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-   -   My first cider attempt..have a couple of questions. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/my-first-cider-attempt-have-couple-questions-165124/)

poundedintouse 02-25-2010 10:15 PM

My first cider attempt..have a couple of questions.
Hi everyone.
I just put my first attempt at making cider into secondary. I used local UV cold pasturized cider. 5 gallon batch. Montrachet yeast. 4 lbs. white sugar, yeast nutrient, pectin, tannon. The yeast smelled like a giant fart. Is this normal? I used a plastic fermentation bucket for primary and i cut the hole for the airlock in the cover with a razor knife. It was not the most perfectly circular hole, but when I pushed the bung in for the airlock it looked pretty snug. After 2 days I saw no activity I feared there may be a couple pinhole sized gaps around the bung. I put plumbers putty around the bung and instantly the air lock was gurgling with crazy activity. My question is...is the cider OK? Could it be infected and undrinkable or with such high fermentation activity am I OK? Stupid elementary mistake I know, but I don't want to dump it if it will be alright. Another question is should the cider be crazy cloudy since I put it in the secondary fermenter, because it is? Last question. I have read the montrachet yeast stinks when it is fermenting and it definitly did, but will that smell be part of the flavor of the finished cider. How loneg should I keep the cider in the secondary before I bottle it and then how long should it be in the bottle before it is good to drink. I'm a beginner with cider so any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

BaronIV 02-26-2010 12:36 AM

first of all i wanna say that you are doing fine and you shouldn't have any problems with your cider :) even with that small hole, there would be a blanket of co2 on top of the cider that will protect it from oxygen, so that shouldn't cause any problems.

Montrachet yeast does stink quite a lot when its fermenting. Search Apfelwein or Rhino Farts and you'll see thats really common. That smell will not be a part of the flavor once you remove the cider from the yeast.

I don't know how long exactly you have had your cider in your primary, but once the yeast start doing their thing, the cider will become extremely cloudy and will stay that way until the yeast begin to die and fall out of suspension. The cider will clear in time.

As to the length of time that you want to let it sit... If you plan on letting the cider go completely dry (especially with all that added sugar) the longer you can wait the better. It will be drinkable in a month, but it will continue to get better and probably hit its prime somewhere between 6-10 months of aginging.

I hope this helps :D

Retroviridae 02-26-2010 12:42 AM

Sounds mostly normal to me. Those smells can be normal and should go away with age. Cloudyness could be your yeast still working, or even with UV pasteurization, you could have some normal wild bug action - like a spontaneous malolactic ferment going on - which isn't bad. Let it secondary and/or cold crash until it clears, then bottle. Age it until it tastes good is a good rule of thumb.

Nurmey 02-26-2010 12:48 AM

Your fermenter does not have to be airtight so you are fine with the leaks you had the first few days.

It could be cloudy for a while. The thing is that it takes as long as it takes to clear. There really isn't a time frame that you can go by and it is possible that it always stays cloudy. No big deal other than aesthetics.

I've never had a cider that stayed stinky. Plenty of rhino farts while it was fermenting but it goes away.

How long to age is up to you. I don't think it's worth drinking for about a year but that's me. :)

poundedintouse 02-26-2010 10:31 AM

This has all been very helpful. Thank you.

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