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Cider Digest #1320

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Cider Digest
 · 9 Apr 2024

Subject: Cider Digest #1320, 17 May 2006 

Cider Digest #1320 17 May 2006

Forum for Discussion of Cider Issues
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor

Digest returns to life (Cider Digest Admin)
Re: Funky smelling keeved ciders (Terry Bradshaw)
Pear ripening - technical question ("McGonegal, Charles")
2006 Great Lakes Wine Competition - 11th annual ("Mike Beck")
Re: planting trees with bones (Jeff Renner)

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Subject: Digest returns to life
From: (Cider Digest Admin)
Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 20:24:23 -0600 (MDT)

Your loyal janitor is back on duty; the digest resumes. I thank you for
your patience if you were patient. If you weren't, I'm sorry; I should
have a better backup arrangement for the digest when I'm gone.

Your janitor's alter-ego is trying to get un-jet-lagged and caught up
with worldly matters, after which he should have some postings about
the UK cider scene.



Subject: Re: Funky smelling keeved ciders
From: Terry Bradshaw <>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2006 02:59:42 -0400

>Subject: Funky smelling keeved ciders
>From: Jason MacArthur
>In November we pressed and keeved a cider which we are hoping to
>ferment to an "off-dry" level of sweetness, somewhere in the range of
>1.005. We pitched 2 yeasts into the batch, a Champagne style yeast
>(K-1118) and a Cotes des Blancs white wine yeast. This cider bubbled
>along nicely until it reached a gravity of 1.025, sometime in late
>winter.(I don't have my notes with me.) We racked it at this point to
>slow it down, and in the last several months the gravity has dropped to
>1.022. The temperature during this time has been around 50 F (10 C),
>sometimes slightly lower.
> Now the basement is warming slightly and the cider is smelling rather
>eggy, and I am guessing that we have stressed the yeasts to such a
>degree that they can no longer ferment "cleanly". We have actually
>added small amounts of Yeast Nutrient to nudge the yeasts along and
>clear up the aroma, but this has raised some questions in my mind.
>Those of you who routinely have very slow fermentations, with or
>without keeving, do you find your ciders to be "smelly" during the
>fermentation process? If the process of keeving is performed with the
>intention of stopping fermentation early, aren't you guaranteed to
>stress out your yeasts and generate off-flavors? Or do some yeasts
>never produce that wonderful eggy smell which our cider is currently

This year I added commercial yeasts to my keeved ciders for the first
time since my mil was brand new and I didn't think I'd have much
inoculum built up. I used different amounts and strains in different
batches, and added them according to Gary Awdey's 2006 protocol where it
was suggested to add just a couple of grains just prior to the keeve. Of
all four batches I got varying results:

1. Blend of Steve Wood's bittersweets & Liberty, K-1V 1116
( yeast.
Beautiful keeve, like picture perfect. Long, slow ferment that dropped
clear at 1.010. No off-flavor.
2. Different bled of Wood's bittersweets & Liberty, W 15 yeast
( Dropped
clear at 1.020 with no off-flavors.
3. Blend of 1&2 above, both yeasts. Really nice keeve, ferment stopped
and cleared at 1.032. Will blend with some drier stuff at bottling/kegging.
4. "N. American' Keeve: Liberty/Haralson/Spy/Gold Del/Pinova, poor
bottom keeve with less than optimal separation. Added pinch of R-2
( yeast. Two
different carboys fermented differently, going down to 1.040 and
1.050after three months, much higher than all other ciders. Aroma was
downright nasty with sulfur and egg. Added Red Star Premier Cuvee Yeast
pack and 1 tsp 'yeast nutrient' (not sure of exact ingredients). Last
readings were 1.010 and 1.028 respectively. The sulfur stench seems to
be aging/metabolising out pretty well.

So I have fingered the specific yeast strain (R-2) as my main problem
this season, although I am looking to get back away from commercial
yeasts altogether again in the coming years. I do think that judicious
nutrient use and a switch to a more neutral yeast may have saved my last
batch. In previous years where I have used wild yeasts, with and
without keeving, I have found the ciders to ferment clean, with little

> While it seems counter intuitive to add nutrients to the must when so
>much trouble has been taken to remove them, at this point that seems to
>be the best course of action. Another idea was to vigorously rack the
>cider into another container, re-oxygenating the yeasts, but I fear
>that our cider is in a delicate state and I am loathe to add too much

Yeah, I'd avoid that.

Hope that helps,


- --
Terence Bradshaw
Calais, VT
1450 feet, zone 4

The views represented are mine and mine only........


Subject: Pear ripening - technical question
From: "McGonegal, Charles" <>
Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 09:18:02 -0500

This is one for the technical folks.

I've been doing to GC analysis of, well, an intermediate material used
in my pommeau and poirissimo production.
I found that the pear fermentation had ended up with _17_times_ the
methanol level of the apple. Now, it's still under the legal limit
(barely) - but it still seems like a big difference. There is also a
big difference in a peak that I think, but haven't confirmed, may be
ethyl acetate.

Now, I suspect that naturally occuring PME, or other pectin-related
enzymes did this. These pears (Bartlett) were left to sweat _way_ too
long. They were mush (albeit, very aromatic mush) by pressing time.
Does this seem likely? Would that also explain an elevated ethyl
acetate level (or that just pears for you)? Both were fermented with KV1
(I seem to recall), and neither with added pectolytic enzymes. The pear
ferment generated an extremely tall foam cap - > 9inches, where I
normally see less than 3 inches on a 550 gallon tank).

Has anyone taken a detailed look at what happens to these trace
components with sweating time?

Charles McGonegal
AEppelTreow Winery


Subject: 2006 Great Lakes Wine Competition - 11th annual
From: "Mike Beck" <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 11:55:59 -0400

Apple & Pear Fermented Products Showed Well at a Recent Wine Judging.

This wine competition is only open to Wineries in States or Provinces that
border a Great Lake. Over 550 entries and 369 medals were given out in all
wine categories.
15 Apple or Pear Products Medalled. 2 golds 8 silver 5 bronze
-2 Ciders
-1 Perry
-2 Pommeau
-10 Apple Wines

Official Completion Results can be found by contacting the Oakland Community
College - Culinary Studies Institute @ 248.522.3700
Congrats to all that medalled.

mike beck
st.johns, mi


Subject: Re: planting trees with bones
From: Jeff Renner <>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 09:39:27 -0400

Eric "deva maas" <> wrote from Burdett, NY:

> Last year I planted two trees with a chicken carcas in the
> bottom of
> each hole, deep enough to keep my dogs and wildlife from digging
> them up
> (30-36in.). I did this to provide a long term supply of phosphorus
> in our
> phosphorus-difficant soils. Next year I plan to plant 35 more
> trees and am
> considering planting them all with a good stock of bones. Is this
> a crazy
> idea? Is there a risk of root disease or rot if there is meat still
> on the
> bone? Has anybody done this and had their trees dug up by animals?

I don't have the direct experience that you ask for, but sterilized
bone meal is cheap and should provide the phosphorus you need much
more simply.


Or are you looking to whole bones so they will break down over a
longer period? Bones last a long time in the soil unless it's quite
acid, and I wonder how much phosphorus they'd release per year. I'd
think that top dressing the trees with bone meal every few years
would be easy enough.

You could also use rock phosphate when planting, which breaks down
more slowly than bone meal.

- ---
Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrennerATumichDOTedu
"One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943


End of Cider Digest #1320

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