unidentified floaties in 3 weeks old apfelwein

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quaxk

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Hi all :)

So, I started two 20L batches of apfelwein in 25L plastic fermenters 3 weeks ago and now I got those little floating dots worrying me. They're kind of off white / light grey and some are sinking or in suspension, I'm not sure. If they're moving it's too slow for me to detect. Is this an infection? I now can see the bottom of the fermenter and I'm tempted to declare the wine clear and bottle right now, what do you think? I'm a complete brewing noob :confused:


 

mysteryberto

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They look a lot like yeast floating on top. I wouldn't worry about. I'd wait another weak before bottling apfelwein it generally takes 4 weeks. RDWHAHB
 
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quaxk

quaxk

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Thanks guy, I will give it more time... next batches I promise :eek:

Call it beginner anxiety, I bottled last night in a hurry. The stuff taste great btw. My racking wasn't too great on the other hand, the cane dragged across the bottom a couple times. So the bottled wine is, hummm... a bit cloudy. It's already starting to settle though. Will a lot of sediments be hangover inducing? Oh well, it's a learning process :drunk:




I guess it wouldn't hurt to put 'auto-siphon' on my to-buy list.
 

Philip1993

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Will a lot of sediments be hangover inducing?
Sediment = yeast. From what I have been told, yeast works to combat hangovers. May just be placebo effect, but my experience is that the next morning after too much home brew is not bad at all. Not so for commercial brew.
 

Revvy

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I sure as heck hope you didn't prime any of those bottles....You do realize that if you had yeast colonies fizzing on the surface, which is what that was, and you primed them, then you could have some serious bottle bomb action....It takes several weeks (more than three) for fermentation to complete with apfelwein...and even longer for it to clear. Mine didn't finish out for 3 months or so IIRC...Not to mention clearing and bottle conditioning. (mines going on 8 months since I pitched the yeast)

After three weeks yours still has a looooooonnnnnngggggggg way to go.

Next time, it might be a good idea to wait til someone actually answers your question before you panic and jump to the next step...Especially if the person who put the recipe together (edwort) tells you that everything is fine. Methinks he knows what he's doing...:mug:

If you didn't carb em, I'd let them sit for a loooooonnnnnggggg time...If you did carb them, then I would move them farther apart, and seal them in a rubbermade tub, just in case.

You wouldn't happen to have one of these handy would you? :D

 
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quaxk

quaxk

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Rotfl, I don't think the suit will be necessary for the bottles, and the SWMBO is actually harmless :D

The wine fermented in 6 days, finishing at 0.998 two weeks ago. It shut off like a switch. I gave a good stir to degas the day after.

After 2 weeks of inactivity, those motionless dots started to appear on the surface. I mistook them for molds. I think mysteryberto is right, they were just yeasties that very slowly surfaced.

I primed each batch (20L) with 180ml of sugar. I assume the wine will clear in the bottles as fast it would in the fermenter. I made the mistake, I'll wait it out ;)

My concern is with the amount of sediment, but again, I should probably RDWHAHB :)

I sure as heck hope you didn't prime any of those bottles....You do realize that if you had yeast colonies fizzing on the surface, which is what that was, and you primed them, then you could have some serious bottle bomb action....It takes several weeks (more than three) for fermentation to complete with apfelwein...and even longer for it to clear. Mine didn't finish out for 3 months or so IIRC...Not to mention clearing and bottle conditioning. (mines going on 8 months since I pitched the yeast)

After three weeks yours still has a looooooonnnnnngggggggg way to go.

Next time, it might be a good idea to wait til someone actually answers your question before you panic and jump to the next step...Especially if the person who put the recipe together (edwort) tells you that everything is fine. Methinks he knows what he's doing...

If you didn't carb em, I'd let them sit for a loooooonnnnnggggg time...If you did carb them, then I would move them farther apart, and seal them in a rubbermade tub, just in case.

You wouldn't happen to have one of these handy would you?
 
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quaxk

quaxk

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But you're right, I definitely should have waited for the answer. I'm starting two other batches next week. I caught an apple juice sale :D I'll let them sit as long as it takes and work on my racking skill in the mean time :)
 

Revvy

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But you're right, I definitely should have waited for the answer. I'm starting two other batches next week. I caught an apple juice sale :D I'll let them sit as long as it takes and work on my racking skill in the mean time :)

Yeah...you inspired a much needed blog of mine.

Be the first to read it http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/Think_evaluation_before_action/

It's not about you, but it is about something that I've noticed new brewers tend to do...

Thanks!!!:mug:
 

Smogre

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Hah!
You got Revvied! :)
Don't worry. So did I once about the 1 week 2 week rule.
It's good reading. :mug:
 

Taper123

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I did that on my first batch of beer... rushed it since I thought something was going wrong since I saw little white clumps forming that sorta looked like little bubble islands when it was in the glass secondary... For that matter I rushed it into the secondary since the airlock had stopped after three days. Got lucky and only one blew up...

Batch number 4 for me is some Apfelwein and I started it on 8-3-08 and it's still making a bubble now and then in the airlock. WHen I looked a little closer it's got some of the white clumps like in your picture floating at the top of the carboy. Never made beer in a glass primary... but neet to watch all the little bubbles still flowing in the Apfelwein. I'd bet you still had a steady flow of tiny bubbles going, and like mine...the airlock rarely bubbles unless you sit there and stare at it long enough. Too bad glass has gotten so expensive or I'd replace my buckets just so I could watch the fermenting process.
 
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quaxk

quaxk

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Yeah...you inspired a much needed blog of mine.

Be the first to read it http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/Think_evaluation_before_action/

It's not about you, but it is about something that I've noticed new brewers tend to do...

Thanks!!!
Hah!
You got Revvied!
Don't worry. So did I once about the 1 week 2 week rule.
It's good reading.
Lol, I'll take that as noob flattery then :)


I did that on my first batch of beer... rushed it since I thought something was going wrong since I saw little white clumps forming that sorta looked like little bubble islands when it was in the glass secondary... For that matter I rushed it into the secondary since the airlock had stopped after three days. Got lucky and only one blew up...

Batch number 4 for me is some Apfelwein and I started it on 8-3-08 and it's still making a bubble now and then in the airlock. WHen I looked a little closer it's got some of the white clumps like in your picture floating at the top of the carboy. Never made beer in a glass primary... but neet to watch all the little bubbles still flowing in the Apfelwein. I'd bet you still had a steady flow of tiny bubbles going, and like mine...the airlock rarely bubbles unless you sit there and stare at it long enough. Too bad glass has gotten so expensive or I'd replace my buckets just so I could watch the fermenting process.
Yes, for a few days after the main fermentation finished and I degasified, microscopic bubbles columns continued coming from the bottom and indeed, created those tiny islands. Then, it went completely still and I started to see through. From what I read, the yeasts strain I used (EC-1118) is notorious for its speed and completion (see kinetics comparaison, red arrow). It was clearly over, and the SG stayed at 0.998 the whole time. Can there really be that much fermentable sugars left in cider at such a low gravity? When should I start checking for carbonation level?






Just to be clear: the cloudy wine in the bottles is due to my clumsiness. Before I started to bottle, it was limpid enough that I could see the bottom of the fermenters - you guessed right, those are primary plastic buckets. The yeasts sh|t storm happened while I was attempting to rack into the bottling bucket like the pro I'm not. That being said, the upper half of the bottles is clearing right now and there's a layer of sediments on the bottom.

Well, I have two reasons to manipulate the bottles gently now :D
 

Taper123

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Cool chart on yeast speeds... I'm still bubbling along. Mines in a controlled environment at 62 degrees.
 

fat x nub

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Not a good idea to bottle that early as everybody had already told you. Wait next time for somebody to answer the thread. I promise....very seldom to threads go unanswered
 
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quaxk

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Thanks for the advices everybody.

Except for a haze at the bottom, the wine has cleared during the weekend. I'm going to check the carbonation level later this week when I start my next batches.

I'll probably test drive this wine next week for my birthday. I know, too young. You'll excuse my homebrewing sin since my sauerkraut is almost ready too and I just wan't to get drunk and eat knackwursts.




Forty more liters. Life's good.

 

Pogo

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quaxk -

You posted...

...since my sauerkraut is almost ready too...
Aaahhh...pardon me sir, for being so bold...but... ummm...you wouldn't happen to be the owner of a 'make-from-scratch' sauerkraut recipe, now would you?

Pogo

Man!!! I should kick myself for not scouring Bavaria for the recipes of all the good stuff that I discovered while stationed there TDY in '87!!!
 
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quaxk

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Sure Pogo :) It's very easy, that's why I decided to try it, here's how:

Get 8 to 10 large cabbages, I used 3/4 green + 1/4 red for color. Clean / sterilize a 6 gal fermenting bucket. Sprinkle some coarse salt (kosher salt for you guys I believe) on the bottom. With a large knife, cut a cabbage in halves. Remove the heart, or not, it's just easier to mince without. Cut again to make quarters (again, easier to mince) and mince the cabbage as you see fit. Trow that in the bucket and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of coarse salt over it. Using a clean / sterilized wine bottle, mash until you see some juice come out. Mix that up a little. Add another minced cabbage plus 3 T of salt, mash and repeat. Put a dish over the sauerkraut and weight it down (with something clean) so it will stay under the brine to ferment. Put the lid over the bucket, an airtight fermenter or an airlock are unnecessary. Every other day remove the 'scum' on top of the brine, if any. Eat some after three weeks, put the weighted dish and lid back on. Repeat until the smell is unbearable or bucket empty, then start another batch. If you like sauerkraut at all, this stuff smell real' good fermenting ;)

CliffsNotes: in a bucket, add 3 T of coarse salt per minced cabbage, mash to get some juice out, mix, maintain under brine with a weighted dish, cover and start eating after three weeks.


 

Pogo

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Thankx a lot for the recipe quaxk,

Besides making wine, now that I've gotten involved in making my own apple cider vinegar, too, lights came on ALL OVER TOWN as I read through your recipe.

Nobody may be interested in exactly how this process works (or, at least MY VIEW of how it works), and why so much time is involved producing sauerkraut, but it is very interesting to me!

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Most vegetables are complex carbohydrates, which will, as they break down, become simple carbohydrates.

Did a little light just come on somewhere?

Before you can have vinegar, alcohol is required!

Before you can have alcohol, sugar is required!

For wine, sugar, a simple carbohydrate, must first be present in the juice, for the yeast to then act on, in order to yield the alcohol, as a by-product.

For vinegar, alcohol must first be present in the juice, for the bacteria to then act on, in order to yield the vinegar, as a by-product.

NOW did the little light come on?

So...what is really happening is that your recipe is really a combination of two separate processes, one following immediately behind the other!

FIRST - you are making Cabbage Wine!

SECOND - you are creating Cabbage Vinegar!

As making wine teaches us, by leaving your wine exposed to oxygen, you create an ideal enviroment for the vinegar bacteria to thrive.

And, by leaving your shredded cabbage submerged in these two processes during the whole time, you have then created a THIRD masterpiece - SAUERKRAUT!

Pogo

BTW - If the fruit cap from making wine was kept submerged during the whole primary fermentation, then used, submerged as well, in a vinegar making process, wouldn't the end result HAVE to be pretty tasty, too???

New sour-names would have to be invented for these creations of - sauer-grape-kraut, sauer-apple-kraut, etc.

Just call me Dr. Franken-Pogo, Heh, Heh, Heh...
 
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quaxk

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Thankx a lot for the recipe quaxk,

Besides making wine, now that I've gotten involved in making my own apple cider vinegar, too, lights came on ALL OVER TOWN as I read through your recipe.

Nobody may be interested in exactly how this process works (or, at least MY VIEW of how it works), and why so much time is involved producing sauerkraut, but it is very interesting to me!

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Most vegetables are complex carbohydrates, which will, as they break down, become simple carbohydrates.

Did a little light just come on somewhere?

Before you can have vinegar, alcohol is required!

Before you can have alcohol, sugar is required!

For wine, sugar, a simple carbohydrate, must first be present in the juice, for the yeast to then act on, in order to yield the alcohol, as a by-product.

For vinegar, alcohol must first be present in the juice, for the bacteria to then act on, in order to yield the vinegar, as a by-product.

NOW did the little light come on?

So...what is really happening is that your recipe is really a combination of two separate processes, one following immediately behind the other!

FIRST - you are making Cabbage Wine!

SECOND - you are creating Cabbage Vinegar!

As making wine teaches us, by leaving your wine exposed to oxygen, you create an ideal enviroment for the vinegar bacteria to thrive.

And, by leaving your shredded cabbage submerged in these two processes during the whole time, you have then created a THIRD masterpiece - SAUERKRAUT!

Pogo

BTW - If the fruit cap from making wine was kept submerged during the whole primary fermentation, then used, submerged as well, in a vinegar making process, wouldn't the end result HAVE to be pretty tasty, too???

New sour-names would have to be invented for these creations of - sauer-grape-kraut, sauer-apple-kraut, etc.

Just call me Dr. Franken-Pogo, Heh, Heh, Heh...
Hi doctor!

From what I read, yeasts involvement is minimal during cabbage fermentation, it is dominated by the lactic acid bacteria that are on the cabbage leaves.

This recipe is at least two thousand years old, I hardly created it, just mimicking our ancestors ;)

----

A quik follow up to my apfelwein saga that, now I believe, will end happily :ban:

I started batches 3-4 yesterday evening, then opened a bottle of batches 1-2. By tapping the bottle hard it produced that much foam:




With a fresh cap, back on the shelf it went and, about bottle self destruction, I worry no more.


Batches 3-4 fermentation taking off:

 

Pogo

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quaxk -

You posted...

From what I read, yeasts involvement is minimal during cabbage fermentation, it is dominated by the lactic acid bacteria that are on the cabbage leaves.
You may be more right than I am!

I just cobbled all of the ideas together as they hit me, and, except for a coupla' areas, the logic still seems valid to me.

I realize that the ancients HAD to rely on fermentation via wild yeast cells, and I also understand that usually few are interested in fixing something that isn't broken, but I am thinking that in the last century, cultured yeast would have been introduced to speed this process up if yeast is, in fact, a key to this process.

Next, would be the use of the salt. I realize that salt has been, and still is, used as a preservative, especially with meats, and I have a gut feeling that salt has to impede the activity of yeast.

But, then again, I just checked a recipe for bread, and salt IS an ingredient, along with yeast!

Another area, is the one you have mentioned about the lactic acid bacteria.

If yeast isn't a major player in the role of producing alcohol, then what is?

I know less than zero about biology, chemistry, etc., but if this bacteria produces alcohol, why doesn't it figure more prominently in the crafting of beers and wines?

I guess I'll have to start Googling, if I want to try and figure all of this out, huh?

I realize that all of this is off topic, and I apologize for semi-hijacking your thread.

It's great that your batch finished OK!

The best of luck to you on your next batch, too!

Later,

Pogo



.
 
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quaxk

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quaxk -

You posted...



You may be more right than I am!

I just cobbled all of the ideas together as they hit me, and, except for a coupla' areas, the logic still seems valid to me.

I realize that the ancients HAD to rely on fermentation via wild yeast cells, and I also understand that usually few are interested in fixing something that isn't broken, but I am thinking that in the last century, cultured yeast would have been introduced to speed this process up if yeast is, in fact, a key to this process.

Next, would be the use of the salt. I realize that salt has been, and still is, used as a preservative, especially with meats, and I have a gut feeling that salt has to impede the activity of yeast.

But, then again, I just checked a recipe for bread, and salt IS an ingredient, along with yeast!

Another area, is the one you have mentioned about the lactic acid bacteria.

If yeast isn't a major player in the role of producing alcohol, then what is?

I know less than zero about biology, chemistry, etc., but if this bacteria produces alcohol, why doesn't it figure more prominently in the crafting of beers and wines?

I guess I'll have to start Googling, if I want to try and figure all of this out, huh?

I realize that all of this is off topic, and I apologize for semi-hijacking your thread.

It's great that your batch finished OK!

The best of luck to you on your next batch, too!

Later,

Pogo



.
I don't think much alcohol is produced. Lactic acid is what turn the cabbage into this nourishing treat and is secreted directly by the bacteria. You got it right, the salt, mixed with the cabbage juice, create the brine in which the sauerkraut can ferment and be preserved safely for months. It also retain most nutrients, including a considerable amount of vit. C. This is a living culture, and the farts attest to that, I can tell you that much. If you though the canned stuff was fart inducing... it doesn't even compare. I wish I was kidding.

This is how it looked yesterday:



Unfortunately, all you can see is the brine over the dish, but that give you an idea of the color. It evolved for clear, to red, bright red, brown, then this amber-red. The aroma is more complex now also. It taste amazingly good already, gotta squeeze the brine before eating it though, it's a bit salty. I will only add 2 1/2 Tbs coarse salt per cabbage in my next batch. Should be perfect :cool:


I also cooled and opened a bottle apfelwein. Cause, ummm, I need some wine to make the bolognese tomorrow. That's my excuse anyway. I'm drinking this glass as I type, enjoying its oomph and fine taste. It truly retained the complexity of juice. Compared to this, commercial cider I drank is turd water. To think it's only a month old!

Gotta go, need to find the proper drinking rhythm for it :)

 
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quaxk

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Fond it: slower, mucho.

Careful peeps, I'm ripe for the drunken board after half a bottle, a lot of heat in them bottles. Where's that banana, here :ban:
 
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