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I have a problem with my french style hard apple cider homebrew; it has turned into jello!

Apples were collected 6-7 weeks ago since they were ripe and had started to drop from the trees, and were left in crates in a cool room to overripen.

This weekend the apples were then washed, shredded and the pulp was left for 24 hours to oxidize, as per instructions. The pulp was then pressed and I ended up with a batch of a little more than 15L.

Then, to the freshly pressed cider I added the first part of a homebrew kit that I bought, then let the whole batch sit in a 12C room for 24 hours.

I have used such a kit before to great success, from the same seller, for the same amount of cider, from apples from the same trees. The first part is a single drop of some kind of enzyme, does not say on the tiny one drop bottle exactly what it is (pectinase maybe?). But it is supposed to cause the pectin and other componds in the cider to separate, as well as kill any wild yeast. Last time I used it a brown "cake" formed on the top of the cider, and with a layer of dead yeast at the bottom, and a clear amber cider in the middle.

However this time this did not happen; this time the whole 15L bucket turned into jello!

The PH of the batch is about 3.2, and has a OE of about 1050, the enzyme was added when the cider was at 15C, and was then left undisturbed in a 12C room for 24H.

The cider was freshly pressed, not heated in anyway, so I don't know how the pectin got activated. Does anyone out there have experience with something like this happening? Is it possible to deactivate the pectin again somehow, preferably without heating it up?

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What I learned is this:

  • After pressing the juice, add 0.04g/l metabisulfite to the juice to inhibit wild yeasts
  • Add the pectinase
  • Pectinase works best at room temperature, and the juice should rest for 12 to 24 hours

After that, add the yeast.

I use the pectinase because I only have small quantities of juice and pasteurise and bottle them. It works, heating them to 80° C to 90° C doesn't turn them into jelly or jam.

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First of all you start with pressed apple juice (Cider is the final product).

You really need to know what you are putting in the pressed apple juice from the 'kit' to work out what is going on. can you provide a link to the kit that you are using?

Isn't one of the points of homebrewing to make something you know EXACTLY what is in there?

Most of the pectin is near or in the peel of the apple.

  1. How did you "shred" the apples?
  2. Did you "shred" differently from the batch that worked before?

Finer "shred"/smaller chunks would release more pectin from the skin and could turn apple juice to jelly overnight or when chilled.

Personally I have never used a kit with fresh pressed apple juice. just wash, crush using a crusher (for the size of the crushed apple, think of put apple on hard surface and tread on once, not jump up and down on for 10 mins), press, quick filter through a cheesecloth and then chuck yeast in and let it do its thing, it has always worked out fantastic without any issues.

your process sounds way too complex, 15 degrees this then 12 degrees that, 2 minutes add this, 34.6 minutes twist that, oh wait I forgot to pull the thing....... seriously apple juice and yeast is all you need, then after that you can get fancy with other flavourings and the such.

Commercial products need to play with the product as the consumer is fickle, it needs to have a shelf life, colour, clarity and carbonation... This is home brew, who cares as long as it tastes good?

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