Author Topic: pellicle on cider  (Read 1696 times)

Offline gman23

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pellicle on cider
« on: January 31, 2017, 02:10:14 PM »
Should I let it ride or dump it? I was planning to package it today but now don't know what to do.

I transferred it to secondary about a month ago after about 3 months in the primary. When transferring it, I did notice what seemed to be a thin pellicle on top however it tasted fine. I took a look this morning and it appears a second one has appeared.

I am not up on my sours so I don't know if this is indication of an infection that isn't worth saving or if it can be salvaged as a sour.
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
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Offline Stevie

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 02:39:33 PM »
Taste it.

Offline gman23

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 02:53:15 PM »
I will taste it later. I assume vinegar type flavor would be undesirable and won't improve?

This is a 2.5 gallon batch. I don't really enjoy sours (and obviously know little about them) so I would only keep it for my friends.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 02:59:41 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 03:05:27 PM »
Vinegar is bad, unrecoverable.  An acetobacter (vinegar) pellicle looks like an tan/orange-ish rubbery pancake (at least once it is fully established).

Brett is okay in a cider, and a requirement for the Basque ciders of Spain/France.  It's very funky and takes many months for the flavors to fully develop.  You might not mind it.  Brett would look like a powdery white skin with a lot of big bubbles under it.  Perhaps this is what you've got?  It's not the end of the world, especially if you drink the cider young.

Lacto looks to me like finely grated cheese.  It wouldn't probably hurt anything.  Might add tartness?  Not sure.

Many other "infections" are not necessarily a problem, at least not while the cider is young, but find out based on taste.  It won't kill you.

There is also such a thing as malolactic bacteria which can actually be a very GOOD thing.  This may be present naturally, especially if you haven't used very much Campden and didn't heat pasteurize.  I'm not certain what malolactic looks like in a cider as far as a pellicle or not but I am about to find out as I plan to buy and add some to reduce acidity in my current batch, which currently is way too tart (from the natural malic acid in the apples).

Cheers.
Dave

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Offline gman23

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 03:15:02 PM »
Thank you for the information.

As I noted originally, there appeared to be a pellicle when I transferred to secondary but it tasted fine. Maybe the infection hadn't fully developed.

I have had one pellicle on beer before and this definitely looks different. I don't have a picture, but it is sort of off white in color, very thin and uniform with no bubbles as far as I can tell.

The pellicle that was on a porter was kind of sludgy, bubbly, and thick. That was an immediate dumper.
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 03:24:20 PM »
It's possible you have a young Brett infection, or very likely to be something entirely different.  Might be impossible to know for sure.  But as long as it tastes good, then it is good.  I've seen many infections of both beer and cider over the years, and found that they only hurt the flavor roughly 50% of the time.  The other 50% I've bottled it and it was just fine for a long time.  Keep fingers crossed!
Dave

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Offline gman23

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 03:26:42 PM »
Thank you Dave. Keeping my fingers crossed but not too worried. This was kind of a hap hazard thing that I threw together without much thought or planning so it could just be karma.
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 03:29:20 PM »
That's the way it is with ciders, though..... it's the easiest friggin fermented beverage to produce on the whole planet!  It's even easier than mead, and WAY easier than beer.  Hell, anyone can buy a jug of juice and leave it in the back of the fridge for 6 months, come back to it, and odds are quite likely that it turns into a tasty beverage all by itself even with zero interference from us silly humans!  I've done this!  :)
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 09:50:29 PM »
That's the way it is with ciders, though..... it's the easiest friggin fermented beverage to produce on the whole planet!  It's even easier than mead, and WAY easier than beer.  Hell, anyone can buy a jug of juice and leave it in the back of the fridge for 6 months, come back to it, and odds are quite likely that it turns into a tasty beverage all by itself even with zero interference from us silly humans!  I've done this!  :)
Out of curiosity, what were your results with that cider? When I made my cider this year, I bought an extra jug to use for back-sweetening and kept it in my fermentation fridge. Within 2 weeks it started to bulge, so I just started venting the cap every so often. I'm wondering it it would be worth it to pitch this into a full batch.
Eric B.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 10:20:21 PM »
Well, I drank it, it's gone!  I've tried multiple "wild" ciders over the years, and more times than not, it's actually not very good.  So I was a bit surprised when the last one I made in 2015 (in the cold temperatures of ~40 F in the back of the fridge) turned out just fine.  Not stellar, but drinkable.  Amazing that it will ferment that cold but it does, just takes a long time.  All I did was unscrew the cap to the point where it just barely held on but could release gases.  It was your standard milk jug kind of thing.  If I recall correctly, it did have some diacetyl issues early on, but eventually that faded -- or if not this particular batch, I can tell you with certainty that many many other batches initially tasted like diacetyl, but it really never seems to last more than a couple weeks or so.  It ended up being kind of a boring and lifeless cider, in my opinion.  The juice came unpasteurized from a local orchard, and I just left it in the original jug.  I much prefer pasteurizing the raw juice then adding my own yeast and thus having way more control of how it turns out.  Cote des Blancs, low and slow in the 50s or so is the way to go.  Even so, I do need to add some malolactic this year (for my October 2015 batch) because it is TART.  It also refuses to clear, even though I added gelatin.  Odd.  But it tastes great otherwise.
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 11:28:12 PM »
Interesting, my cider turned out quite tart this year as well. It was great for me, since I didn't have to add acid when I backsweetened it. In comparison, 2015's cider was borderline insipid before I added some acid blend to it.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline gman23

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 11:45:35 PM »
Just tasted it. Seems fine but kind of boring to tell you the truth. It seems to have a low level infection that is more apparent in the mouthfeel. I will go ahead and keg and see what happens. The pellicle is definitely more thick with bubbles than I thought
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 12:02:30 AM »
Just tasted it. Seems fine but kind of boring to tell you the truth. It seems to have a low level infection that is more apparent in the mouthfeel. I will go ahead and keg and see what happens. The pellicle is definitely more thick with bubbles than I thought

Sounds like classic Brett.
Dave

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Offline gman23

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 04:17:06 AM »
It seems salvageable. I am thinking about adding something in the keg to make it more interesting. I added a couple pounds of peach puree when pitching the yeast so maybe it caught a bug from that.
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline gman23

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Re: pellicle on cider
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 04:31:55 PM »
Seems that I back sweetened too much
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier