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My parents were making apple juice with some home grown apples and I decided to try and make cider. I added the juice to a demijohn and added some yeast and left to ferment.

I put it away and completely forgot about it until the other day. It's been about 6 months! It still had an air lock on but barely any water left!

When I took the topper and air lock off there was a strange film/layer on top (see picture). The layer is actually an off white colour and it's the demijohn making it look orange!

When I smelled the cider, it smelled like cider and not rotten or moldy.

Would this be fine to try and siphon out and put into bottles for further fermentation and carbonation?

Thanks.

Layer/film

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    Awesome picture. Thanks for including it. – brewchez May 5 '16 at 10:21
  • thanks, i thought it might provide some more information rather than trying to describe it! even though the picture looks like a sun or planet!. – Benjy Hunt May 5 '16 at 10:36
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That is some sort of pellicle. Almost looks like a Wyeast Roeselare sour blend pellicle (Just as something to compare it too). Yeast, even wild yeast, would have settled out by now.

Its impossible to tell type of wild contaminant you have there. It is likely a blend of your yeast (which was what?), wild yeast and bacteria. The good thing is at least in this picture it doesn't look like mold.

You're going to have to give it the smell and taste test to find out if you've got something worth keeping. Carefully rack some out from under that layer. Put some in a glass and smell it. You can even pinch a little liquid in your fingers. If it feels sticky or slick then its still got some time to go. I doubt it though. Then taste it. Whatever it is, 6-months of a simple cider there isn't anything fermentables left I'd predict. So if it tastes good and you want to keep it, bottle it up.

If it is tasty, I'd keep some of it still (bottle as is, flat). And I'd add an appropriate amount of sugar and carbonate some. I bet it will be pretty good. I've had several "wildly" fermented ciders and they come out surprisingly nice most of the time.

  • Thanks, i will give the cider a taste tonight and report back tomorrow! it smells fine so hopefully it will taste good also!. – Benjy Hunt May 5 '16 at 10:37
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    Right sorry its been a while since i updated! so the cider smells and tastes fine (not contaminated or mouldy) but it brings me onto a new problem! the Cider is very sour! is there anyway i can remove some sourness and sweeten the beer without carbonating it too much? – Benjy Hunt May 17 '16 at 15:15

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