- any homebrew cider experts about? advise needed..
so, made soem cider last nov.first attempt and am now drinking it.literally.problem is whilst it is actually remarkably tasty and drinkably and quite strong (focuses on typing) it does admittadly have a slight vinegary smell to it.its only slight(perfect for people with a cold!)so im wondering what i did or didnt do to get this aroma? any tips? think i may have left the lees of the yeast in the demijohn for too long perhaps?Posted 8 years ago
i can go into more detail if any one needs to know to advise…
no kit.just read some web pages on how to do it.cider is as simple as a knife and fork.bitter and beer need a bit more thought.plus i had a glut of apples so why not? oct-nov is cider season tho(cos of the apples) so you may stuggle to get them now.demijohns from boot sale, airlocks from ebay brewwers shop and some proper yeast, sterilising tabs from shop in town.oh and a hydrometer.all in about twenty quid for 10 pints.now great initially but i now have all the stuff to make approx 100pints next year(esentially)
everything was very sterile i thought.certainly no mould etc was ever seen and the cider is gin clear?Posted 8 years ago
I made my first batch this year odannyboy, from a mixture of apples borrowed from wherver & mine too sounds just like yours, very cleer, strong/drinkable but with a slight wiff of vinager, not that I am worried by the 2nd glass 😉
Sounds like the same setup as I used including proper Cider yeast, did you go to the trouble of washing your apples before crushing them?
How lond did your ferment for, I think mine was all done after 6 weeks.
Mine does seem to be getting better with age, or I might be getting used to it 😉
18 gallons still to drink!!!!Posted 8 years ago
sounds like it may have been exposed to the air a little. Possibly. Does the colour look a little dark?
We make the cider in late nov generally but some of the better apples we have fall a bit earlier. We rack off the cider in about march and it seems to be ready to drink (at its very earliest) in may.
I personaly wait till april and do a 2nd fermentation into champagne bottles with a lttle sugar. By August (again at its very earliest) its drinkable and is bloody lovely 🙂Posted 8 years agobentosMember
In our village we have a club that makes around 500 Gals per year as a cooperative effort. Air getting in is the most likely cause of a vinegar smell which is the beginning of its transformation to cyder (Norfolk spelling) vinegar.
You shouldn't need yeast for cyder as the apples natural yeast should be enough. Also the cyder should really be left in total after racking for about a year and once bottle its best kept for a month or so to mellow out.
We have found that whatever you do it is very hard to get consistent results (but different tasting cyders is part of the fun), and no matter what you do every now and again you will get a bad batch (we turn this into cyder vinegar which is very popular with the members).Posted 8 years agoslugwashMember
The vinergary smell sounds a little strange but if you say that, overall, the cider is strong and quite tasty then it's probably not a significant problem, I'd just drink it all ASAP in case it deterioates any further. Did you cask off the cider after the intial fermentation or has it been sitting around with all the original yeast yuck at the bottom of the demi-john? I lay my cider down in mid October and then cask it up around Christmas. I wouldn't want to leave it hanging around with the original yeast crap for too many months.
sounds like all your equipment wasn't properly sterile throughout making it, although thats more for beer tbh
I sterilize all the equipment when making wine or beer but I'm pretty cavalier when it comes to cider, i just do the demi-johns and fermentation bins. However, I've just had to throw away four gallons of spoiled plum wine, probably because I got a bit lazy and didn't bother washing the fruit too well 🙁 a bad habit I've picked up from cider making.
Photo essay to illustrate the ancient art of scrumpy making 😉 …..
Posted 8 years ago
Note: Demi-johns in last picture have now been topped up to neck to reduce air/cider interface. They are left with space in top for a few weeks during start of fermentation to stop the liquid bubbling up through the airlock and causing a gooey mess during the initial vigorous fermentation.
This was taking just before bottling the 2nd batch, it looks a bit cloudy here, but its just condensation on the the glass. 😉
We did a few with a sprinkle of sugar in the bottles just to see if it made any difference.
We used natural yeast on our first attempt, but must have has a secondary bacterial infection as it went rancid after about a month, so it was ditched.
Wine making was a bit more hands on 😉
Posted 8 years ago
I have a quick question though:
If after a successful fermentation, how much of a difference does it make to store the Cider for a while bottled before drinking, is there a general rule as to how long to leave it bottled before drinking & does leaving it make a difference to the taste?
As you can see I am no expert & its been a fun learning curve 😉Posted 8 years ago
ski, I found the longer you leave it in bottles the more 'rounded' the flavour is. It does get better. Or at least a bit more balanced.Posted 8 years ago
This year I'll be bottling the lot using a 2nd fermentation as last years results were fantastic, came out pretty dry in taste and almost a sparkling as champagne!
so im downing yet another pint of the amber nectar (not quite!)Posted 8 years ago
and hears some more detail.
i washed the fruit thouroghly and used the tablets you add to the juice to kill all bacteria (and natural yeast)
after two-three days, i added the yeast.
after two or three days fermentation was off and running.
after a couple of weeks it slowed and i measured with hydrometer thingy
it was about 4.5-5 % i recon so left it a bit longer.
after couple more weeks, siphoned out the juice, emptied out the muck and sediment,
refilled into demijohns, topped up to the top and left to stand in cool room with airlocks in.
after about a month, there was no sign of any more fermenting and bottled into pint bottles, teaspoon of suger in each and capped them.
tried some at this stage and it was undrinkable-rank!
after 8 mounths i tried some and it was ok but dry and vinegary, but drinkable.
after 12 months it seems much better, more rounded and fizzy.it seems that the strength and quality varys.i labeled the bottles as to what came out of the top of the demijohn, middle and bottom.strangly the top seems more vinegary and from the bottom seems better.i didnt try to keep the bottom stuff as there was more chance of sediment going in, but this pint tonight is one of few from near the bottom and has virtually no odor and it may well be stronger!? 😉singletrackmindMember
Hi. I am a brewer , but turning sugar into alcohol via fermentation is same in both processes. I would have pitched your yeast straight away into the apple juice. There is no reason to leave it 'unprotected' , there will be wild yeast's living on the surface of the apples and these can produce sulphury / cabbagy / estery flavours during feremtation.Posted 8 years ago
However vinigar is almost certainly acetic acid , and this is a spoilage bacteria problem.
Normally beer exposed to air will turn to vinigar quickly, cider tends to last a little longer as its more acidic, and some types of bacteria will not survive in more acidic solutions.
, wsah your apples in hot water first , crush them, or whatever you do, then hydrate your yest and pitch it straight away. try to get your apple juice to around 24'C . Hold for 3 – 4 days , tehn move to a cold place. Allow a week to 10 days then cool to sub 10'C . If the PG is now 1005 – 1009 its mostly fermented , so bottle it into demi johns and keep it cold.
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