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Second Batch Of Cider, Tastes A Bit Off

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Luek

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I'll start with a small history here... for tldr skip down.

My first cider batch I considered to be a write off... used 1kg table sugar, and black rock kit, bottled (with cooper carb drops as typical for beer etc) for 1 month... resulted in extremely dry, almost apple flavoured swamp water.

It also had this..."off" apple flavour.
I let the rest be for another month but this flavour persists

Second batch:
- about 15L berri apple & pear juice
- 1kg pears, sliced thin with a very useful device found at the reject shop for like $6, seeds and stalks and all
- a few random pink lady apples, cut as above
- champagne yeast sn9

It's been sitting in bottles for 2 weeks now... cracked one tonight... a huge success over the first attempt, only a little drier than my liking, but still had this off taste, like the first one.

A week or so ago I was at potter's brewery for belated work Christmas party... they had a cider on tap. I asked about it... I was a bit drunk so all I can remember is it's their second batch, as the first was shit for some reason. They pressed apples themselves. Champagne yeast. Blah blah.

Anyway, what I find strange is their cider had this taste as well.
In fact I believe that my cider #2 was very similar to this "hunter cider", apart from subtle pear flavour...
Which gave me a boost in confidence

tldr start here: I'm basically dumb to flavour and their written description... meaning the best I can describe is "off flavour".
But does any of this stand out? I get the feeling that myself and potter's share a problem with not aging our product enough.
What do you think, internet?

Bonus question!!
I'm gonna lay down another batch similar to #2, except 20ishL juice, 2kg sliced pears, 1kg pink lady, 1kg black diamond plums...
I recently acquired a food processor! Should I puree & chuck in fermenter instead of slice? Or what's a better method w/ the processor? I don't care about a crystal clear end result, just flavour & ease
 

jameson

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Hi luek first with the fruit I can remember reading a post a few weeks ago saying to ferment the fruit then add the juice. As for your off flavour I have had a slight aroma problem with mine sulphur smell? When I say slight the visitor's didn't pick it up and after I burped the keg a few times it was gone. I think my problem was my temp control fridge on timer ok if the weather stays the same all week. I think the best temp would be 20 degrees or below mine didi shout up to 24 once.
Hope you can get something from this Jameson
 

Paulielow

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How long was the second batch in primary for?
 

Airgead

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Adding sliced fruit probably isn't doing much. For the apples and pears anyway. The plums will be soft enough to pretty much disintegrate and release all their goodness. What you really want to do is extract the juice. Some will leach out of the sliced fruit but there will be plenty still locked away. Pulping it up in a blender will help but will add a lot of pulp and sediment which might cause clearing problems. If you have a juicer, run it through that and add the fresh juice.

Cheers
Dave
 

Luek

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Jameson: hmm it could be temp control, I only used a water bucket.
On the other hand, potter's brewery has fancy temp control and is a little off
As for sulphur, what tastes/smells like sulphur? Ie what can I go find right now that will taste/smell like this?

Paulie: about 1.5 to 2 weeks. Too long/not long enough?

Airgead: hmm I just had an idea.
I could freeze apples/pears (heard this breaks cell walls to make fruit sloppy), then make pulp with processor, and then buy cheap stockings, stick one leg in the other and sterilise, then stick pulp in and hand squeeze right into fermenter. Good idea?
I know stockings aren't super fine, but I don't care about how clear my cider is... heck I drink 5 seeds cloudy at the local pub sometimes (for lack of better options)
 

Airgead

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Airgead: hmm I just had an idea.
I could freeze apples/pears (heard this breaks cell walls to make fruit sloppy), then make pulp with processor, and then buy cheap stockings, stick one leg in the other and sterilise, then stick pulp in and hand squeeze right into fermenter. Good idea?
I know stockings aren't super fine, but I don't care about how clear my cider is... heck I drink 5 seeds cloudy at the local pub sometimes (for lack of better options)
That might work. Hand squeezing won't get much juice out though. Maybe better to suspend the stockings in the fermenter for a while and let it leach out .

I have a good electric screwpress juicer that I use which is slow but does a great job.(looking at getting a proper crusher and basket press). Ran 40kg of apples through it last time. Looking to do that much at least this year.

Cheers
Dave
 

manticle

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Jameson: hmm it could be temp control, I only used a water bucket.
On the other hand, potter's brewery has fancy temp control and is a little off
As for sulphur, what tastes/smells like sulphur? Ie what can I go find right now that will taste/smell like this?

Paulie: about 1.5 to 2 weeks. Too long/not long enough?

Airgead: hmm I just had an idea.
I could freeze apples/pears (heard this breaks cell walls to make fruit sloppy), then make pulp with processor, and then buy cheap stockings, stick one leg in the other and sterilise, then stick pulp in and hand squeeze right into fermenter. Good idea?
I know stockings aren't super fine, but I don't care about how clear my cider is... heck I drink 5 seeds cloudy at the local pub sometimes (for lack of better options)
Sulphur is given off by off eggs. It's a bit farty.

If that's it, time will cure and allowing the open bottles to stand before drinking should see it dissipate.

I've had some commercial ciders that taste a bit like slightly putrid apples were used. Might be you soaking the fruit in there leading to this (if that's what it is). I'm only guessing at that bit though.

As someone who has tried pulping apples and squeezing them through a stocking, I can guarantee you will be in a world of pain for little reward. Either get a juicer, borrow a press (if doing large quantities of apples) or stick to store bought.

A food processor is a really inefficient way of juicing apples and it is also messy and frustrating.
 

Paulielow

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Paulie: about 1.5 to 2 weeks. Too long/not long

I'm no expert but from all the advice I've gotten when doing my first cider you want to ferment a minimum of 4 weeks but preferably 6 weeks. As for the sulfur smell there isn't much nutrition for the yeast in Apple juice and if if gets stressed it can give of rhino farts it should go away with age but if concerned add a little yeast nutrient.
 

JDW81

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Paulie: about 1.5 to 2 weeks. Too long/not long

I'm no expert but from all the advice I've gotten when doing my first cider you want to ferment a minimum of 4 weeks but preferably 6 weeks. As for the sulfur smell there isn't much nutrition for the yeast in Apple juice and if if gets stressed it can give of rhino farts it should go away with age but if concerned add a little yeast nutrient.
I always add yeast nutrient to cider and if using whole or pieces of fruit i will boil it for 10 minutes with some spices. Helps break down the fruit and kills any wild yeast which may be lurking. I also ferment for at least a month and then bulk prime with raw or brown sugar.

My 2c.
 

manticle

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I would not boil the fruit, particularly not if you use a lot of it.
 

Airgead

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I would not boil the fruit, particularly not if you use a lot of it.
Not unless you like you cider to taste like apple sauce...
 

JDW81

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I would not boil the fruit, particularly not if you use a lot of it.
I only ever use a small amount (10 or so apples in a 25L batch). The rest is preservative free juice, spices, etc.
 

Airgead

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I only ever use a small amount (10 or so apples in a 25L batch). The rest is preservative free juice, spices, etc.
Have you tried leaving them out and seeing if there is a difference? I'm wondering whether such a small amount will be addi8ng anything noticeable to the finished cider.

Cheers
Dave
 

JDW81

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Have you tried leaving them out and seeing if there is a difference? I'm wondering whether such a small amount will be addi8ng anything noticeable to the finished cider.

Cheers
Dave
I have left them out once and it wasn't the same. Didn't have the depth of flavour the others did. Don't know why really. Its no hassle to add a few apples for me and it seems to make a difference. Might try again without and see what happens.
 

manticle

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Try it with the apples but without boiling.

Maybe your preference and therefore you should keep with what you are doing.

Boiling however will give a different (stewed) flavour and set the pectins, causing a related haze so with large quantities of fruit/cider, it is best avoided.
 

JDW81

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Try it with the apples but without boiling.

Maybe your preference and therefore you should keep with what you are doing.

Boiling however will give a different (stewed) flavour and set the pectins, causing a related haze so with large quantities of fruit/cider, it is best avoided.
Makes sense. Never been a problem in the past as i've only used a small quantity of whole fruit. Might just be the placebo effect.

I'll get a cider on soon and not boil the fruit and see how it turns out.
 

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