seem to be very good at detecting specific infections at a glance. Any experience in microbiology? Or have you just run into so many that you have gained so much experience? Not being sarcastic, just genuinely curious. Cuz you're good! Looked up what some images of cultures of infections you called in other posts you were right on the money, including one where you said "It probably isn't ____" (Where it looked totally different from what was in the picture the person with the infected batch posted).

Sorry to stray from the thread, but thought the poster of this thread may also be curious.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyA View Post
Definitely an infection. I wouldn't combine with any of the others. Are you bottling or kegging? Or is this a still cider?

Yooper, you seem to be very good at detecting specific infections at a glance. Any experience in microbiology? Or have you just run into so many that you have gained so much experience? Not being sarcastic, just genuinely curious. Cuz you're good! Looked up what some images of cultures of infections you called in other posts you were right on the money, including one where you said "It probably isn't ____" (Where it looked totally different from what was in the picture the person with the infected batch posted).

Sorry to stray from the thread, but thought the poster of this thread may also be curious.
I'm no expert at infections, thank goodness I guess! But I have seen a few in my time and I know most of the characteristics (take a look at the "show us your pellicle thread"!).

I do now an awful lot about normal yeast, though, as I've been a winemaker for many many years. I was a winemaker long before I started brewing, so I've seen a lot of different things.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input, all. I've just picked up some campden tablets and will be racking tonight. I should have noted that the batch in question smells identical to the clean one, so I have some hope that all is not lost.

How long should I rack with the campden? Wasn't planning to do a secondary, but I'm not in a hurry. I'll be bottling this batch.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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How long should I rack with the campden? Wasn't planning to do a secondary, but I'm not in a hurry. I'll be bottling this batch.
Once the SO2 is dissolved in the juice it starts to work. I'd bottle sooner rather than later since the carbonation will help protect the cider, and probably pasteurize the bottles too.
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