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Old 12-10-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
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Well this will be my 3rd batch of cider and I might just be doing something wrong that I'm not reading any where else , but I'm using 5 gallons of store-bought apple juice (I've tried three different brands and types all of them without preservatives) I'm using corn sugar to bring up my original gravity to somewhere between 1.090 and 1.080. I'm using white labs English cider yeast and then putting all of that into a 5 gallon fermenting bucket , I'm making sure everything is completely sanitized and clean, fermentation usually kicks off pretty quick and I let that go until about 1.020 (because I still want it sweet ) and then I add potassium sorbate to stop that, but in all three batches there's a very strong vinegar taste what am I doing wrong. Any help is appreciated thank you and sorry for being so long

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Your getting an aecetobactor infection in there somehow. Post your sanitization practices so we can see if you're missing something.

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:38 PM   #3
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I'm using B-T-F Iodophor Sanitizer. most of the time don't measure out the 1 tsp or what ever it is per gal of water I kinda wing it and then add a bit more , I do all of this in my primary bucket and put all the hoses and siphons in there everything that touches the cider I put in there for a while , splash every thing with my hand and make sure there's sanitizer solution in contact with everything, and another thing is I don't rinse, I just shake it off and go right to work

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:31 PM   #4
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Gross I would recommend throwing out your cider. I've had this happen to me before what Revvy said is probably right. I'm no scientific genius or anything, but what I do know is it's some kind of nasty contaminated infection thing that you don't want to drink.

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Old 12-11-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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Ok , just seems odd to me that all my batches of beer always turn out great , but my last 3 attempts at cider have ended at the drain , I was just starting to wonder if it turning sour was a process that had to take place .

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Old 12-12-2011, 01:30 AM   #6
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Have you tried a different yeast? Even if it says "No preservatives," if it's pasteurized it probably has some, since pasteurizing by boiling is time consuming and not worth it. Though, usually the small amount of preservatives added at pasteurization usually have no immediate effects (can make it start to taste vinegary after a year or so), your yeast could be reacting with it somehow, as could any yeast nutrients, though the former is highly doubtful, and the latter even more so. But I cannot see any other things that could be going on here. In fact, here's what I would recommend. Make one gallon batch doing everything the same except using a different yeast. Make another gallon batch and do everything the same except boil the apple juice for two minutes, probably killing all preservatives. If it helps than you know it was a problem with the yeast and/or secret preservatives. In fact, you might want to just scratch that. lol, sorry. Just boil the apple juice AND use a different yeast. Simpler that way. If it doesn't get better than you know some type of outside contamination is going on here that you don't know about.

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Old 12-12-2011, 02:27 AM   #7
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"FYI - the geranium smell is from malolactic bacteria interacting with sorbate. Sorbate is sometimes attacked by malolactic bacteria. When the sorbate is broken down it will smell like Geranium leaves. Looks like you had some wild malolatic bacteria present in your cider (makes sense because your cider is fresh pressed). So it wasn't the sorbates fault, or an off flavor of the sorbate directly. I would assume that sulphiting at a full dose would have knocked out the malo bacteria." I stumbled across this info I guess just cold crash it then?

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Old 12-12-2011, 03:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugeaud View Post
Even if it says "No preservatives," if it's pasteurized it probably has some, since pasteurizing by boiling is time consuming and not worth it. .....do everything the same except boil the apple juice for two minutes
I totally disagree with what you have said here. if there are no preservatives listed on the bottle than there will be NONE in the bottle. pasteurization is not done with chemicals but rather heat and is done AFTER the bottles are sealed when done commercially to create a sterol environment so the product can last on the shelf for years. I would pasteurize the apple Juice before you start, BUT DO NOT BOIL IT. Mix your fermentables (and acid blend if you are using it) with the juice and then use a candy thermometer and heat up the mix to 160º F then when you pore it in to your sanitized jug it will continue to sanitize the jug with the heat. let it cool add any pectic enzyme or yeast nutrient and then pitch the yeast 24 hours later. boiling the juice will change the flavor. Also you did not mention an air lock, I am assuming you are uising one???
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:26 AM   #9
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I wouldn't boil the juice... it's already pasteurized.

What can be gained?

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Old 12-12-2011, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acowutter View Post
I'm using corn sugar to bring up my original gravity to somewhere between 1.090 and 1.080.
I got to thinking about what you said and are you sure it is vinegar you are tasting??? Your SG would put you %ABV some where in the 10 to 12% range depending on where you stop the fermenting. Most store bought ciders are between 5% and 7% Because a lot of beer makers make hard cider it is not thought of as what it really is which is a fruit wine. With fruit wines if you do not let them age you will get a strong alcohol taste that can be off-putting and almost acidic like a vinegar. Take the cider flavors and add a strong alcohol flavor and you will end up with something that tastes similar to cider vinegar. Let it age a little bit and you will have something more along the lines of a strong hard cider.

This may not be the case at all and it may be getting contaminated and turning in to vinegar but it is a possible reason why all three batches turned out bad.
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