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Old 03-29-2012, 04:08 AM   #1
Fizzycist
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Dec 2011
Idaho Falls, Idaho
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Get ready for a long post. To start, I want to make it clear I'm not blaming the recipe or it's maker cuz I'm probably gonna try again.

Ok, I posted once before that I tried following http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/drun...-cider-287701/ and had some issues http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/chec...dients-308133/.

Long story short, I used some chocolate powder that had maltodextrine in it and ended up with a gravity much higher than expected. Here's the full recipe.

1 gallon froofy “all-natural” apple juice (I really only wanted the glass jug for small batches!)
1 1/8 cup light brown sugar
~½ cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp Stephens dark hot chocolate powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick cinnamon
½ tsp pectic enzyme
1/8 tsp wyeast yeast nutrient
1/3 pack Nottingham

Fermentation room temp: 63-64.
O.G. 1.095

Removed about ¼ gallons from the jug, boiled with cinnamon, sugars, chocolate powder, nutmeg, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient for ~ 5 minutes then fished out the cinnamon. Poured this back into jug, pitched.

Now, this bubbled away for over a month. I didn't post, and tried not to worry cuz I know it doesn't mean it's still in active fermentation. Also there was a weird thick kreusen (which was soft) floating on it the whole time. Well, today I was racking another cider and figured since I had stuff out and some sanitizer mixed up I'd draw a sample.

The sample came out almost an orange color, completely opaque, and had weird multicolored floaties in it. Gravity measured at 1.007. Then I took a sip. A teeny tiny, careful sip. And nearly puked. It actually tasted kinda like vomit, only worse, if that's possible. Like a bad puke after a cheap vodka binge. It was just disgusting. I somehow forced myself to take another and it was just as bad, so I threw it all out. I wish I'd gotten a picture of the floaties. I did get a crappy one of the kreusen. I don't want to be the first to use the I word, but you guys gotta tell me what happened here.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:42 AM   #2
Dawnhulio
 
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Jul 2011
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The only thing I can really make note of is that your hot chocolate powder contained maltodextrin...plus your comment about the weird krausen and floaties. Maltodextrin is used overwhelmingly as a food additive...most notably in low-fat or 'diet' foods to provide a creamy / oily mouthfeel in place of traditional fats and oils. I wonder if this behavior exhibited itself in your recipe by continually floating at the top of your brew... and think we can all say we've experienced an odd off-flavor or mouthfeel in a beverage or two affected by a fatty / spicy food accompaniment ... happy to hear opines on the subject...
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:27 AM   #3
Fizzycist
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Dec 2011
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I don't know, because plenty of brewers use maltodextrin as an ingredient. It was just a problem in mine because it was unexpected.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
Pickled_Pepper
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Nov 2011
Atlanta, Georgia
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I hate to hear you tossed it. I would have just let it sit until the fall (or longer) and tried it again. I have a cider experiment in the basement now (bottled) that isn't very good, but I figure I'll give it until New Year's just in case.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
Fizzycist
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Dec 2011
Idaho Falls, Idaho
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I don't man, if it was just some strong flavors that need to mellow I could by it, but this actually tasted like vomit. Anyway, no, I haven't thrown it out yet, but I need something a little more definite to inspire me to keep it.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
Pickled_Pepper
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Nov 2011
Atlanta, Georgia
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haha...totally understand.

I've heard of some citrus beverages tasting like bile, but nothing in your recipe looks like it should cause the vomit flavors.

I was visiting with a client yesterday that owns a vineyard in NC. He was telling me a story about a neighboring vineyard that, in 2009, they fermented their signature wine. They tasted it and it was apparently like a cross between lighter fluid and rotten tomatoes. It had the head wine guy in tears (literally) on the floor of the fermenting room. He thought that they were going to have to pour out (1000s of gallons?) of the wine that kept them in business.

6 months later, it was the best wine they had ever produced.

The morale I took from it was that regardless of how nasty something is early on...time might tell a different story.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #7
Fizzycist
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Dec 2011
Idaho Falls, Idaho
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I guess I'll hang on to it then. It just a tiny test batch in a 1 gal jug, so I'm not taking up my regular primary with it. I'll let you know if it ever recovers.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:41 PM   #8
NineMilBill
 
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I did a one gallon batch of this also, with no problems.

Here's my post in the original thread scaled, omitting the nutmeg due to the OP's recommendation:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/drun...ml#post3770448

Bottled with 1/2 tsp dextrose. Yesterday was the 3 week mark - carb level was good, tasted good. No issues.

 
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
icanbenchurcat
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Feb 2012
Marietta, GA
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My first plain cider came out tasting like rotten eggs mixed with sour war heads. Is this the flavor you are describing? I waited 1 month, bottled, waited 1 month and had great sparkling cider.

 
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