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New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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started first batch w/ no idea what i was doin read articles on other sites. heres what i did bought apple juice (whitehouse)cooked it 40 minutes(not boilin)used little bleach water to clean one gal. carboy(carlo rossi jug). added 1/4 oz yeast packet(dont ask what type).I then capped it unknowingly leading to it blowin the capp(almost went deaf).that was yesterday,it stopped bublin and smells funny.ihave no hydrometer and theres lots of sediment. should I rerack or throw out or what?


Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2007
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Spring Valley
Umm next time, no need to cook it at all, not sure what temp you "cooked" it at, but you probably set the pectins in the juice and will never get a clear brew.

I assume you said don't ask about the yeast because either a) you don't remember or b) you used bread yeast and don't want to admit it haha. If its b) no worries, we all start somewhere, but it does tend to leave a yeastiness to ciders and can be tricky to work with.

I also assume now that you are on HBT that you know not to cap it. You need to allow all the co2 produced to come out but still prevent anything from getting it, be that oxygen or flies. You can do with with a cloth covered open top fermenting bucket (good), or some sanitized tin foil (not my preference), or (ick) a balloon, or preferably a stopper and airlock assembly.

Did the juice have preservatives? I assume not since it did ferment, but just so you know you can ferment anything that has sugar in it and doesn't contain any preservatives (well almost anything if treated right).

If you are continuing on with this lil experiment there is certainly no reason to rack yet. Give it between a week and three weeks before you rack into another gal. jug.

You said it smells funny, how does it smell? Does it smell of sulfur, like a nice rank fart? Does it smell like vinegar (its really to early for that bacteria to have gotten a hold on it, but worth asking) what would you compare the smell to? It very well just smells like an active fermentation and you just aren't aware of what that smells like yet.


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2008
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lol... you are lucky the bottle didn't frag.

if you want to go full ghetto style - use a balloon or latex glove as an airlock.

anyway - at some point during a fermentation you always get some pretty funky smells (somtimes it can be downright NASTY) - BUT...this is normal... discribe the smell as Tusch mentioned and perhaps we can set your mind at ease.

also, since you are really new - I'll give you some advice, Age is your friend with Cider, the longer you age it the better it gets. so don't freak out and toss your brew at week 3 or 4 when you bottle it - I let a basic apple cider/ apfelwien alone for at least 6-8 weeks before bottling, but it can be done sooner if you really need to for some reason - the best indication a cider is ready for bottling (other than using a hydrometer) is seeing that all the yeast has dropped to the bottom and the brew is crystal clear. Now, on bottling/racking day if it dosen't taste "right" don't freak out. Only if it tastes like Vinagar, dirt, vomit, or nailpolish remover - you may want to consider dumping it... but if it's tangy, tart, harsh, or un apple flavored, just keep it airlocked or bottle it and let it ride for a while. a nasty tasting (but uninfected) cider on bottling/racking day can be a real crowd pleaser 2,3,6, or 12 months later. Also, always keep a "special reserve" of your brews for extended aging - 9 months to well over a year(s) a bottle or two is fine (if you can spare a sixpack -I say go for it... but with a gallon, a 12 ounce bottle or two is OK) to see how being REALLY patient can make a killer brew.
Just my .02