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Cider Hangovers

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gregsatt

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Howdy from Texas Y'all! I've been brewing cider for quite a few years now. One thing I've noticed over the past few years is that I get a pretty bad hangover when I drink much of my cider. I'd appreciate any advice on reducing the hangover from my cider. Here is my recipe:

  • Juice - I've used Messlemans fresh pressed, Trader Joe's fresh pressed, wally world not from concentrate, and a few other organic/fresh pressed/not from concetrate...
  • Sugar - I usually add about a pound or more of organic cane sugar that I dilute into one of the gallons of juice over low heat (is it the sugar rather than using the finely ground stuff from the home brew store?)
  • Yeast - Champagne yeast usually
  • Nutrient - I usually add a bit of yeast nutrient to the mix once I add the yeast
  • I've done campden before, but it doesn't seem to matter (maybe I'm wrong, so help me out...)
My cider tastes great and everyone loves it. But the hangover isn't good...

Thanks,
Greg
 

NoCornOrRice

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I had a similar experience with mead and cyser. You may be generating excessive fusel alcohols, what is your average ambient temperature and fermentation temperature?
 

bracconiere

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hmmm, i usually just cuss out gangsters if i get a hangover...lol, usually works, and i haven't been beat to death yet YMMV... ;)
 

Kickass

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Real science probably exists to explain your cider hangover so let my advice, which echos @madscientist451, serve as the “know-it-all” pseudo science perspective: you’re drinking too much of your delicious cider!
I won’t try to find fault, we all do it. I’m just suggesting we call it what it is, overindulgence.
 
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gregsatt

gregsatt

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I had a similar experience with mead and cyser. You may be generating excessive fusel alcohols, what is your average ambient temperature and fermentation temperature?
It sits in the garage and the temp can vary greatly. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter. I used to let it ferment in my bathroom closet but my wife didn’t like the smell.
 

Tancred the Brewer

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Well from what I understand with ciders, and I brew a lot of ciders, is that there are a couple of factors which can increase the fusil alcohols, including methanol. The biggest factor I have seen is a lower fermentation temperature. If you ferment above about 65 degrees F you will develop more fusils. I tend to ferment near 60 degrees. It tends to take a little longer to ferment out but in the end I do think I get a much cleaner product. I don't experience any hangover issues, although I don't drink much more than about 32 oz in a sitting. But I also make apple jack the same way and I have not noticed any issues, even when concentrated, which would concentrate the affect of any fusils. From what you just said above I suspect a little more temp control will help, in addition to a big glass of water along the drinking session.
 

NoCornOrRice

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Yeah, if you can keep the ambient temp fairly steady between 60-65 degrees you will notice a huge improvement. Also consider adding more yeast nutrient to double what it recommends, and consider a different yeast to start, like Safcider from Fermentis. I find if I use 1118 to finish rather than all the way through, it also reduces after effects for cider and mead, especially when going above 8% abv. Please report back with whether this helps you evade what became known around here as "The Mead Hangover" it worked for us. Cheers.
 
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gregsatt

gregsatt

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Thanks for all the tips! The one time I got the dreaded sewer/rotten egg smell during fermentation forced me to move to the garage because my closet smelled like our septic tank backed up into it. Thus, no temperature controlled fermentation area any longer :(

My latest batch is brewing now and the temp is definitely lower than the Texas summer months, so we'll see.
 

Maylar

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I'll add that back when I was doing 1 gallon batches I did one with Nottingham at about 75°F. It was horible with the fusels (I didn't know what that was then) and I ended up dumping it. Dunno if it would have given me a hangover or not, it was not drinkable.
 

TheBluePhantom

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remember, apples seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. Not enough to do real damage, But it is known to cause nasty hangovers if you drink in large quantities.
 

jseyfert3

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Thanks for all the tips! The one time I got the dreaded sewer/rotten egg smell during fermentation forced me to move to the garage because my closet smelled like our septic tank backed up into it. Thus, no temperature controlled fermentation area any longer :(
I got some sulfur smell with Montrachet yeast and added sugar on my first batches, on later ones with D47 with no added sugar I’ve gotten no sulfur smell. So you could try a different yeast like D47 and see if you can ferment indoors without sulfur smell.

Fare warning, I ferment in my basement and in summer temps peaked at like 68 or 69, usually closer to 67. Now in the middle of winter it’s down to around 61. So it’s possible D47 may make sulfur smells at higher temps even with no added sugar.

You could consider something like a mini-fridge with a temp controller as a fermentation chamber to try steady low temps to see if that improves hangovers and sulfur smells.

Finally what’s the ABV of your cider? If you don’t knowhow much sugar do you add? My store juice fermented dry with no added sugar is about 6%, and it’s really easy drinking. Sugar will increase that more. Fusels aside, pounding back a ton of 6% drinks back to back will lead to a hangover.
 

ramthebuffs

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A few slugs of pickle juice first thing in the morning and you'll be A-OK.
 

Snuffy

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Beer, tomato juice, and Alka-Seltzer. You can thank me later.
 
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