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Old 11-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
Sep 2012
London, LNDN
Posts: 11

Hi all,
Can anyone tell me what is the white stuff on top of my cider, and if I'm condemned to the unimaginable sorrow of never drinking it? Overdramatic, I know. If it's the case, what can I do to avoid this next time?

Here's some info: I used crab apples from my tree, campden tablet for 48h, sugar to 1050 and used yeast Lalvin Champagne EC-1118. I let the fermentation start in the primary vessel (a large sanatized bucket) for 3 days, then transferred it to a carboy with airlock.
Once fermentation had nearly stopped, I racked off the sediment and have been letting it age since then (it's been just about 2 months now).

Thank you all for the help! Cheers,
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
Nov 2011
Finger Lakes, NY
Posts: 1,133
Liked 101 Times on 89 Posts

Definitely an infection. Looks like there is too much headspace in the container, which for secondary should be filled up to the neck to minimize air contact.

Thats a pretty bad pellicle, but how does it smell and or taste? If it's not too bad you can try to salvage the batch.

The basic solution is to rack out from underneath the yeast film to a new container, leaving behind as much film as possible. Then dose the cider with ~50ppm sulfites. The new container should minimize any cider/air contact. Alternatively, you could bottle ASAP (leaving the film behind again) and pasteurize to minimize any effects on your product.
In all the states no door stands wider,
To ask you in to drink hard cider

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #3
runningweird's Avatar
Dec 2009
State Line, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,073
Liked 93 Times on 69 Posts

doomed. either kill it now or give it some time and make vinegar.
My 6 Tap Long Draw Tower Build:

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
Oct 2011
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 433
Liked 28 Times on 26 Posts

Try to keep less headspace in your container. Large headspace can cause all kinds of problems, your infection being one of them!

If you had a small headspace, then the air would have been entirely displaced by CO2 and the infection would've have had a lot smaller chance of taking hold.

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
Sep 2012
Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 636
Liked 123 Times on 88 Posts

Let it go to vinegar, it'll probably be great. But not drinkable.

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