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Bad Apfelwein. Where did I go wrong?

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After a very disappointing tasting of my first bottle yesterday, I've discovered that I have sixty four bottles of terrible apfelwein. :(

It's my second attempt at brewing. My first was a kit that turned out reasonably well, but this batch turned out not so well.

I followed the recipe posted here, although I couldn't get the Montrachet yeast locally and had to substitute a different packet of wine yeast ("for wine or cider" according to the label, though I can't remember the brand.) I used pure apple juice (from concentrate), with added ascorbic acid. I did a thorough job of sanitizing, or so I thought. I let it sit for one and a half weeks in the primary, two in the secondary, and it's been carbonating in bottles for almost two weeks now. The bottles are quite clear, though there is a good amount of sediment in the bottom.

The cider has a very musty taste and is totally undrinkable. I remember the same taste from a bottle of homemade wine a friend gave to me - wine he made himself from fruit. I sampled a taste while racking and bottling, and it had the same musty taste but to a much lesser extent.

Does anyone know where I went wrong?
 

Go Gators

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It seems like you rushed it through the process big time? You say you followed the recipe, but if you are talking about Ed's recipe, it does not call for a secondary and it should stay in the primary for at least a month. I think you are just drinking it prematurely. In my opinion you should be just getting it to the bottle. Give it another month or so before pouring out. Just my $0.02.
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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Wow....totally rushing this one my friend. I say at minimum you want it in primary (no secondary) 30 days, if not longer. Mine was still fermenting out at 30 days. Let those puppies age a while and come back to us in a month.
 

splat

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+1...my first batch sat for a month exactly(had to be ready for new years), but my next batch sat for 7 weeks and was better...
 

malkore

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the higher the ABV, the longer it needs to age. as I recall, the Apfelwein can approach 7%, and it does not have hops or malt flavor to 'hide behind', which requires even more aging.
 

Revvy

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Somewhere on Ed's he mentions that once it turns crystal clear in the fermeter, clear enough to read something through the fermentor, it is done and can be bottled... Mine is about a month and a half in and it is only now starting to clear... A couple of weeks ago I pulled off 2 quarts and stuck them in 2 sanitized screw top rum bottles. They took about another week to clear, and tasted great...I'm leaving the rest alone til it clears fully.

So I think maybe you just jumped the gun and bottled too soon...
 
OP
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I think you might be right. I tried one today, about three days after the first, and the musty bad taste is definitely fading. I guess I'll shelf it for another couple weeks.

Lesson learned: patience.

Thanks for your input!
 
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