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Old 09-19-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default The smell puts the ladies off :o

Now that I have your attention...

I have made 4-5 batches of cider following CvilleKevin's basic process;

Buy the best juice you can get (lucky enough to have several local cider mills), add sugar to reach your desired OG, ferment with SafeAle-04, crash, keg, carb, drink.

Flavor is great, sometimes needs a little malic acid because I am stopping it at around 1.020, but very well received. The aroma on the other hand is nowhere near as clean as a commercial cider. My wife and a couple of friends have mentioned it (although oddly they don't seem to comment much after the first glass is behind them ) and they are not wrong. To me it just has a bit of a yeasty smell to it, which while I don't mind it personally, it clearly puts some people off though and I would be happier with it gone.

There are really only two things I can think of;

The cider is very young, about 3 weeks from juice to drinking, does it just needs time to mature to lose this smell (in which case I will just live with it)

The cider is not clear. I have used pectic enzyme and it was clear-er, but still has a haze...suspended yeast? I have SuperKleer that I could use, anybody have any experience regarding its efficacy in cider? I have avoided using any additives to clear it to date as the flavor is right where I want it and I am worried that fining agents may change that. I should also add that I have had no problems with the cider fermenting again after being cold crashed so my assumption has been that there is little to no suspended yeast.

If anybody has any other suggestions, experience, or better yet a magic bullet, I'm keen to hear from you!

Cheers

HW

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:01 PM   #2
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Does it get better as you near the bottom of the keg (more time in the keg), or does it stay cloudy and yeasty till the end?

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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Does it get better as you near the bottom of the keg (more time in the keg), or does it stay cloudy and yeasty till the end?
Well, a keg only lasts a week or two around here but it's the same from start to finish. It's worth mentioning that "yeasty" is really just the only way I can think of describing it all, it doesn't smell at all like it does during fermentation. What I am hoping for is a clean apple smell...

Consensus (even from the ladies mentioned) is that it really just tastes like apple juice and not alcohol, even though it is ~7%, but that's not how it smells.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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Now that you have my attention, where is Rescue Ca.?

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:21 PM   #5
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Well, a keg only lasts a week or two around here but it's the same from start to finish. It's worth mentioning that "yeasty" is really just the only way I can think of describing it all, it doesn't smell at all like it does during fermentation. What I am hoping for is a clean apple smell...

Consensus (even from the ladies mentioned) is that it really just tastes like apple juice and not alcohol, even though it is ~7%, but that's not how it smells.
Well, I bet it'll improve if you let the keg sit for two-three weeks (or longer) in a very cold place to have the yeast fall out and the cider to clear.

What I would do is put it in the cold crashing area for three weeks (or longer), until the cider is clear, then don't move the keg at all and "jump" to a new keg with a black QD-beerline-black QD set up. (I've talked about that alot so I won't go into it again). You'll get only clear cider, still crashed at the same SG, and carbed up as well. That should eliminate the yeasty smell and taste.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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Now that you have my attention, where is Rescue Ca.?
Funny you should ask, I see cars all the time with a license plate frame that reads "Where in the hell...is Rescue, CA?"

Northern California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, about 15 miles from Folsom, CA, which in turn is about 25 miles from the state capital, Sacramento.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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What I would do is put it in the cold crashing area for three weeks (or longer), until the cider is clear
A buddy of mine made cider following the exact same process as me, except the cold crashing ended up in a carboy in the fridge for several months before kegging...still the same haziness...still the same smell (edited as he replied to my text )
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:13 AM   #8
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A buddy of mine made cider following the exact same process as me, except the cold crashing ended up in a carboy in the fridge for several months before kegging...still the same haziness...still the same smell (edited as he replied to my text )
I wonder then if it's related to the yeast strain or something. Weird. What happens with a different yeast strain?
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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I wonder then if it's related to the yeast strain or something. Weird. What happens with a different yeast strain?
I haven't tried a different yeast strain, I stuck with this one as the taste is great and I haven't read anything of anybody else having an issue with the smell of the finished cider. I could try some Notty I guess, maybe the combination of 04 and the juice I get causes it...

Perplexed...

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:05 PM   #10
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Hi HW - My experience with S04 is that it crashes out very cleanly and I dont get a yeasty smell. If the cider doesnt get clear on the crash, it might be that not all of the yeast is dropping out because it is bonding to the pectin. There are some apples that are tough to get clear. Rome, Prima, or any other variety that is used for making applesauce (ie high pectin). The only issue I've had with smells is getting a sulfur odor sometimes (although I dont believe ever with S04). You can scrub out a sulfur smell by carbing up the keg and then letting the pressure off, so you might want to try this and see if it solves your problem as well. Usually though I dont crash ale yeasts this high. To my taste, just about any ale yeast will have too sticky a finish at 1.020. So its possible that there is an upper limit to getting a clean crash on an ale yeast that I just havent hit. For a sweeter cider in this range, I've found that 3068, 3056 and WLP041 work really well. You get that same juicy "tastes like apple juice and not alcohol" effect and the ladies will crush a keg in no time flat, but without the sticky finish - so if you are going for something in the 1.020 range, you might want to try a test batch with one of those and see if that works better for you.

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