I feel like it tastes like soap and/or baloon (I used a balloon as an airlock, but I'm not sure if it is just thinking that it tastes like balloon). It could be that this is the yeast...could be that it isn't I'm not sure. It isn't green like my first ever batch of beer which is good, so I guess that is a good thing. :D

TL;DR How do I know if my hard cider is bad?

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    I don't know where this idea on the internet of using a balloon comes from but its pointless. If you don't have a proper airlock a piece of foil is a better bet as its easier to sanitize and easier to work with. Balloons are for prisoners making hooch.
    – brewchez
    Apr 27, 2016 at 15:47
  • @brewchez I think it's just an easy way to get some natural carbonation, if no pin hole is made. But doesn't seem like a good idea because of the off flavors they could introduce. Maybe a washed nitrile glove would do better. Apr 28, 2016 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


Well looks like it's done. If it tastes "bad" to you then it's bad. You set out to make something you can enjoy, we don't always get that result.

Identifying the off-flavor is the first step in correcting a problem

Much like judging a beer try to describe all the attributes of the cider that are not appropriate.

Aroma, Flavor, Appearance, Mouthfeel

Also getting feed back from a novice palet is really helpful. Let them know there is a problem, but ask them to describe it.

Soapy / Balloon This would describe two seperate off-flavors. Soapy is usually just that. Soap. caused from poor cleaning and rinsing of something that was in contact with the cider. There is no salvage solution for this off-flavor. Balloon This one is actually more difficult to find the cause to. It may seem the balloon air lock was the cause, it's unlikely. It sounds more like a phenolic off flavor AKA Band-Aid usually caused by poor sanitation and a prefermentation bacterial infection. Or a wild yeast. There is no salvage solution for this off-flavor.

Don't give up! I think I learn way more from "bad" beers than great beers any day.

Your cider is only bad in the since that it's not enjoyable to you. Its safe to drink and someone else may like it.

  • Is there any easy way to know if it produced something like methanol? Also thanks for all the help around here!
    – Tal C
    Mar 28, 2016 at 19:47
  • @TalC all fermentation will produce some methanol. Its only a concern in distilling in which the first liquor can have harmful concentrations. Mar 28, 2016 at 19:53
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    Balloon like flavor could be rubber-like flavor. It is a common thing if your cider has sulfur dioxide in it (SO2). It is a common byproduct of cider fermentation. I would suggest degassing it at room temperature and aging in cold place for couple of weeks/months. I had a cider last year with resinous touch. It took 6 month to age it out.
    – Trigger
    Apr 27, 2016 at 19:31

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