First time cider (wild and crab apples), bottle carb'ed, tastes yeasty... bottle aging?

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PHayward81

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Hi, first time poster and first time cider maker here. I'm an all-grain brewer who wanted to try a cider from wild apples growing around my property.

The question: My cider has been in the bottle one week (I know that's way too young) but it has a yeasty, bread taste. Will this resolve from bottle aging? I read AFTER THE FACT (story of my life) that secondary ferm should be 3-6 months. Yikes.

The details: I juiced about 21L of wild apples, topped up to 23L with apple juice and dextrose to reach a starting SG of 1.050. Did a ph test and added precipitated chalk to get the acidity to the recommended range for cider 3.2ish, then added peptic enzyme for clearing. I made a starter with EC-1118 (the cockroach of brewing yeasts) with apple juice concentrate. Pitched it at 21C and left it to primary ferment for 2 weeks. Racked to a secondary after SG stayed at 1.000 for a few days and let that sit for 4 weeks. One week ago, I primed with the appropriate amount of apple juice concentrate (as it wasn't tasting very appley, common with EC-1118 I read) to get it to about 2.2-2.5 volumes of C02, storing it around 23C just to make sure I get some good bottle conditioning going.

Now, I know better than to assume it's going to taste stellar after a week in the bottle. I know that. But not knowing anything about cider making, I read some people recommending leaving it in secondary for very long periods to clear out any yeasty taste. I once left a batch of hefe on it's secondary too long and the yeast taste never cleared in the bottle. Will this taste clear with time?

Thanks in advance,
-Paul
 
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PHayward81

PHayward81

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Also, I back sweetened with stevia powder. Don't do this! It was really tart going into the bottle so I added some stevia sweetener as I have lactose intolerant family who want to try this, and I can taste it. Hope that fades as well! Lessons we learn the hard way...
 

bernardsmith

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Hi PHayward81, I know it may sound counter -intuitive but a yeasty taste suggests that you under-pitched the yeast. It may be that the viability of the yeast was not as good as you assumed.
 
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PHayward81

PHayward81

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I was wondering about that! I started the yeast for 24 hours in 2 cups of the cider "must" (apple wort? or whatever its called with cider...) and it certainly didn't act like the beer yeasts I'm used to (I'm looking at you, Wyeast Weihenstephan...). But not knowing any better, I thought this must be just how it goes. So, what happens? It gets stressed? And further to your point, will leaving the bottled cider to age for 3-6 months help remove this? Or best drown my sorrows in yeasty cider and do it better next fall? :)
 
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PHayward81

PHayward81

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Hi PHayward81, I know it may sound counter -intuitive but a yeasty taste suggests that you under-pitched the yeast. It may be that the viability of the yeast was not as good as you assumed.
Forgot one detail! I used a yeast nutrient in the starter as well to help it get some liftoff. I read apple juice doesn't offer much in the way of nutrients as beers do.
 

bernardsmith

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The truth is I don't know whether the aroma of yeast will dissipate in sealed bottles. I have never had that experience. The other thing is that if you add nutrient too soon after pitching this can also cause problems. The yeast cannot effectively take up those chemicals and compounds until after the lag phase and my understanding is that many of those compounds can damage the cells
 
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