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Old 06-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #1
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Default This isn't normal, is it?

This is a small batch of Graham's English Cider (lemon juice and steeped tea added before pitching Nottingham) that was been fermenting almost 3 weeks. I've probably been peeking too much. I've never seen this sort of film or this size bubbles on my apfelweins, and it looks like pellicle. If it's infected, I plan on racking out form under it, backsweetening slightly (depending on gravity), bottling, and stove-top pasteurizing. I'm not sure I want to risk contaminating my racking/bottling equipment, is that a big deal? If so, I'll just pull some hose off my wort chiller and do an old-fashioned siphon. Any other suggestions?

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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That's what my cider looked like after 1 week using notty. It came out fine.

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Old 06-29-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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3 weeks in an open top primary fermenter is a *long* time to have oxygen exposure.
Taste it ... does it taste/smell like vinegar? ... if it is infected, I’d think an acetobacter infection would be a hell of a lot more likely.
Acetobacter needs oxygen ... eliminating oxygen contact and headspace is critical in such an infection.

So I’d take an SG and pH reading and rack to a carboy, eliminate headspace and put on an airlock. With all that exposure, even tho it’s cider I’d add a dose of sulfites too if I thought it might be infected.

Not likely the growth of a brett pellicle ... pretty rare in most home winemaking ...... assuming you’ve *not* used brett or had it before. (I assume that’s what you are asking.)

But I suppose if it smells like a barnyard it could be brettanomyces.

*Not* that it’s likely, but as far as Brett goes ...
Chill the must down to 35* to 38* for a week, this should kill it as brettanomyces (and dekkera) is cold temperature sensitive. Then rack from the middle as you suggested, into another bucket ... add a light dose of k-meta to the cider ... and chill at 35* for another week. Finish the ferment with a yeast with good competitive factor (K1-V1116 comes to mind).

If it is brett ... anything that came in contact with it that was wood has to go. For instance, when you get brett in a barrel you might as well smoke a ham with it. (or give it to someone who makes sours or uses brett for adding “character” to certain wines.)

A good thorough wash with detergent/PBW and sanitizing with Starsan etc should be fine for non-porous equipment although I might consider replacing any flexible plastic (siphon) tubing that came in contact (in the case of brett).

If your cider must has no off odors or flavors it may be fine ... but at least get it away from oxygen and under airlock like I noted above.

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Old 06-29-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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It hasn't been in an open topped container, I've just been opening the top too much to peek at it. A few people in the beginners' beer forum has said it looked normal, so I'm going to leave it for another week or two, bottle, and let it age.

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Old 06-30-2012, 03:16 AM   #5
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It's all good. It looks a lot cleaner than some of my ferments.

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Old 06-30-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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I gotta agree with the keep group. Looks fine to me. Those bubble groups look like yeast floats to me, my first batch Of beer had that look too. Thought I was screwed. Best beer I ever had.

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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That looks normal to me. I've had an infection before - its an awful thing. Those just look likenyeasties!

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