Mold in Wild Cider - help!

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New Member
Oct 30, 2019
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Hi all,

After a successful first go at cider-making using store-bought juice and Montrachet yeast, I decided to try a wild fermentation using apples picked from a local orchard. I washed, then juiced the apples and had a very active primary fermentation, and after 5 days, when it was still quite active, I racked it into a carboy for secondary.

After just one or two days, the fermentation slowed down heavily, and I was not noticing any bubbling in the airlock. I let it sit, thinking it was just doing its thing slowly, and I checked on it every other day as it sat in a cabinet in my kitchen.

When I just went to look at it, I noticed what looks like mold floating on top. Whatever it is, it just started forming after about three weeks of secondary.

Any advice on whether my cider is salvageable? If so, what can I do?

Thanks in advance!


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I did not. I have the hydrometer but nothing to float it in, so i just skipped it.
It is probably a yeast film rather than mold. Mold infections will typically be either fuzzy/hairy, or darkly colored. Assuming the cider still smells and tastes okay, then you should be fine. When you bottle it, be sure to siphon from under the surface and leave the film behind.

It is very possible that fermentation is already complete. You really should pick up a Hydrometer Flask so you can actually take a hydrometer reading.
I agree with Sequoicider does not look like mold to me. If your really concerned rack it and leave behind the top 1/2" or so and of course the lees. I would smell and taste it if it tastes and smells OK your fine.(Until it doesn't)
The film is called a pellicle. Many different wild microbes can form a pellicle, so it's expected that one will form in the presence of oxygen.

You may want to top up with additional apple juice or cider to reduce the headspace.
If your really concerned rack it and leave behind the top 1/2" or so and of course the lees.
Don't do this. There's absolutely no point and it would only make oxygen-related off-flavors worse.
You've all given me hope! Thank you very much for weighing in.
My wild cider looks very similar to yours. Mold on cider looks more like the mold you would find on an old loaf of bread; a filamentous or dusty covering of blue, green, black, and other alarming colors.