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Questions about smelly / yellow hard cider

Hi,

My cider just spent about 3 weeks fermenting and now it smells bad and looks very yellow… How do I get both this smell and color to dissipate?

Before fermenting the must/juice I treated it with Potassium Metabisulfite (at the dosage recommended on the package). Could this have caused the smell? I also used a dry wine yeast.

I thought maybe something else was causing the smell so I added some more metabisulfite to the now fermented cider to cease any active processes and racked it into an oak barrel.

Should I put in the wooden bung or should I put in the airlock to let the smelly gases escape? How long should I let it age out these undesirable traits?

Thanks for any advice/input!! :?:

[quote=“doctorcosmonaut”]Hi,

My cider just spent about 3 weeks fermenting and now it smells bad and looks very yellow… How do I get both this smell and color to dissipate?

Before fermenting the must/juice I treated it with Potassium Metabisulfite (at the dosage recommended on the package). Could this have caused the smell? I also used a dry wine yeast.
[color=#000080]

The smell is hydrogen sulfide that comes from sometimes high dosage/ residual rates of bisulfite (meta) you add or sulfur used in farming. But the intital treatment to the still cider at/around 50ppm+ should have dropped to near zero or around 10ppm at most after ferment and PH binding. BUT it still is not eliminated from the equation.
Secondly many yeast strains will naturally produce hydrogen sulfide along with other VDK as a byproduct of ferment. Leave the cider with the main yeast cake at least a week after fement and before racking to help reduce the levels of VDK produced.
Thirdly low levels of nitrogen can cause “sickly/sluggish” ferment conditions that can contribute to excess VDK in general and can be boosted by an addition of DAP/yeast hulls after primary starts.
The color/ milky look is simply suspended yeast and protiens and will drop out after time. [/color]

I thought maybe something else was causing the smell so I added some more metabisulfite to the now fermented cider to cease any active processes and racked it into an oak barrel.

This was a good step. As you now have some O2 scrubbing/ oxidation prevention in place. Which becomes even more of a factor because if you have hydrogen sulfide in your cider it can still be reduced possibly by racking over clean/ bare bright copper. (In winemaking copper sulfate is used to treat this condition, but it is not a task I would instill for the homewinemaker as copper poisoning is a very real factor at play when using this item.) Why O2 is very bad for you at this stage is because if the hydrogen sulfide becomes oxidized it turns into mercaptans that are very hard to reverse and that is when the smell migrates from a stinky egg to burnt broccoli, cabbage funk.

Should I put in the wooden bung or should I put in the airlock to let the smelly gases escape? How long should I let it age out these undesirable traits?

Thanks for any advice/input!! :?: [/quote]

Maybe use a mix stir to knock any remaining CO2 + H2S out of solution, rerack over copper and redose with meta again to just keep storage levels up around the 10ppm mark or better. Depending on your choice of acidity on the finished cider just remember that natural MLF will not start/ complete if your storage levels of meta are reaching over 15ppm but this goes into a whole different topic, but just a heads up while we are talking meta additions.

I was browsing the Cider section after posting a reply here and found you will find additional in depth information to some of the points I made here within this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=95782&p=1045930#p862421

Cheers.

Great info on that link. Thanks!

Still want to know if I should have the airlock in or the solid wood bung in now? Does it need the ability to “breath” for the smell to dissipate or will it just disappear inside the enclosed barrel if sealed?

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