The HomeBrew Forum > Wine, Cider & Other Home Brewing Talk > Wine & Cider Discussions > Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #1
samwise
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Default Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

Good day all. I need some advise on my cider homebrew. It's made from 12 liters of home juiced apples and 10 liters of shop bought juice. I put in 3 teaspoons of campden powder to kill off the nasties, then left it a day. I added a pack of champagne yeast and let it ferment for 2 weeks.

During fermentation all seemed well and it was racked off into a fresh FV. It's been clearing for about a week and in the last day a thin white skin has appeared on the top.

I need to know if there's anything that I can do to rescue this? Rack it off again and add campden? Or do I already have 20 liters of vinegar sitting in my kitchen?

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

I would rack it off pronto and whack a campden into it, sounds like the dreaded flower virus infection. If your not quick it will turn the alcohol back to water.
Either you used a non sterilised FV or an airborne infection got in it. I would give all the fv's a serious clean and sterilise before using again too.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

i had this on my home pressed cider,
syphon of into a clean fv
the white film will stick to the sides of your fv and the tube,
then treat with a double dose of camden tablets ie 2 per gallon ,
mine survived,

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

mine was fine too. just arse from fermentation i guess.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

Mine has got it and is fine. It is mist likely the malolactic bacteria which is good. This converts the malic acid to lactic which gives a better taste. As long as it is not tasting like vinegar you are ok. Both have a white skin but they are different.

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Old 12-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
samwise
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

Well I've racked it off into a thoroughly cleaned and sterilised FV, leaving the last two inches. All the white film stuck to the sides on the way down and I don't think any was transfered. I bunged a load of campden into it. Going to make up a small batch of a yeast starter, then prime and bottle tomorrow. Should still get about 30 500ml bottles out of it.

I've cleaned out the other FV and left it with a load of bleach sterilising for tonight. Everything is getting a double clean and sterilise before it next gets used.

Here's hoping all is not lost and I get some nice cider out of it.

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Old 13-12-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

Did you taste it? if it didn't taste sour or vinergary you are fine. As I said I have got one in the fv since september and it has got a white film and tastes fine it is malolactic bacteria exactly what should be growing on cider it is part of the ageing process. No need to kill it off it is doing you a favour.

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Old 13-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
samwise
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

No I didn't taste it before I added the campden. Just had a little sip of it now though, and while it didn't taste great it definitely wasn't vinegar like.

Seeing as I've already killed any of the bacteria off I'm just going to prime and bottle. I think I'll have another go at a cider from fresh apple juice in a smaller FV and just leave it for a good long time.

My last questions are:

Will the campden have killed off all my suspended yeast and do I need to add a very small amount of yeast before bottling to make up for this? Or should I let it be and just prime?

Will using apple juice to prime instead of sugar be sufficient? If so how much for ~16 liters, and any type in particular?

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Old 13-12-2011, 06:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

You need aproximately 7g per litre of sugar. 100ml of AJ has 11g of sugar so you need 63ml for each litre which is quite a lot. Sugar may be better it is what I would use.

Your cider won't taste great now you have put a campden tablet in. Leave it for 3-4 days under airlock then bottle. Put it some where warm for a weekthen leave it some where cold and forget about it until the spring I think you will be suprised.

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Old 13-12-2011, 06:53 PM   #10
samwise
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Default Re: Cider bacteria thin white skin. Is it ruined?

Ok I'll leave it a few days before I bottle it. I'm going away from Friday till Sunday so I think it will have to wait till after work on Monday.

Is it worth adding a little yeast to the cider before I leave so it has something to carbonate with once bottled? I'm talking a very small amount.

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