First time cider make - will my cider turn to vinegar?!?

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sammy7boy

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Hi everyone. I messaged a few weeks ago asking for help to get my first batch of cider to ferment. Well, finally, i'm pleased to say that a major aeration led to fermentation at last!!! I have just bottled my 5 gallons and tried to avoid air contact but i'm really worried that it's all going to turn to vinegar.

I bottled it by gently immersing a jug into the brewing bucket and slowly pouring it into the bottle via a filter funnel connected to a delivery tube so that the cider ran down the tube and filled the bottles from the bottom, to minimize splashing. However, i feel that i may have still ruined my cider, for these reasons:

* Despite my best efforts the cider still splashed into the bottles, especially as the cider was first entering the bottles and splashing against the base of the bottle. There were quite a few air bubbles introduced at this stage.
* There was not very much dissolved CO2 in the cider to protect it, as it finished fermenting about 1 week ago and since then much of the CO2 seems to have dissipated.
* I didn't use SO2 at this stage. Reason being that i recently introduced a malolactic bacteria (White Labs 675 product) which i didn't want to kill with sulphites.
* Barometric pressure is quite low here at the moment - which i've heard makes a difference too!

From my description, may i ask the more experience cider makers to give me their opinions on whether they think my cider will be ok, or if it will be a write-off?!

Thanks,
Sam
 

Yooper

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You are doing MLF in the bottle? That could be a problem.

Splashing or agitating cider will easily oxidize it, and that will become a problem as it ages.
 
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sammy7boy

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You are doing MLF in the bottle? That could be a problem.

Splashing or agitating cider will easily oxidize it, and that will become a problem as it ages.
Thanks for your reply!

Yes i inoculated my cider with an malolactic strain about 72 hours prior to bottling. MLF in the bottle is problem? How is this?
 

Gitmoe

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Thanks for your reply!

Yes i inoculated my cider with an malolactic strain about 72 hours prior to bottling. MLF in the bottle is problem? How is this?
That could definitely be an issue. MLF can take months to complete and should never be done in bottles. I don't think MLF will create enough pressure to explode a bottle but that's definitely a guess. You should've done MLF in a carboy and after MLF was complete add sulfites and bottle. It also sounds like you worried about oxidation too much. The tiny amount of splashing from bottling even if you just filled the bottles out of an open spigot wouldn't be bad for the cider, especially if sulfited correctly. And whatever you heard about barometric pressure, just ignore that. It's smart to be cautious and aware of infections but I think sometimes people get too caught up in worrying. I own a hard cider company and I can promise you I don't check the barometer when deciding if I'm going to rack or bottle...
 
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