Author Topic: Funky Cider Smell  (Read 2172 times)

Offline roll0164

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Funky Cider Smell
« on: March 06, 2013, 07:44:57 PM »
So I had about 2 cups of wildflower honey left over from this summer from a local farm. One of my friends is allergic to gluten which means beer for her is a no no. I realize gluten free beers are a possibility, but thats a thread for another time. Anyway I decided to brew her a up a quick 6 pack of cider using a gallon carboy I have left over from a roommate. I picked up a gallon of organic preservative free apple cider and I decided to use some left over washed yeast from a honey amber ale recipe (#1056 wyeast). I made a 2 cup starter 24 hours before hand using some light DME and some honey. Then boiled the cider for about 15 min with the 2 cups of honey. Cooled and pitched the starter. The lag time was about 20 min and it was going crazy by hour 4. But now 48hrs in, I'm getting some ridiculous rotten egg smell. Indicative of hydrogen sulfide. I realize that H2S production is possible and common with lagers however I've never encountered it with an ale yeast. Should I be worried about a secondary infection or just ride it out and see what's going on when it's over. The krausen has subsided and the fermentation is still very active though slowing. I figure in another 48 hours it will hit it's FG.
Chris

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 07:52:21 PM »
Ive only done 1 cider but mine smelled the same way.  it subsided substantial with time, could just be the nature of the beast.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 07:54:04 PM »
I agree, my cider was bonkers with H2S. It dissipates after some aging.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 10:18:19 PM »
Same here. My cider fermentations allsmell worse than the fartiest beer fermentations I've ever had.
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Offline roll0164

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 10:53:20 PM »
Interesting, good to know that it's across the board and pretty normal. Anyone have a timeframe on aging to get rid of off flavors? I was thinking something like 2 weeks in primary, then transfer out, washout the yeast bed to save it and then leave it in the carboy for about 4 weeks before bottling, let it carbonate for 2 and then let it chill in my mini fridge for about a month. Also if anyone happened to know some of the chemistry behind a cider fermentation and where the H2S is coming from that would be appreciated.
Chris

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 11:09:37 PM »
Do NOT serve this to your friend.  You made the starter with DME, you can not help but carry gluten over into the finished product.  Next time you need to make the starter with a gluten free sugar source.  Even better if you just buy gluten free yeast.

Also, I think it will have better flavor if you do not boil your cider or honey.  You could have just stirred the honey in and then pitched your yeast and been good to go.

Tom Schmidlin

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 11:14:57 PM »
Do NOT serve this to your friend.  You made the starter with DME, you can not help but carry gluten over into the finished product.  Next time you need to make the starter with a gluten free sugar source.  Even better if you just buy gluten free yeast.

Also, I think it will have better flavor if you do not boil your cider or honey.  You could have just stirred the honey in and then pitched your yeast and been good to go.



Good catch, Tom. I scanned through that part and missed the reference to DME.

I also agree that you will get better flavor if you don't boil your cider. It should already be pasteurized, and therefore sanitary.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 06:40:35 AM »
Do NOT serve this to your friend.  You made the starter with DME, you can not help but carry gluten over into the finished product.  Next time you need to make the starter with a gluten free sugar source.  Even better if you just buy gluten free yeast.

Also, I think it will have better flavor if you do not boil your cider or honey.  You could have just stirred the honey in and then pitched your yeast and been good to go.



Good catch, Tom. I scanned through that part and missed the reference to DME.

I also agree that you will get better flavor if you don't boil your cider. It should already be pasteurized, and therefore sanitary.

OR buy unpasteriezed cider like i did and use a few camden(sp) tablets, they hold off all the wild bugs long enough for your yeast to take over.  And yes, if your boil your cider you will loose a bunch of aromatics etc.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 07:00:18 AM »
You also didn't need the starter for 1 gallon - even 5 I'd guess. Starters are really a beer brewing thing. Dextrins mean you need lots of healthy yeast to get full attenuation. However, the sugars in cider are fully and easily fermentable. I would have just pitched the washed yeast.
 
And I would not have boiled the cider either.
 
The rotten egg smell is fairly normal. Some yeast nutrient can help. Cold fermentation with a lager or cold tolerant wine yeast will help a lot. It will taste better too.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 07:30:10 AM »
I've seen that sulfur smell stick around for 4-5 weeks so I'd wait that long before bottling so you're not trapping it in with the cider.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 07:35:10 AM »
Won't boiling also set the pectin and give you a cloudy cider?

I've only just pitched dry yeast right into the cider and let it go.  Of course, I don't really like cider so it's not in the regular brewing rotation.
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 07:36:06 AM »
I use champagne yeast for my cider, and I get no sulfur smell. It finishes dry, but I like it that way. And no starter, just rehydrate and pitch.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 09:46:49 AM »
Won't boiling also set the pectin and give you a cloudy cider?
Yes and no - boiling for 15 minutes is long enough to start breaking down the pectin.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline roll0164

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2013, 10:10:10 AM »
Haha ok well let me try and run through these one by one. My friend is allergic to gluten as in celiac disease. However it's not terrible. She can handle gluten it just... ehem doesn't come out the other end in a nice fashion and it gives her terrible bubblegut. But that's if she decides to eat a loaf of bread or drink a twelve pack. As for using the DME in my starter, and making a starter in general for a gallon fermentation... I harvested this yeast from an amber honey ale I did about 8 weeks ago. I washed it twice and then had it in a Ball Canning jar in the fridge for the entire time. I wanted to use a starter to wake it up a bit before just tossing it in. I used the Honey and about a tablespoon of DME in the starter because I didn't want to shock the yeast with different sugars. I was hoping the tablespoon of DME would be enough to wake the yeast up, store up some reserves and then move on to the honey and other simple sugars found in the cider. As for boiling the cider, it was unpasteurized so I figured I'd give it a short boil just to make sure. I added the honey just as I turned off the stove top.

As for my next batch, you guys have given me plenty to think about. I'll let my friend try one of these when they're finished and see how she feels. That way when I have people over for brew days she won't be sitting there without a brew. Terrible feeling when you can't drink when brewing.


Oh and  back to my previous question. Anyone know where the production of H2S comes from when fermenting ciders?
Chris

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Funky Cider Smell
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2013, 10:13:59 AM »
Oh and  back to my previous question. Anyone know where the production of H2S comes from when fermenting ciders?
Generally it is caused during amino acid production by the yeast, which is why nutrients can help.  It may also come from the breakdown of sulfur compounds sprayed on the fruit too close to harvest.
Tom Schmidlin