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Old 08-24-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Str8 Skunked!?!

So im assuming from reading around here, my problem is just UV light, but I need opinions to better judge, I have been making cider for a few months now, and just upgraded to a bigger carboy for bigger batches. So far I have been doing .5gal batches in a glass liquor bottle I sterilize and airlock. I recently acquired a 5gal plastic carboy so I could make bigger batches because I figured I could handle it. I have been working with the "5day Sweet Country Cider" recipe since it produces rapidly and was very simple. In the past I have made great cider, and myself, and everyone who tried it loved it, however with my first attempt at a 5gal batch, I was skunked! When I went to cold crash the cider, it had a strange pungent odor, and it tasted very dry, and bitter? I have a CFL light for some indoor plants in my garage where I brew, could this be my problem? or is there any other factors I need to take into consideration? The temp for this batch stayed at a constant 76-78 degrees farenheit. Could I have kept it cooler? Please any help is greatly appreciated!!!

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Old 08-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
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The only UV related skunking reaction I know of is a UV - hop reaction. If you didn't hop the cider it isn't that.

Some infections can throw funky odor, sharp flavors, and over attenuate.

Some cider fermentations smell horribly of sulfur.

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Old 08-24-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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Sulfur is the smell I found! my buddies who sampled it with me said they called it the "duck fart" cider? haha

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Old 08-24-2013, 06:05 PM   #4
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A 5g batch produces a lot more co2 than you're used to. Did you ever degas it (stir it, shake carboy etc)?

Not all of it willingly comes out of the airlock. Time will usually fix it or you could use more active procedures.

Not sure if this would cause any skunk flavors but it's a good practice anyhow.

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Old 08-24-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snuesen View Post
A 5g batch produces a lot more co2 than you're used to. Did you ever degas it (stir it, shake carboy etc)?

Not all of it willingly comes out of the airlock. Time will usually fix it or you could use more active procedures.

Not sure if this would cause any skunk flavors but it's a good practice anyhow.
what do u mean by more active procedures? i didnt touch it after i set to ferment, i am pretty new still so i was under the impression to just sit and let it do its own thing for the week and just keep my eye on temperature? Thank you for the input btw!!
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:54 AM   #6
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Well usually for the first 1/3rd of fermentation (which I will use bucket for) I will stir 2-3 times daily with a sanitized spoon or wine whip just to get a lot of the co2 out. If you have too much you can hurt fermentation by dropping the pH. This is more important for mead I guess but I'll do it with cider too.

A wine whip would be a good tool to use without adding oxygen. But really this is a preventative technique not necessarily a cure.

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Old 08-25-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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im pretty sure im past the cure part, the bottles that are racked for conditioning have lost the smell and are now very sweet smelling so im assuming what ive read from the responses that that is my problem, I was curious as to wether a bucket for primary fermentation would be best? and if so, should I fit it with an airlock somehow or just let it sit in the bucket and remove the lid to stir a few times a day until I put it in the carboy for secondary?

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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That's what I do. First few days I don't have an airlock simply because there's so much gas coming out that oxygen isn't gonna be coming in. If you are adding nutrients or fruit it's a bit more convenient to use bucket imo.

One downside to buckets: if you're rough on them when you're stirring, you can scratch the surface and make it hard to sanitize completely, so it might have to be replaced periodically.

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Old 08-26-2013, 02:42 PM   #9
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Awesome you have helped me a lot thank you! I have been planning on some 5gal buckets for "mashing" I just haven't gotten one yet, like I said I just upgraded to a 5gal batch and have only been doing half gallons at a time

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