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Help. Can I rescue 15 litres?

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Olden

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Hi there,
so I need some help I have 15 L which I think is beyond rescuing. I had a very simple recipe that came with the kit pressed 15 L added one packet of yeast no Campton tablet and left to ferment initial fermentation was very good although had a lot of krausen on the top which has now gone what is left I’m not sure about. fermentation seems to have stopped as I’m getting a reading of 1.00.
it looks and taste dreadful can I rescue this by backs sweetening it into 1 L bottles or should I chuck it and cut my losses. Have another batch of smaller 5 L bottles on the go the juice is much better.

Can I use fruit syrup’s or anything else to make it drinkable perhaps leaving it still when bottling it any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I don’t wanna chuck it if I can make it tasty with additional supplements
 

Banbeer

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What did you make? wine, cider?
What was the SG
Tell us exactly what and how you brewed and we will try to help.
 

Olden

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Sorry, yes. It’s Cider.
Did not take initial gravity reading but assume it was 1.040? Showing 1.00 now.

So I picked and mashed the apples. The juice I got was 15 litres. Added to fermentation bin added one pack of yeast and that’s it.

After a few days, fermentation was very promising. Big thick layer of krausen if that’s how you spell it.

This dissolved after another 2 days. But it looked a bit odd so I added about 250g of sugar and a little bit more yeast.

It fizzed a bit for a couple of days.

It’s stopped now and reading 1.000 consistently.

Looks watery and tastes very very sharp.

In hindsight, I’m sure the apples were not ready but they were big and starting to fall. Hey ho it’s a learning curve.

So I have 15 litres that I want to save some how.

Please help.
 

Banbeer

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stupid question but did you use cider yeast, was it in date and how much (5g normally will do a 5L batch or more)? the krausen will dissipate after a couple of days normally but then it is still fermenting, did you use an airlock at all?
 

Olden

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I used cider yeast. One pack could do 23 litres. Used an airlock but didn’t really bubble. Guide I had said not to worry, as long a fermentation was underway.
 

Olden

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Krausen has gone. It was very thick and bubbly.
 

DavieC

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Hi @Olden , dont throw it away, make another batch with supermarket apple juice and blend this original batch with it. I think maybe its a bit early to harvest your apples, they may not contain much sugar yet, also cider does improve over months.If you dont want to use shop bought juice make more batches in a month or so using a variety of apples from different trees and blend it with those.Mine improved a lot over a 6 month period.
 

Banbeer

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Not sure what your problem could be, maybe an infection? but unless you need the FV for something else give it a gentle stir as in don't splash it around and see what happens, put it somewhere at around 20degC if possible and see if you get any airlock activity (tho not a sure sign of fermentation if you don't get any airlock activity as you may not have a fully sealed FV)
 

terrym

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First it is possible that your cider yeast has just chewed its way through the sugars and that's it, and an FG of 1.000 is about right. What are you expecting? Cider can be very tart to the taste at the best of times without sweetening and can takes months to mature. Yours is only a few days old. If you keep adding more sugar the yeast will consume it and it will get dryer and dryer. I suggest you allow it to clear and then go ahead and bottle it but use sweetener like Lidl's Cologran and then leave it alone for six months. Then try it. If its rubbish then think about pouring it down the sink. But I would not be blending a TC in with it in case it is rubbish and you end up with twice as much to pour away.
 

Bold_Ron

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What mix of apples did you use? If it was mainly 'cookers' it will taste quite sour. You could try another batch with'dessert' apples to blend with the first batch to try to rescue it. Test various ratios of batch 1 to batch 2 with small volumes first to find out what is the best tasting version is before you commit to the lot.

Alternatively, add water additional sugar and chuck in some wine yeast for some apple wine (or 12% abv cider depending on your point of view)
 

Nicks90

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So you got 15l of juice from crushing apples directly from the tree and then didn't boil it/add a campden tablet?

It would have been crawling with wild yeast and bacteria.
Whilst your commercial yeast would have been very fast acting and probably overpowered any I'll affect from the bacteria or wild yeast, I wouldn't rule that out.
However as others have said, fresh cider can be lip curling in tartness.
Get it bottled and forget it for a few months. If it's worked then happy days. If not, bin it
 

Olden

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Thanks for all the great advice.
Think I’m going to bottle it, add some syrup or fruit cordial to taste and leave for a few weeks.
I’ve got a much better 15l batch on the go with a variety of apples from my three trees. The initial juice tasted great in comparison to the ‘bad’ batch in the big fermenter.
Still plenty of apples to get through so will do another big batch next month.
 

An Ankoù

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Sounds to me as if you picked and pressed your apples too early and they're still too sour. My apples are falling, too, but even the windfalls are too hard and sharp to eat. Wait another month or so and then try again. Even the windfalls will sweeten up if you keep them dry and let them age a bit. As for your 15 litres, I'd keep it in bulk storage for a good long while and hope it sweetens up.
This is something I haven't tried so others might object, but you could try inoculating your cider with lacto-bacccilus. Some wine makers try to induce a malolactic fermentation to soften their wines. I don't see why this shouldn't work with cider as apples are full of malic acid.
Edit (Sat am): Just had a look on the net and malolactic conversion is used in cider making. Whether it'll work sufficiently if your apples were unripe, is another question. I, too, make cider and I find it better to use apples over- rather than under-ripe. Easier to mince and more and sweeter juice from the press. End of September early October for me.
 
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DavieC

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Good thoughts @An Ankoù , as a matter of interest do you test the ph of your pressed juice? Ive just been reading about adjusting the ph/acidity of juice pre fermentation using calcium carbonate to give a better tasting finished product.
 

An Ankoù

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Good thoughts @An Ankoù , as a matter of interest do you test the ph of your pressed juice? Ive just been reading about adjusting the ph/acidity of juice pre fermentation using calcium carbonate to give a better tasting finished product.
No. I've never tested the pH of the juice. But I do recall that I used to add Brewpaks precipitated chalk to make it less sour. It seemed to take more than just the tartness out and the rest of the cider became drinkable after about 9 months. Since then, I've learned to use a good mix of the ripest apples I can find.
 

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