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Old 02-22-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
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However, upon the guys at my brewshop tasting it, they said, "yeah, this is good, I can taste that _______ in it, gives it a sour flavor." I can't remember what bacteria he said it was, but he instantly identified it, and another confirmed it.
I'm sure the guys at your brew shop are great, but I think that taking their opinion of your cider as scientific proof of infection is probably a little naive on your part....especially when you cant remember what word filled in that blank.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Oh, it makes me feel so much better reading this thread. I am on my second batch of cider now, 10 days fermenting so far. My first was only a 3 gal batch with ec-1118 and minimal sugar added. This batch has much more sugar, inverted this time, different yeast with yeast nutrient and it's a 6 gal batch. Smell is similar to the first batch but soooooo much more of it. My pregnant wife was threatening to dump it because of the smell filling the basement. I'm glad I waited it out.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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How sour are we talking? And since acidity is sour, how much like vinegar or sulfur can it smell?

I'm comparing it to two other cases that used the same yeast (see my other reply for details) and both fermented clear. Crystal clear. We were drinking the stuff withing a month. And it was good. Dry, but good.


Mine, on the other hand, was cloudy and stinky.
You have to keep in mind cider is not beer. Cider is a fruit wine and will take on all wine like characteristics (vinous flavor, longer aging period, etc.). This is even more so the case when you add more fermentables (table sugar, etc.)

Sour like not fun to drink, sour enough where you would through it out unless you were wise enough to know it is just young. Sour = Normal; vinegar = infection.

Sulfur is very common in cider fermentations, especially if you are too hot or too cold. 99% of the time it will vent out through the airlock with no palatable trace of it when properly aged. Vinegar, should not be present. If it is you have an acetobacter infection and it will only get worse. Drink it quick or dump it.

Not to diss your LHBS either. But it has been my experience that 99% of folks there know nothing about cider making. Sad part is they all talk like they do so they give out a ton of bad information.

Likely your first batch hadn't fermented dry and you had residual sugar - this is why it tasted good. I actually make cider like this all the time. I will pull out a frozen fresh cider from my pressing in the fall and let it sit in the refridge until I see the bottle expand. Then I know it has started fermenting. I let it go and try it here and there until it tastes carbonated. The alc is low, but it tastes really good, if it ferments dry before I drink it it gets that young sour taste. This is the ONLY way to get drinkable young cider (cold crashing or drinking before fully fermented).



All kinds of variables could play into each time. Fermentation temp, sugar, yeast viability, etc. Ultimately I think your solution on this one is let it sit for 3-6 months.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #14
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I'm sure the guys at your brew shop are great, but I think that taking their opinion of your cider as scientific proof of infection is probably a little naive on your part....especially when you cant remember what word filled in that blank.
Well I definitely didn't consider it scientific. The guy who mentioned it makes sour beers a lot and had just done a hand made cider as well that I had tasted. (And is certified by BJCP). I'm not sainting these guys, but they pretty often know more than I do.

I was also comparing the fact that mine had that character to my father's and friend's, neither of whose did. Both of theirs, with the same cider and yeast (mind you, I basically did the process on their as well) fermented to crystal clarity within a month. So I was a little bothered mine didn't. Shouldn't I be able to expect more consistency than that between batches?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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I think you are introducing too much anecdotal information. I don't care if someone is certified BJCP or not (if they were knowledgeable about cider they would have immediately told you it was too young). I find it highly unlikely, if you are good with sanitation as you claimed to be, that you would have infected batch after batch after batch.

Start with:
1. is it sour or vinegar I am tasting? If sour then age 3- 6 months and see if it improves.

If you want to detail out your whole process then please do so and I am sure people on here will critique it.

Rarely, if ever will 1 month old cider taste good, or come close in comparison to cider that has been aged 6-12months. Caveat being if you cold crash with lower ABV you can reduce needed aging time.YMMV

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:14 PM   #16
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Ok. I'm going to give it another go then and see what happens. How soon do I need to rack it after activity stops during primary? Can I let it sit a while on the lees?

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #17
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Ok. I'm going to give it another go then and see what happens. How soon do I need to rack it after activity stops during primary? Can I let it sit a while on the lees?
my general routine is to let it rip for about 3-6 weeks, then when the bulk of the lees has fallen I rack. Then I usually rack again on campden when it falls clear and then bulk age until bottling time. I usually add campden every other racking. However adding campden on the first racking wouldn't be a bad thing especially if you plan on letting it sit for several months.

I try to only rack 2-3 times at very most before bottling, etc.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:53 PM   #18
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Awesome, I'll give it a try. Thanks to all, for the advice.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #19
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Awesome, I'll give it a try. Thanks to all, for the advice.
No sweat man - these forums are great for learning a lot fast (take full advantage ).
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:46 PM   #20
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Ok. I'm going to give it another go then and see what happens. How soon do I need to rack it after activity stops during primary? Can I let it sit a while on the lees?
You can let it sit for a while.

Cider needs time. The general rule I picked up was, "Don't touch it until you can read a newspaper through the carboy". If you can help it, don't even look at it everyday. Just check it out once a week or so.
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