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How do you cover the 5L mason jar? Does it have any sort of airlock, and is there a means of preventing bacteria and/or fruit flies out of the jar? I ask because fruit flies carry acetobacter (they're also known as vinegar flies), and acetobacter turns alcohol into vinegar in the presence of oxygen. So if your mead was exposed to air and a fruit fly got ...


5

The Mad Fermentationist has a good write-up on making malt vinegar. Some interesting points from the article: oxygen is key to the process so you don't want to use an airlock. A cheesecoth, or a coffee-filter over the neck of the carboy work well to keep bugs and dust out but let oxygen in. vinegar can be made from the acetobacter in the air, but this may ...


5

Do not do this! Speaking from experience. I accidentally put my auto siphon into a bucket that was full of near boiling water. I turned away for just a minute and the plastic had softened enough that I now own a "J" shaped autosiphon. Needless to say I can't use it anymore. If you want to boil sanitize equipment like this you can get a stainless racking ...


5

I strongly doubt it will stand up to boiling water. Also boiling water isn't a guaranteed way to sanitize equipment - bacteria can still remain in hard to reach places. You should instead get hold of a sanitizer specifically developed for brewing: Iodophor, Star San are the two most popular.


3

If the cider is really turning into vinegar, than you've got a bacterial infection, probably acetobacter. This bacteria will metabolize alcohol into acetic acid. Acetobacter is present in small quantities in apple juice. It's also carried by fruit flies. There are three things you can do to fix this. Observe proper sanitation technique. Anything the ...


2

My first batch ever was the brewers best english brown ale kit (extract). At some point it became infected and went sour. I let the bottles sit to see if it would age out (didn't know any better at the time) and the whole batch slowly turned in to carbonated vinegar. I've used it for pulled pork and it has worked wonders on it. I still have some left and ...


2

Star-San is the best answer -- BUT: DO NOT use it after, ie: so as to clean and store for later use. Star-San is acidic and prolonged/sustained contact will make your plastic brittle and break (I have broken a siphon tube like this after only a few months of doing this afterbrew sanitizing). Use Star-San ONLY just before use for anything plastic/vinyl ...


1

I wouldn't. I've warped an Auto-siphon that way.


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The test for acetobacter is simple: smell whatever's coming out of the airlock on your fermenter. If it smells like vinegar, you've got an infection :). For a fermentation in progress, there's only a couple of options. You could pasteurize the whole batch, which would kill off bacteria as well as the yeast, so you'd have to repitch your yeast. Another ...


1

You can make vinegar from any alcoholic beverage. Since there is a one-to-one ratio between ethanol and acetic acid production, use or dilute your beverage to 5-7% alcoholic strength. This is the concentration of commercially bought vinegar, usually five percent. While Acetobacter bacteria are present in the air and is carried by the vinegar fly, the use of ...


1

Yes, you can make it with a vinegar mother or leaving it alone, with cheesecloth to keep out the flies. If you want a mother, you can get them a lot of places, even Amazon. Wine Spectator (or all places) has a great blurb on it: http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/5023 If you think it hasn't been hit by bugs carrying acetobacter or another ...


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I would suggest this. First, leaving a split batch (so to speak) in the primary hasn't been negative for me. What you are describing in terms of color and cloudiness would seem to be the result of adding the cinnamon and clove directly to the carboy. I use brew sock material when I do my own flavored ciders to reduce the cloudiness (I suppose that you could ...



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