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-   -   Newbie: Cider or Vinegar? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/newbie-cider-vinegar-219164/)

gestalt162 01-20-2011 01:07 AM

Newbie: Cider or Vinegar?
Hi all,

I'm a brewing newbie, and decided to make my first batch of cider a few weeks ago. Used 2 gallons of store-bought cider, after the fact I found out there was K-sorbate in it, so I knew I might be in for trouble. Added 1# brown sugar and yeast energizer before pitching, used a champagne yeast. OG was 1.070. My primary is a plastic bucket- lid doesn't fit a seal, so the chance of significant oxygen leakage is high. Fermenter room temp is a pretty constant 57-60 degrees F.

The cider has been in primary for 3 weeks, and I've checked on it every week. The bubbles have died down this past week, and it is leveling off at 1.043, which I understand is too high, even for cider. Every week it has tasted ok but smelled a little vinegary, today it definitely _tasted_ a little vinegary (with a little burn in the throat), so I'm not sure what to do.

My choices are:
1) Put this into secondary (one gallon glass jugs with functioning airlocks) and hope that time and lack of oxygen will improve the flavor and help fermentation along.

2) Just pitch the whole thing and write it off as a $5 lesson learned.

3) Somehow take it down a different course and capture some apple cider vinegar from it.

What should I do?


Calder 01-20-2011 01:43 AM


Halfdrunkhero 01-24-2011 08:12 PM

#3 definitely. If you have a place to store it good vinegar comes from just letting it sit. Old Carlo Rossi bottles are good, just give them six months to a year to age up and you'll have some good musty cider vinegar for cooking or drinking (a shot is good for upset stomachs) don't throw it away when you could make something useful out of it.

dinnerstick 01-24-2011 10:31 PM


is that enough alcohol to convert to a convincing vinegar? i don't think so...

truckjohn 01-26-2011 01:30 AM

I bet it is.....

If you decide to do the vinegar thing.... Find a big, wide mouth glass gallon size "Pickle" jar.

Wash that sucker out good in the dishwasher.

Pour it all in the pickle jar.

Cover it with a clean old tee shirt or a couple thicknesses of cheese cloth, and rubber band the stuff on so it doesn't fall off.

Squirrel it away somewhere out of the light and let it sit a while.... It will be springtime before it's ready.

You will see this rubbery/slimey looking mat of goo laying on top of your vinegar - That's the "Mother of Vinegar" that makes the whole thing go.

Tell us how it goes.


gestalt162 01-26-2011 12:47 PM

Hi all,

I took the first replier's advice and pitched the batch before the rest of you responded. Thanks for your advice though, and if I run into this problem in the future, I'll follow the advice on the vinegar idea. Next time brewing, I will definitely not be using the same fermenter- probably just go with glass.

Thanks for everyone's help- this was my second time brewing, and the first time this happened.


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