Contaminated?

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bodamane

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Good afternoon all!

I'm a novice at making cider, with my current batch being my 3rd go at it. My first two attempts went just fine. This one is a 3G ferment of organic apple juice that I racked about 2 months ago into the carboy seen in the photo. Its been sitting in my workshop at 61F and I just got back from travelling to check on it, and saw what looks like mold on the top. Is this some type of contamination? And is it salvageable and worth salvaging?

Thank you in advance and hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July weekend!
 

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Chalkyt

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I don't have much experience with this type of issue (fortunately), but a couple more questions might help knowledgeable people give you some answers.
1. There is a fair bit of headspace, is that how it was when you started? Exposure to that much air probably didn't help.
2. Was there a turbulent ferment (i.e. "scum" formed on the surface for a week or two)? Could what you are seeing just be a residue from this?
3. Was the juice sulphited (i.e. SO2 added, then cultured yeast) or were you just looking for a natural ferment?
 
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bodamane

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Great questions, thank you. 1) Yes, much more headspace than I had wanted...i had used a new-to-me carboy for the primary and didnt realize i wouldnt get enough to fill appropriately the secondary, thus the headspace you see is how the second ferment started, so you are absolutely right that all that air could be problematic. 2) the primary ferment was definitely aggressive, however, the racking into this carboy, the secondary, was pretty clean, so i dont think this is residual from the primary. 3) yes, the juice was sulphited.

Is there any use in trying to add sulphite now and bottle? Or do I just pitch it and chalk it up to experience?
 
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