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Old 11-11-2008, 10:59 PM   #1
dylan8405
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Default Still stinky 2 weeks into ferment - Still usable?

Hello all - this is my first post.

I brewed some cider a year ago and it turned out fine, but pretty dry - I used 5 gallons of pasteruzied apple juice I bought at a Winco grocery store and 2 pounds of honey and champagne dry yeast. I've brewed probably 12 extract batches of beer over my "brew career", so I have a good idea of what I'm doing.

I like my cider sweeter so on Sunday, October 26th I "brewed" some more. Here's what I did:

Sanitized everything with Idaphor solution.

I poured 5 gallons of pasteurized, preserative-free additive free apple juice into my better bottle plastic carboy. The date juice was good well into 2009. The juice didn't have any sediment in the bottom - it looked like your typical "apple juice for kindergarteners".

I put in about a quart of Agave honey (tried to kick the ABV up a notch). This didn't help - the OG prior to the agave was 1.055. After it was 1.055....sigh....

I opened a Servomyces tablet and dumped in the contents.

I then put in 2 dry packets of Red Star Cote de Blanc yeast.

It started fermenting in less than a day and I got the Rhino farts going big time a few days later (in the carboy that is ).

On Sunday, November 9th the airlock was bubbling less than once a minute and I racked it into a glass secondary. It smelled TERRIBLE when I went to rack it. A sulphur smell and a smell like sour rotten apples. It was so bad that I wouldn't have drunk it at that time.

I just pulled the airlock off to take a whiff and it's less sulphury but still smells like rotten apples, albeit not quite as strong.

MY QUESTION -

Is my batch still good? Is this normal for it to still stink this far into the fermentation? Am I being impatient? If it's going to go bad, I'll throw it out and start over with some new juice (the kind with sediment), but I don't want to waste it now if it'll work out in the end.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 11-11-2008, 11:35 PM   #2
Pogo
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Hi, dylan -

Welcome to the forums!

Draw out a sample.

Take a gravity reading.

Drink the sample.

Add some yeast nutrient as per the directions on the nutrient container.

Report back here with the SG reading, and the quality of the sample's taste.

Wait at least another month, maybe three, before even trying to decide whether to dump it or not.

BTW - Did you warm a portion of the juice and dissolve the honey into it before adding it to the batch?

Pogo

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Old 11-12-2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogo View Post
Hi, dylan -

Welcome to the forums!

Draw out a sample.

Take a gravity reading.

Drink the sample.

Add some yeast nutrient as per the directions on the nutrient container.

Report back here with the SG reading, and the quality of the sample's taste.

Wait at least another month, maybe three, before even trying to decide whether to dump it or not.

BTW - Did you warm a portion of the juice and dissolve the honey into it before adding it to the batch?

Pogo
Thanks Pogo! Will do.

I did not warm the juice and dissolve the honey. I just poured the honey straight into the carboy (and watched it glide to the bottom of the carboy). I was being pretty lazy that Sunday.

Can I use my Servomyces as the yeast nutrient? I don't have any other nutrient on hand.

-Dylan
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:33 AM   #4
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Adding cold (room temperture) honey to the juice is why the SG of your second sample didn't change. Instead of mixing with the juice, it went straight to the bottom.

Hopefully, it will be fully dispersed throughout the batch by now.

Your next SG should be higher than your OG. Check the SG every week or so in the future if you want to get an idea of what progress the fermentation is making.

I have no idea what this Servomyces stuff, that you are using, is.

I've never seen it at my LHBS or seen it mentioned in any of the wine forums that I visit.

Since you mentioned that it comes in tablet form, I'm wondering if it is another name for Campden tablets. If it is, then that means that it is potassium metabisulfite.

If that is the case, then that would make it the opposite of yeast nutrient, as it will inhibit fermentation, instead of enhance fermentation.

If I can think of it later, I'll do a Google on it to see what I can find out about it.

Pogo

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Old 11-12-2008, 04:12 AM   #5
socalamcor
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Servomyces
definately not potassium metabisulfite.
it is a new yeast nutrient, will be doing much more research on this one
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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I think you are being impatient. My batches have taken about 1-2 months to ferment, and that’s just active fermenting.

I like the sounds of that Servomyces stuff. I wonder how it compares to other yeast nutrients

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Old 12-01-2008, 07:56 PM   #7
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Just an update -

I pitched the yeast on 10/26. I just today took off the airlock for a quick smell and it smelled much better than it did 3 weeks ago. It smells more appleish and doesn't have nearly as much of a harsh sulphur smell.

I'm going to let it sit for a couple more weeks before I bottle it. It also got a lot clearer as it sat in the secondary.

Things are looking better!

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Old 12-01-2008, 08:53 PM   #8
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Don't toss it. I always seem to get that sulphur smell when I use Cotes de Blanc. I have no reason why . It will go away. I have just racked of a 5 gal batch with the Safale SO 4 and am experiencing the same frustration.

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:43 AM   #9
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I havent had the problem with the sulfur smell, i never liked Camp tabs it always seemed to much fiddleing for me espically when the juice you buy is already pasturized... if you sanitized everything properly in the first place you shouldn't have trouble with infection... this new yeast neutrient may be your culprat it may be causeing the smell you notice. I used Red Star Champagne yeast alot a while back and never had a sink problem... infact i have had more problems recently then ever before... I am not sure it is because i am experimenting or because i have changed where i buy my yeast and igredants... i should take stop by the old greocery next time i head home from school and by my stuff there and see if things go off with out a hitch like they seem to use to... hope your batch turns out

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Old 12-02-2008, 07:36 AM   #10
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Relax, leave it alone for a month or 2, it should be just fine. Regards, GF.

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