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Old 11-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
ThorGodOfThunder
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Default Possible infection, best course of action?

I think my cider may be infected. I don't have a pic (sorry), but the surface had a slightly-opaque looking skin and a few bubbles with a kind of white color. It didn't look really bad like some pics i've seen, but it was definitely unexpected.

I siphoned the cider out, trying to leave the surface undisturbed. I then added campden and potassium sorbate. I'm not sure if k-sorbate will do anything for bacteria, but it was done fermenting anyway so it can't hurt, right?

I'm going to keep a close eye on it the next few days. Is there anything else I should do for now?

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Old 11-13-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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*if* you actually do have an infection in there chances are there isn't much you can do. the stuff on the surface is a symptom of what's going on in the cider, it's not the problem. the bugs, *if there are bugs*, are in the cider - everywhere. if it's gotten to the point of creating a pellicle then it's taken hold of the cider and while you might be able to kill off the bugs, they will already have started changing the brew.

that being said, depending on what bugs you have in there their impact might be beneficial. or it could taste like a$$.

so - have you tasted the cider?

post a pic if/when possible.

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:18 AM   #3
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It tastes like dry cider, exactly like I would expect it to at this point.

I'll see if there is anything worth taking a pic of tomorrow. I just looked at it a minute ago and the only evidence is a slight... something, on the surface. It looks a little iridescent, like a drop of gasoline floating on a puddle of water.

I intend to keg so I don't need to keep the yeast alive, if that makes a difference.

I've never had an infection before, and this is the first 15-gal batch of cider I've made, so of course it is the only one to get effed up. All of my small batches were perfect.

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Old 11-14-2013, 02:05 AM   #4
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tastes good & surface now looks ok? i'd say it was a false alarm.

in the end fermentation doesn't always look pretty. it's how the final product tastes that counts. sounds like your batch is going to pull through, fingers crossed.

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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead, imperial chocolate stout and its not-so-small beer second runnings, our bruin & a few other sours
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: harvest ale with homegrown hops
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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Acetobacter type bacteria are common in cider. That's how vinegar is made of course. The stabilizing and preserving may help, you might wanna just bottle pasteurize before it goes too far. Keep your tongue on it and if it ever starts to go downhill then you'll know it's time to move.

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Old 11-15-2013, 01:35 AM   #6
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I checked it out today after work. It looks exactly as I left it, no more of the milky white bubbles have shown up.

I looked up pics of acetobacter and mine doesnt look quite like a pics I found.

The batch is a little over 15gal, and had been sitting in sterilized (via idophor) containers for about 2.5 weeks, and it was perfectly normal when I put it in. How quickly does something like acetobacter take over? can acetobacter stay somewhat unnoticeable for a bit (meaning the infection was there all along, and not from the racking into secondary)?

Is pasteurization the only way to kill acetobacter (if that is indeed what I have)?

I have no intention of bottling this batch, I want to keg it, so bottle pasteurizing will be hard. I'd have to try to pasteurize it in a stock pot without boiling off too much alcohol.

I don't mean to pester you all with questions, and I'm thankful for the help so far, but I've never had an infection and I want to learn as much from this *possible* infection while I can.

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