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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: fulltun on November 11, 2010, 08:19:49 PM

Title: Cider Questions
Post by: fulltun on November 11, 2010, 08:19:49 PM
Hello All,

I am brewing a cider that I pitched on 09/29/2010.  I have left it in the primary since that time.  At the top of the fermentor a strange top layer developed.  I have done two ciders before and I can not remember if this top layer of solid material was there before.  Does anyone know what this layer of material is?  it is sort of cloudy but it is not in a layer.  It resembles the underside of a jelly fish not including the tentacles if that makes any sense.  I used unpasteurized cider I got from Oak Glen and I treated it with sulfides before I pitched my WL Cider Yeast.  This material developed a few weeks later.  When i shake the fermentor  it starts to sink to the bottom, but some of it floats back up to the top.  My other question is should I rack it to a secondary for conditioning and how long to condition.  I am pretty patient with my brews as I have conditioned things for over a year at times.  I am looking for the best results that the cider would need before it is nice to drink.  I plan on a still cider that I would like to be semi-dry.  Thnak you for your help.

Title: Re: Cider Questions
Post by: morticaixavier on November 11, 2010, 09:21:45 PM
'jelly fish' brings to mind mother of vinegar. Have you smelled it? Tasted? Pictures?
Title: Re: Cider Questions
Post by: pyrite on November 11, 2010, 10:20:00 PM
Just for comparison.  I also bought 5 gallons of unpasteurized apple cider from Oak Glen on 10/16/2010.  I too inoculated the cider with WL Cider Yeast on that same day. However, I did not treat the cider with sulfides as you did, I just let the natural bugs be. 
In my  inexperienced opinion and without looking at your carboy or tasting your cider, but from your description I think you are describing acetobacter. However, even by looking at the thin layer of film it's hard to tell. A flavor of vinegar is a better indicator of acetobacter.

Also, the thin layer your are describing might just be the fermentation slowly in progress.  I too remember a thin layer floating around that looked like white mucus. But I'm sure it was not bad, I think it was just the fermentation slowly acting.  Man, you're cider might be okay.   

Title: Re: Cider Questions
Post by: alikocho on November 12, 2010, 11:32:38 AM
Difficult to know without seeing or tasting....

When you talk about the layer, does it resemble ground cork floating at the top? If so, this could just be bits of trub.

If not, the jellyfish does sound an awful lot like acetobacteria.
Title: Re: Cider Questions
Post by: fulltun on November 16, 2010, 07:38:16 PM
I have not tasted it yet, and I will try andf get pics of it.  The layer is about two inches deep from the top of the cider.  And I do not know if it is acetobacteria, I treated the cider with sulfides and also pitched a starter of cider yeast and it took off in about an hour.  That would have removed all the O2 that the acetobaceria would need to get a purchase.  But I will try the cider and post a pic.  the last time I looked at it, the material had become less and I think it settled.  Thank you for the help.  If it is acetobacteria I guess I am screwed.
Title: Re: Cider Questions
Post by: gordonstrong on November 16, 2010, 08:05:50 PM
If it is acetobacteria I guess I am screwed.

Not if you like sauerbraten.  Seriously, if all you wind up doing is making apple cider vinegar, then you're not totally hosed.  You'll need to find something else to drink, but at least you don't have to dump it.