Yeast blobs developing in cider

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Upstate12866

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Hello, I make a lot of quick cider using store bought juice. I noticed a batch developing yeast-like blobs with the following characteristics:

-White clods, not a layer of sediment
- blobs separate when agitate and float to the top in a way that I haven't seen normal yeast do. Normal yeast seems to drop to the bottom more easily.
-it stays pretty much together in the clumps--it doesn't dissipate into a cloud like yeast normally does when agitated. So after you pour a glass, raisin-sized floaties will rise and stay coagulated.
-it grows in size... after the normal sediment layer forms, this blobby stuff appeared and grew fairly fast in my estimation.

Is this normal? I suspect it could be an infection (tastes fine to me) or a reaction from granulated stevia that I added. But I added so little stevia have doubts about this. The stevia is the new part of the recipe for me, and I read beforehand it will break down over time and eventually get processed by the yeast.

My recipe:

Half pear half cider juice (2 gallons total) poured over a yeast cake from a previous brew immediately after bottling. It was the second use of the yeast, which was a 1/2 pack of Crossmyloof Cider yeast.
Ferment 1 month in primary at 50-52 deg. Add 1-2 cups of boiled hibiscus flower tea for another 10 days. Bottle with some sugar and just 1-2 Tbsp granulated stevia (dissolved in boiling water) to carbonate and sweeten an almost imperceptible amount (2nd time Ive tried this).

Memory says it started to get clumpy on the bottom of bottles after about 3 weeks. I was concerned about infection and bombs, so I drank them promptly. The last one did appear extra carbonated, for what its worth (not a gusher, just seemed extra tight in the plastic bottle i used). But at 50 degree ferm temp, I am not surprised if ferm is slightly incomplete. Again, tasted totally fine, including the final bottle which had clods developing for 3 weeks after they first emerged.

My guesses:

- infection
- maltodextrin in stevia granules broke down into something weird
- something cider yeasts do (though ive never observed this)
- something reused, stresses yeast will do? (I typically use yeast 3 times before tossing. This yeast cake, for what its worth, was really thin and seemed small when I disposed of it. In my experience, cider yeasts can be like this--a thin layer that pours easily out of the bucket instead of the massive yogurty stuff in my beer buckets.)

Who knows, I would love to hear what you think. If any part of my story strikes you as noteworthy, please share your thoughts! Thanks!
 

CKuhns

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Could be pectin clumping up.

Was the juice your "normal" juice?
 
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Upstate12866

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That's a great suggestion because while i have done perries in the past this was maybe the second instance with this particular juice brand/product. It is Walmart pear for those interested and my standard source for pear has been the vintners jugs of pear concentrate. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered pear juice on Walmart's shelves. :) I have another batch on the way so perhaps I will learn more from that.

Thanks for your response!
 

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