Cream liquor wine from spoiled cider. What the hell is going on here?

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Mar 15, 2021
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So recently, my mind just got blown. I found to old fermentation vessels I had used for cider at one point, and never cleaned them out. They’d been sitting in a wooden cabinet for anywhere from months to years. I found them and decided I’d upcycle them because I wanted to start increasing my production. (I have 5 vessels and I wanted to add these 2 onto that.) I opened one up carefully (not the one of interest) and it actually pulled the rubber seal on the lid off and it stuck to the bottle. I carefully pealed it off and noticed the vessel had actually pulled a vacuum, or at least negative pressure. Well, anyway, it pulled some air in and there was a good 10mL of liquid at the bottom that my dumbass self had left in there. It smelled horrible so I moved on to the second bottle. This one was a tad bit more interesting. It didn’t have any residual liquid in it from when I left it, nor did it have any now. Or did it? Upon I closed inspection I come to find a mL or two of liquid at the bottom. I hesitantly sniffed the bottle and had a knee jerk reaction. It was a bitter bitey smell, as I had suspected. Another hesitant sniff left me dumbfounded. I exclaimed “it smells like wine! What the hell?!” A few more sniffs in, I come to the conclusion that it smells like a cross between strong wine and liquor. I stand there for a few minutes, gawking in awe. I battle with myself for the good part of five minutes over whether I should give it a taste or not. I decide that “for science!” I should at least taste it. So, I pour a drop onto my hand, and stare at it. I swallow my pride with a gulp of fear and put my hand up to my face. I lick it off my hand and sit there absolutely shocked. It tasted, and looked, like cream liquor. At this point in the game I gave myself a pat on the back and told myself I must be a natural because I keep doing awesome things on accident. A few days prior, I had made some cider but I left the fruit in the fermentation vessel. I drink my way through the first part of it. At the bottom lay some fruit and cider. I strain the cider hard. Out comes some cream looking alcohol. It really does look, and taste, like some kind of honey cream nectar of the gods, I kid you not. I swear to god I am the g at making cream alcohol, haha. Anyway, I have a few theories as to what happened, but I can’t find anything online so was hoping for the help of some people who actually know what they’re doing (you all). My theory is that, seeing as there was yeast dried up and caked onto the sides of the glass bottle, maybe a tiny amount of water reminded in with the yeast that had clung onto the sides. Perhaps the yeast continued to process and ferment the small remaining amount of sugars and starches with the help of the water and oxygen it was getting from the fact that the bottle was now empty (thus giving it access to the air in the bottle, not being blocked by any liquid). Perhaps as it continued the process, the tiny amount of yeast that was left kept chugging along as, drop by drop, alcohol trickled down the sides of the bottle and onto the bottom. Or even evaporated sometimes and then condensated back down. Maybe each time it evaporated, due to fluctuating temps, it was like a continued pass. The water evaporates and gets up-cycled back into the system, back into the yeast which makes more alcohol, and the cycle repeats. That’s my theory, what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear it.

I left a bottle out and didn’t wash it out. The tiny amount of yeast left kept making more alcohol and now the few mL left at the bottom smells like wine and tastes like cream liquor.



Everything learned in Kindergarten still applies!
HBT Supporter
Oct 24, 2015
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Is your theory "Plausible" - I suppose it is. You have the material and it hasn't killed you after tasting it. But purely from what you described not very likely.

An alternate theory is that a vessel that large with a little cider left in it and even with a good seal would likely still allow some air in and out due to temperature changes. The hard cider then becomes oxidized with air and turns to vinegar with a "kick" and with enough time very likely would evaporate out the alcohol, the vinegar with enough time could be very smooth and taste similar to what you described.

Just my thoughts

Anyone else....