how NOT to make vinegar?

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stinkiestbink

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hello friends and neighbors,
I just finished my second batch of cider, (Edworts Apfelwein) and am still waiting for the first batch, (plain cider) to finish. i took a sample from the first batch and it was at 1.000 and still cloudy. it also had a slight vinegar smell and very tart taste. Am i supposed to stop the fermentation, or just let it finish on its own. I've have heard horror stories about ciders turning to vinegar and want to avoid it on my 5 gallon batch of Apfelwein.

thanks
 

david_42

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Making vinegar is more difficult that the horror stories tell. If you were reasonably careful with sanitation, you should be ok.

The tartness will mellow with age.
 

deharris

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Quite right. Apfelwein goes through all sorts of smell-stages and you've really just got to wait until it mellows out. I remember sniffing my latest batches and burning my nose, thinking the brew smelled just rotten, and then finally saying, ah, this smells good!
 

David Holmes

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I've been reading Proulx & Nichols' excellent book Cider, which has been very informative. Cider turns to vinegar when contaminated with acetobacter bacteria, which converts alcohol into acetic acid and is present in all juice, and requires oxygen to multiply. The key from preventing this from happening is preventing exchange of air, and as david_42 said, careful sanitation. If your fermentation is airtight with an airlock, and all your equipment is sterile, you should usually be fine. The bacteria thrives in cider/wine bottles, fermenters, etc. Filtering with exposure to air will also increase the risk substantially according to the book.

If you pressed your own apples it might be a bit more challenging because the bacteria in question is abundant in nature and most likely on your apple press.

Throughout the fermentation the acidity of the must should normally be decreasing; if you test for acidity and find it to be increasing, that's a strong indicator that it's been contaminated.

There are some things the book says you can do to save a batch that's started to turn acetic, but really, you probably don't have anything to worry about. Just make sure it's clean and airtight.
 

JeanLucD

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If everything fails however, atleast you know you've got yourself some really nice cider vinegar, hehe :D, hopefully for you that shouldn't be a problem at all.
 

macs

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stinkiestbink said:
hello friends and neighbors,
I just finished my second batch of cider, (Edworts Apfelwein) and am still waiting for the first batch, (plain cider) to finish. i took a sample from the first batch and it was at 1.000 and still cloudy. it also had a slight vinegar smell and very tart taste. Am i supposed to stop the fermentation, or just let it finish on its own. I've have heard horror stories about ciders turning to vinegar and want to avoid it on my 5 gallon batch of Apfelwein.

thanks
A good easy recipe to start with. Just be patient. Good things take time. It will all work out great in the end. Take Ed Wort's advice...Give it 3 months to fully condition. If you can't wait like me...at least give it 1 month and it will be fairly drinkable but your last glass will be your best one!!:cross:
 
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