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Condititoning

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stringman

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Hi all.
Being an ( over enthusiastic) newbie with a sudden supply of windfalls I jumped headlong into my first 2 batches of cider.

Not having a press I blitzed the apples in the blender and and added them to a FV The first (uber impatient) batch had bread yeast, yeast nutrient, and sugar.
It was fermented for a week then all the apple pulp was removed. a little taste and it was very thin so I added some tea. a few days later it tasted quite nice. so I left it for a few more days as it was still bubbling when the bubblng slowed to one every 2-3 minutes and the fg was 1.00 I transferred it a pressure barrel with a view to a secondary ferment.

It tasted horrible, gone was the drinkable apple flavour instead was this apple acidic yeasty mess. I put it into the PB any way (with just the vent) and left it for a week.
Today it isnt much better. the ph is at 4.

I read about conditioning cider and thought that was just racking the cider off the lees and leaving it to sit before secondary ferment and bottling. But have i got the wrong.
is conditioning just leaving the cider to mature after the secondary ferment?

So is my first batch ruined? or is there anything that can be done to save it?

My second batch, which was a larger scale of the above( when it was looking like it would turn out good) but starting with (20l) 4stp tannin, 4 tsp malic acid ( although the apples are cookers they are really sweet) 5g champagne yeast, pectolase and yeast nutrient.
Same method. 1 week with apple pulp in then that was removed . a little taste and it was really acidic
I left it to sit for another week which takes us to now, the bubbling has slowed down to one every 3-4min so I am thinking that the primary fermentation if finished ( i will check the sg later today)
Presuming the SG confirms that it has finished what next step would you recommend.
syphoning the cider off the lees to another FV, leaving it more as is, syphon off to a PB for secondary fermentation?

I am guessing that this one will need to sit for a long time for that malic acid to mellow?

Thanks for all your hep
 

Moonraker

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I threw away a couple of DJ's worth of cider last year that had turned nasty like yours. After various discussions on this board the general consensus is that I was perhaps a bit hasty as "time heals all wounds". (Well, maybe not all, but most). Personally I would recommend getting it off the lees when the bubbling has stopped, leaving it for a while, then bottling it, then leaving it for a longer while before drinking. I'm planning to have a couple of test bottles of mine at Xmas (which will be a month and a half bottle conditioned at that stage), but then leaving it to the Spring before trying it again.
 

stringman

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Moonraker
Thanks for the reply
Problem is that i have limited containers. I might pour one in a demijohn and leave it.

I think the real problem was that it was only 12l in a 25L FV. once i racked it off and it stopped fermenting there would have been too much headspace so i think the O2 got to it. So I think it was a lesson learned.
 
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