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Old 10-19-2011, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Cider Catastrophe!!

Here's my story:

I had a 6 gallon batch of cider sitting in secondary. It had been there for about 2.5 weeks. I just recently got a hydrometer and took a measurement the other day. The SG was at 1.010, so I decided to let it keep fermenting. I had noticed that bubbling had stopped in the airlock. I checked it today and noticed that there was a thin white/milky/translucent film on it. It smelled very strong (I am not sure if the smell was alcoholic or vinegary). I checked the hydrometer and the reading was 1.005, which is what I wanted to end at. I decided to go ahead and bottle the cider since it may have been on its way to vinegar or could have been at risk for acetobacter. The main idea here was that the bucket fermenter that I was using had about 3-4 inches of head space, and very little carbonation to fill up that headspace. Because of the film and the smell, I thought I could bottle, thus reducing the amount of oxygen available. Is there a chance my brew will be okay if I bottled it?

Before bottling, I added 5 ounces of brown sugar and about a half cup of splenda for sweetness.

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Old 10-19-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
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The bottles might blow up, as it could have continued to ferment to .990, depending on a variety of factors plus adding brown sugar. If there is a wild yeast infection, or a lacto infection, etc, it could keep fermenting in the bottle.

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Old 10-19-2011, 01:29 AM   #3
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How can I tell if there's an infection?

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Old 10-19-2011, 01:33 AM   #4
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Open one up see if it tastes or smells bad.

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Old 10-19-2011, 01:34 AM   #5
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It tasted very sour, harsh, alcoholic, and I'm not sure if it tasted vinegary. I did take some of it and mix it with baking soda. It fizzed a tiny bit, but not overwhelmingly. I also took some of another batch that tastes good, and it fizzed a little as well.

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Old 10-19-2011, 03:01 AM   #6
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Sour, harsh & alcoholic sounds like a good young dry cider. The fizzing could just be a reaction with the apple's malic acid. The vinegar part makes it questionable. It might have been a good idea to rack it with a quarter-teaspoon of sulfite before bottling.

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Old 10-19-2011, 03:18 AM   #7
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What's everybody's take on the white milky film the OP talked about? I only ask because I've got a cider right now that has this same film and just like the OP, it tastes very harsh and sour.

5 gal apple juice
2 lb corn sugar
1 pckg Notty
.5lb honey malt
.5lb 2-row
.5 crystal 60L

It was strictly an experimental batch (trying to leave some residual sugars in a sparkling cider) and I've been contemplating dumping the batch. The sour is not the profile I was going for at all. It's not overwhelming, but it's not what I want.

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Old 10-19-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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The film was sort of dried out and milky. I don't know if that description helps. I wish I had taken a picture.

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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Anybody have any insight or seen this kind of thing before?

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Old 10-20-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arringtonbp View Post
Anybody have any insight or seen this kind of thing before?
Sounds like a lacto infection.
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