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Old 11-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Interesting development on my cider. Help?

Quick background info:
Pressed 2 gallons of juice 9/8. Added 2 campden tablets.
Pressed 3 gallons 9/10. Added 3 campden tablets. Combined in a 5-gallon carboy.
Added 1 packet Nottingham yeast 9/12.
Posted in the "Sulphury Cider" thread 9/28-9/30. Tried aeration and quick carbonation of half the batch to try to get the smell out.
Racked to secondary 10/1.
Racked to tertiary 10/30. Added a cinnamon stick and a clove.

Sooo, now it's 11/12 and there is a light dusty coating of something on top of the cider. It looks like a light snowfall, or a thin dusting of powdered sugar. There is one dusty bubble right in the middle of the surface, actually sticking up above the surface. Here is a photo of the bubble: https://www.dropbox.com/s/87c2qlnbtt...2015.30.40.jpg
The stripey lines in the picture are where the surface stuff folded when I moved the carboy to get the bung out to take the picture. They weren't there before, just a thin layer of the dusty stuff.

I've looked at other threads but this seems not to be the same "flowers of wine" that other people have posted about. It's a very light dusting all over the surface, not big clumps of white.

Can this cider be saved? I only had a 6-gallon carboy when I racked it the second time, so it may be related to having way too much headspace and oxygen in there. (Or any of the myriad other mistakes I made on this batch )

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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From observing the picture you posted, it looks like the early stages of mold. I would rack under it into a secondary and bomb it with another cambden tablet. Any airlock activity?

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Old 11-12-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
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No airlock activity. It's been long done. I was just waiting it out in hopes of getting rid of the sulfur smell.
I'll get it out of there today unless someone tells me otherwise!

Thank you!

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:55 AM   #4
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Check out the posts about people running it through copper scrubber pads to get rid of the sulfur smell. Haven't tried it myself, but I keep hearing that it works wonders. And I wouldn't worry about the naysayers of copper safety too much. Many breweries ferment in copper vats (ever tour the Sam Adams brewery?), so you should be fine.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
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Well, I sampled it and it was... delicious! Much to my surprise. The sulfur smell was basically gone; the cinnamon and clove seem to hide it nicely. I sweetened with sucralose, kegged three gallons and bottled the rest; we'll see how it is in a few weeks!

Thank you for setting my mind at ease about it. And thanks for the copper scrubber tip; I'll save that for next time for sure. And I'll never use that many Campden tabs again.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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Yea, I only used 2.5 tablets per 5 gallon batch. Also, did you use any yeast nutrient?

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Nope, didn't have any energizers or nutrients or anything when I started the batch. The main fermentation was strong and short, IIRC.

This was our first year in a house with apple trees in the back yard. Learned a LOT for next year.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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Definitely use yeast nutrient next time (not energizer). Mine got the rhino farts after 3 days of fermenting. Added a tablespoon of dissolved yeast nutrient, and the next morning it went from smelling like farts, to smelling like apples! Cured it over night. But you have to do this before or during early fermentation.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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That's definitely infected. I suspect that the vessel has some headspace, or at least too much headspace, and allowed the infection to take hold. I'm not sure what it is- could be lactobacillus or even brettanomyces. I don't think it's pediococcus, though.

For now, use campden tablets (1 crushed campden per gallon dissolved in some boiling water) and rack it from under the infection to a new vessel. Top up properly, and cross your fingers. I don't know if it can be fixed, or not.

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