Natural Cider is done, but the aroma...
So I've now begun tasting my cider from earlier this fall.
It's 5 gallons unpastuerized, unpreserved new hampshire cider from the orchard a little up the road from my house.
I used whatever natural yeast was in there, stuck an airlock on it and waited.
After a few weeks I tossed in some raisons and a cinnamon stick or two.
I didn't do any carbonation, just kept it still.
It pours clear but with an off-yellow tinge to it, a little dull. Close to a gewurtz or a reisling. Taste is great. It has the tartness of the apple, a little alcohol, and your first instinct is to take another sip.
Here's my problem...
It still smells funny. You take a whiff and you're first thought is to blame the dog, then you realize its the cider that smells sulfuric-like. Does this go away?
The taste is great and i'm really happy with everything except the aroma. Is there something you can add during fermentation or before bottling to add just aroma, but not too much flavor?
Probably the aroma is a by product of the natural yeast that dominated the fermentation.
Try aerating a glass by shaking it to see if the aroma is driven off.
I have experienced smells similar to what you describe in my lagers. I believe they are byproducts of fermentation, especially if you are happy with the taste. Try decanting some into a brandy snifter or other large glass, swirl, let it oxygenate a bit, see if the aroma dissapates in a few minutes. If it does, don't worry. Also, you might let it lager at cooler temps for some weeks. Fermentations at too warm temps might be a culprit. One never really knows about wild yeasties, do one. Cooler aging temps might help. I do not know of any thing you could add to enhance the aroma only.
The uncertainty of wild beast/yeasts has led me to use sulfites and innoculate with champagne yeast. I ferment at mild temps around 68-75, then cool age for a while until I can't stand waiting any longer. If my juice starts out at a gravity of 1.072 or so, I will add some sugar to get the alcohol up near wine levels. It helps preserve it and it will last longer - if I don't drink it all up that is. Usually my cider holds onto its apple aroma and taste pretty well.
Thanks for the advice!
I tried decanting it in my wine decanter and sure enough the smell faded and became more of a tart apple smell. perfect!
Now i'm feeling confident about using wild beasties... maybe i should move on to lambics....
Another though for next time
Using a yeast nutrient is supposed to help too. I think the yeast starts working harder as the abv goes up. The nutrient helps energize the yeast. Kind like eating a granola bar after skipping breakfast. :D
I found this link. Check it out....
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