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Old 11-30-2007, 03:29 AM   #1
woodwormlumber
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Default First batch of cider......need some help

Just started up my first batch of cider a month ago (fermentation started on 10/28). 3 gallons of cider, no sugar added, appropriate amount of pectinase, and used some of my wine yeast laying around.....Lalvin yeast 71B-1122. by 11/14, there was no bubbling in the airlock so i transfered it to a secondary to age and settle. when i transfered it, it had a HORRIBLE odor to it. absolutely disgusting. now today, when i took the lid off to take a whiff, i have the opposite problem....there is virtually no odor and when i tasted it, there was no noticeable apple flavor. based on the beginning SG, it was estimated that it would produce a 6.25 AC. when i transfered it to a secondary, it measured at 6.0. however, again after tasting, there really was very little kick to it....it literally tasted like water with an ever so slight apple/alcohol taste to it. very disappointing. i can only imagine that this will get worse as time goes on.

i have read in a few other posts with similar questions/problems that adding a can of apple concentrate might add some flavor. however, this will probably start fermentation up again right? i would also like to make this a sparkling cider. how much sugar should i add to a 12oz bottle?

if anybody has any suggestions/comments/history with any of the observations i have made, i would greatly appreciate them!

thanks guys!

jason

As a side note, i have another batch which was prepared the same way as what i described above with the addition of 2 lbs of dark brown sugar. fermentation started on 11/2. transfered it today to secondary to age and settle. again, HORRIBLE smell. hoping that all goes away with time like the last batch.

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Old 11-30-2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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Can you describe the "horrible smell"?

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Primaries - Chocolate Banana Hefeweizen, EdWort's Apfelwein
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Conditioning - Half Pound Pale, Blueberry Apfelwein, Hard Cider, JAOM, Lord Fatbottom, Vanilla Cider, Vanilla Mead
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:43 PM   #3
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It will get better! The bad smell is the sulfur/apple combination from fermentation. And now the "bland" issue. Well, I think using that yeast was a mistake. That's a fine yeast for fruity wines, don't get me wrong, but the problem is the type of fruit. The acid in apple cider is mostly malic acid. Here's a partial description of the yeast you used:

The 71B strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) that has the ability to metabolize high amounts (20%-40%) of malic acid. In addition to producing rounder, smoother, more aromatic wines that tend to mature quickly, it does not extract a great deal of phenols from the must so the maturation time is further decreased. The 71B is used primarily by professional winemakers for young wines such as vin nouveau and has been found to be very suitable for blush and residual sugar whites.

Ok, so what I'm trying to say is you need some acid in there to bring back some flavor and "bite". Apple cider isn't very "apple-y" tasting anyway, more like a white wine, but without the acid and the tannin, it'll be really bland. I'd add about 1/8 tsp of tannin per gallon (one 1/8 tsp at a time, and taste and let sit and then add more if needed) and 1 tsp acid blend per gallon.

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Old 12-01-2007, 07:36 PM   #4
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thanks for the info and suggestion. i'll follow-up on that and hopefully i can bring some taste back to this stuff. i used that yeast only because that is what i have around the house which i use for my peach and berry wines and that turns out great. i've also purchased some cider yeasts, Wyeast Liquid Cider Yeast #4766, which i'm going to start another batch of this weekend.

hopefully i can salvage something from these last two batches and using cider yeast from this point out will help me as well.

any opinion about adding apple concentrate to the batch as a quick fix?

thanks again for your help!

jason

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Old 12-01-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodwormlumber
any opinion about adding apple concentrate to the batch as a quick fix?

jason
Apple juice concentrate will only make it more dry (just like adding juice) if you let it age. The only way concentrate could help is if you bulk age it, then add the apple juice concentrat JUST before drinking. But you wouldn't be able to carbonate it.
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