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Stinking cider's got me worried

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Reddy

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I was at the farmer's market this weekend and found an orchard selling fresh cider, pasteurized of course. I bought some, added brown sugar, and pitched some White Labs Cider Yeast. 2 days later it seems to be fermenting well, but man does the air bubbling through the airlock stink!

Is this normal for this yeast?

Since I've got two batches of cider going it's crossed my mind that I could end up with cider vinegar. Especially with the one smelling like it does. The one I used ale yeast in smells great however. So....

Exactly was causes cider to turn to vinegar and how do I avoid it?
 

Nurmey

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Fermenting has lots of smells and some of them smell like a gassy rhino has parked itself by your carboy. I haven't used that particular yeast but my guess is that it gives off the famous rhino fart smell.

Vinegar is produced by a specific bacteria but I can't remember the name at the moment. I do know that it is carried by the fruit fly. You prevent it by good using sanitation methods.
 
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If it smells like sulfur, it's normal. RDWHAHB!

If it smells like vinegar, it's ruined. Leave it alone, and perhaps you'll have some of the best cider vinegar you've ever tasted. An acetobacter infection is nearly impossible to stop. The best way to avoid one is to practice good sanitation, as I'm sure you've already done.

I'm betting you just have a stinky fermentation...that's what cider does.
 
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Reddy

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Ok thanks guys... I'll cross my fingers and hope it's just stinky fermentation.

I've never had real hard cider/apfelwein and now I've got 9 gallons going. It better be great or I'm gonna have to learn to love it!
 

vapor2020

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If you don't like it, you shouldn't give up. There are many different kinds of yeast out there and they all make different flavors. I would recommend next time making a few small batches with different yeasts from your local homebrew shop. Try a couple of wine yeasts and a couple of ale yeasts. Then figure out which one you like best. Also, don't rush the stuff. I have had aweful tasting cider turn into great cider by just sitting for longer. Good Luck!
 
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