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Old 10-02-2008, 12:08 AM   #1
ackatack
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Default Cider changed color in secondary

Hello All,

My brew buddy and I gave our first cider a shot a few weeks ago. We just used fresh fruit from the apple and pear trees in my backyard and champagne yeast. From the time we juiced the fruit until after the first week in secondary, the liquid was a light green color. We tasted a sample during the move from primary to secondary and the cider tasted pretty good. I've noticed that the cider is now a light brown color, it's in the 3rd week of secondary. The cider is currently being stored in the garage on the floor and wrapped in a towel to block out light. The carboy has been sealed a rubber (I think, maybe a polymer) stopper securely in place. Is the color change an issue? Is it just from oxidation due to fresh air after being racked?

Thanks,

Alex

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Old 10-02-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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Is there an Air lock on the bottle or is it just stoppered shut. If an air lock is there water in the air lock?
What recipe did you use, yeast, added sugars or anything else?

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Old 10-02-2008, 07:20 AM   #3
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Is there an Air lock on the bottle or is it just stoppered shut. If an air lock is there water in the air lock?
The carboy that secondary fermentation is taking place in is just stoppered shut. The carboy in which primary fermentation occurred had an airlock.

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What recipe did you use, yeast, added sugars or anything else?
We didn't really use a recipe. We used about 50% Granny Smith apples and 50% Asian pears from the two trees in my backyard; we didn't use any added sugars. The must was heated to 170F for 20 minutes to pasteurize it. Prior to the pasteurization of the must, we added 1.8g of tannin. After cooling it back down to 84F we pitched a champagne yeast (the name currently escapes me) that had been primed with a yeast starter. The primary fermentation occurred at 66F for two weeks. About 3 days in, we added some yeast nutrients. After two weeks, we racked the cider to a sterilized carboy for secondary fermentation; at this point, we took a sample to measure FG and flavor.

I'll check our brew notes to verify the facts of this statement but, currently, I believe this to be true.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:49 AM   #4
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I've never heard of fresh juice having a green color to it before. Every cider I've made has been a yellow/orange/light brown color, depending on the stage it's in. I'll bet the green color came from the skins of the fruit still in suspension, and they just settled out.

btw, oxidation may turn apples brown, but it doesn't affect the color of the juice. Also, don't heat your juice! It kills aromas and changes the flavor. Adding crushed campden tablets does the same thing and it keeps more of the flavor.

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Old 10-02-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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I've never heard of fresh juice having a green color to it before. Every cider I've made has been a yellow/orange/light brown color, depending on the stage it's in. I'll bet the green color came from the skins of the fruit still in suspension, and they just settled out.

btw, oxidation may turn apples brown, but it doesn't affect the color of the juice. Also, don't heat your juice! It kills aromas and changes the flavor. Adding crushed campden tablets does the same thing and it keeps more of the flavor.
Well, oxidation in the secondary will change the color, as will being "light struck" if the carboy isn't protected from light. One of the reasons I use campden tablets in every other racking is to protect the lighter colored ciders and wines from oxidation.

If it's oxidized, though, and that's the reason it's darker, it'll taste bad. I'm thinking as ETJ said that the sediment is falling out and so is the yeast (which keeps it lighter colored) and you're getting the real color of the cider. Taste it and see if it tastes like sherry, or like cider. That will give you the answer.

Also, why no airlock? You still should have some off-gassing, and are risking too much pressure in your carboy.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
btw, oxidation may turn apples brown, but it doesn't affect the color of the juice. Also, don't heat your juice! It kills aromas and changes the flavor. Adding crushed campden tablets does the same thing and it keeps more of the flavor.
I'm the other guy who is working on this cider. And I hope we didn't totally kill the flavor. It was very dry with almost no sweetness when it came out of primary. I had read that the apple flavor doesn't come out until a few weeks at least go buy in secondary so I wasn't worried.

Either way, it didn't taste bad after primary (actually it was almost like champagne), just not really apple like.

-kap
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:20 PM   #7
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Id get an airlock on that secondary as soon as you can. Otherwise you are going to have a least the stopper blow off.

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:56 AM   #8
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Nah, you won't totally kill the flavor from heating it, it'll just be bland and boring like storebought juice You won't get very much, if any, sweetness from hard cider. Practically all of the sugar is fermented out. That's one of the reasons why sour and tart apples should be used(which you most likely did if they were fresh apples and pears) because the tartness gives more of an apple-y flavor. Also, the longer it ages, the better it tastes.

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Old 10-07-2008, 12:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lapaglia View Post
Id get an airlock on that secondary as soon as you can. Otherwise you are going to have a least the stopper blow off.
Our stopper didn't fit snugly, so we taped it down, maybe the carboy will explode



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Old 10-07-2008, 12:41 AM   #10
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Our stopper didn't fit snugly, so we taped it down, maybe the carboy will explode



-kap
Yeah, maybe it will.
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