Originally Posted by gxm
Thanks for all the replies. I'll just forget about these ciders for a few months in a dark corner of the basement.
Hmmm...maybe I'll need to smell some rotten eggs. I think of rotten eggs as smelling like sulphur.
I have a better idea- why not make up a sulfite solution and then smell it? Dont' put your nose right over and inhale, but a gentle whiff. If you cider has a very slight sulfite smell, it'll improve.
If it's H2S, that's bad. Here's a blurb from Jack Keller's website about h2s:
H2S for short, Hydrogen sulfide is produced in all wines by yeast combining with various forms of sulfur, but in excess creates an undesirable, rotten-egg-like smell in wine. If not corrected, the wine is ruined as the gas is transformed into mercaptans, with a skunky odor, and then disulfides, with a sewage smell.
You can try a technique called "splash racking" which is usually to be avoided. You can rack the cider, splashing it into the new carboy which may help disipate the H2S. After lots of splashing, though, you should re-sulfite. Once campden tablet per gallon (crushed and dissolved) would do it. This splash racking can force out any H2S if it's not too bad. It might save the cider.