Infected Apfelwein, what are my options?

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Well-Known Member
May 29, 2013
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I came home today to find some white rafts in the neck of my apfelwein carboy and I think it's an infection of some sort (pics coming later). I had to get in there a few times yesterday (take a hydrometer reading, fill it back up, use a clearing agent, etc) so whatever it is probably got introduced yesterday. As of yesterday the gravity was right at 1.000 for a current abv of 9.45%. My question is how do I proceed from here?

I'm thinking of racking it into another carboy (as carefully as I can to avoid disturbing what's on top) with some k meta and potassium sorbate. I used Montrachet yeast so I'm assuming there's still some fermenting to be done but my thought is the preservatives will slow/stop fermentation AND keep whatever's in there now from spreading.

Does that seem right?

It doesn't look too hideous, but it wasn't like this yesterday. Am I worried over nothing?

apfelwein infection.jpg
I highly doubt that an infection could form in one day and especially doubt that it could grow that large in one day. Even more unlikely that an infection can grow directly on the surface of 9.45% alcohol.

That stuff floating on top today, that is probably whatever you threw into the carboy yesterday.
Just rack the stuff into a new vessel and keep an eye on it.

Why do you need to put finings into your wein anyway? Mine drops completely clear 10 days after pitching yeast, left in room temperature, and I don't use anything at all.
Wow 10 days? No such luck here.
I pitched about two months ago. A lot of it did drop out but it wasn't where I wanted it to be.

Should I still go with the kmeta and sorbate even though it's only at 1.000 now?
I don't know why you need those chemicals to begin with. Only chemical I see necessary for cider making is DAP, because apple juice alone is seriously lacking in yeast nutrients. Apfelwein is nothing more than the german language word for "cider" - you are just saying "cider" in german, congratulations for expanding your linguistic skills ;-)

Here's how I make cider. It took me a while, but I finally cracked the nut (mine was also taking forever to finish fermenting and I got tired of it). It will finish fermentation in 7 days and drop clear after a few more days, or you can do like I do and cold crash part of the batch for immediate drinking.
I've made Upstate Mike's Caramel Apple Cider a handful of times before, the process is almost exactly the same (until bottling) except the yeast used.
For the record I added some nutrient and energizer about a month ago. I'm not sure why it's taken so long though. I don't know that I've ever made a wine where it was still fermenting two months in.
I usually don't use clearing agents but I'm under a time crunch. We're moving in a few weeks and I'm trying to get everything bottled before moving.

I'll check out that thread though, thanks for the info :mug:

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