acetification in sidra natural

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thomcd...@gmail.com

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Oct 30, 2017, 11:57:04 AM10/30/17
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Hello, I'm interested in reproducing a deliberate acetification to a batch of cider I'm fermenting. I read that this process is used in the elaboration of sidra natural in Asturias (where I've had some really great ciders). I have a 23-litre carboy dedicated to this which is fermenting with natural yeasts and being kept at cool Canadian fall temperatures. Has anyone tried this and have any tips? Initial SG was 1060 and dropped to 1050 before I could rack it for the first time after press 1 week later (FS is a little fast for my taste but we've had some unseasonably warm weather...) Thanks so much!

thomcd...@gmail.com

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Oct 30, 2017, 12:01:48 PM10/30/17
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I forgot to mention that I could not find any information about the process and I would like to know how to do it actually!

Handmade Cider

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Oct 30, 2017, 12:21:19 PM10/30/17
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If it were me, I would not want to deliberately acetify a good cider in order to get a hint of vinegar in the cider. It sounds too risky!
A better route might be to fully acetify a small amount and then blend minute quantities of this back with the cider after giving the finished vinegar a good dose of so2 to ensure the acetobacter is dead. That way you will have far more control on the level of acetification on the flavour as you can run several test blends to reach your optimum level.

Denis

Denis France   www.handmadecider.co.uk   07590 264804  Company. No. 07241330

White Label – Champion Farmhouse Cider, Bath & West Show 2015.

Spring Surprise - Cider of the Festival Chippenham Camra Beer Festival 2014 - 2016


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Andrew Lea

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Oct 30, 2017, 12:46:15 PM10/30/17
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From Oxford Handbook of Food Fermentations

“ In Spain the long pressing time and the high temperature lead to bacterial and yeast growth commencing together during pressing. The juices ferment to dryness over 20 to 30 days, during which time the yeast and MaloLactic fermentations take place together. It is probable that the distinctively acetic flavor of Asturian ciders develops due to the further metabolism of lactate to acetate by lactic acid bacteria rather than by the action of Acetobacter during this period (Herrero, Cuseta, et al. 1999; Herrero, Garcia, et al. 1999)”

Andrew

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Claude Jolicoeur

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Oct 30, 2017, 12:51:07 PM10/30/17
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Le lundi 30 octobre 2017 11:57:04 UTC-4, thomcd...@gmail.com a écrit :
Hello, I'm interested in reproducing a deliberate acetification to a batch of cider I'm fermenting. I read that this process is used in the elaboration of sidra natural in Asturias (where I've had some really great ciders).

I am not too sure what you want to attempt here.
As far as I know, no one in Asturias will do a deliberate acetification of their ciders. If I am wrong, please Edu or Miguel Angel correct me...
What gives the flavor to the Asturian cider, apart from the blend of apples, is the fact it undergoes malolactic fermentation early in the process, and this causes more volatile acidity than standard process as we know it elsewhere. This is completely different from acetification.
Claude

thomcd...@gmail.com

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Oct 30, 2017, 1:19:16 PM10/30/17
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So if I were to pitch malolactic bacteria during yeast fermentation (and provide the adequate temperature) I would get something that more resembles sidra natural ? (provided my apples had the malic acid content required to convert...is this measurable?) I thought that malolactic fermentation actually softened acidity in as it does in wine.

On Monday, October 30, 2017 at 11:57:04 AM UTC-4, thomcd...@gmail.com wrote:

Andrew Lea

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Oct 30, 2017, 1:30:44 PM10/30/17
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I suggest you read this paper 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2050-0416.1999.tb00023.x/pdf

I think your problem will be finding a strain of Oenococcus oeni (formerly known as Leuconostoc oeni) which metabolises lactate to acetate. I’m not sure that the commercially available ones do so. 

Andrew 


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Claude Jolicoeur

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Oct 30, 2017, 2:19:11 PM10/30/17
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Le lundi 30 octobre 2017 13:19:16 UTC-4, thomcd...@gmail.com a écrit :
So if I were to pitch malolactic bacteria during yeast fermentation (and provide the adequate temperature) I would get something that more resembles sidra natural ?

Hard to say...
I think the Spanish style is probably the most difficult cider style to make outside of its native area...
One can fairly easily make an imitation of a French or English style cider if the right apple varieties are available and by proper fermentation control. However, in order to make a Spanish style cider one additionally needs the proper microorganisms, which as Andrew said, aren't easily available.

In fact only once I drank a cider made in North America that was quite similar to those I drank in Spain, and it was a small experimental batch made by Ryan Burke of Angry Orchards (and from what Ryan told me, Edu Coto was sort of a consultant for making his).
Claude

Thomas McDonough

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Oct 30, 2017, 2:49:28 PM10/30/17
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I will look into all this and get back to you with the results, perhaps some microorganisms may benefit from a natural fermentation (i.e. no sulfite) and lots of organic deposit as is the case for me... I will see what I can get my hands on in terms of commercial malolactic bacteria. Thank you gentlemen!

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Andrew Lea

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Oct 30, 2017, 4:29:39 PM10/30/17
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I’m afraid Claude is probably right. I have tasted many English ciders which have gone acetic, and they are simply unpleasant. They have nothing like the clean acetic flavour of Spanish ciders. It really does depend on having the right organisms doing the right things. 

Andrew 

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Old Spot

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Oct 30, 2017, 4:40:40 PM10/30/17
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This thread reminds of the story I heard while visiting gueuze breweries in Belgium where Japanese visitors were observed 'capturing' the air outside of the famous locations.  While visiting Asturias last year, it was remarkable how consistent across all sorts of cider operations the unique flavor is. Also, how distinct Asturian cider is from Basque. I also saw very few fermentations set up in casks.  Stainless Steel was the standard, so the bacterial mix must be in the equipment, not the fermenters?
Maybe 'new world' cidermakers should focus on creating our own traditions, by which I do not mean adding habanero and ginger.

William Grote

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Oct 31, 2017, 12:48:39 PM10/31/17
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Hi Thom

I was at tasting in Boston a few weeks ago hosted by Ciders of Spain and was told they initially ferment in open vessels - but that could invite disaster.

IF you are in the south eastern part of Canada, I would suggest coming to Franklin County Cider Days (north-west part of Massachusetts)  this coming weekend and attending the seminar on making Spanish style cider 


2:30 - 3:30 Making Spanish-Style Cider (Sidra) in America Panel & Tasting $30/ticket Deerfield Community Center, Deerfield

I am also interested to learn the same thing, by the way, so ill share whatever I discover!

Cheers
William



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darlenehayes

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Nov 1, 2017, 11:30:52 AM11/1/17
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Hmm, that's a little confusing to me, William. I was on a cider making tour of Asturias with a small group of American cidermakers in May, and didn't see a single open vessel at any of the 6 or so cideries we visited. Same for the 3 we visited in the Basque Country. The Basques told us they were aiming for a small amount of VA production (around 1.6 g/L finished in the bottle). The legal limit is 2.2 g/L. I found very little VA in the taste profile of the Asturian sidras we tried.

And I highly recommend the sidra panel at Cider Days for those interested in this discussion. I'm the moderator, and we'll be talking about, among other things, just what made a cider a "sidra". And there will be samples from both the American cidermakers on the panel and Asturian sidra fresh off the plane.

Darlene

William Grote

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Nov 1, 2017, 11:36:45 AM11/1/17
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Hi Darlene!

Thanks for chiming in on this one, I was skeptical of his open vessel claim as well but I was not going to call him out at his own tasting, perhaps he was referring to the turbulent stage?  Capping the barrel with a loose cloth?   In any case, Im signed up for the Sidra session and look forward to getting more accurate info!

Cheers

William






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Thomas McDonough

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Nov 1, 2017, 12:17:50 PM11/1/17
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William, I am in southern Quebec so not too far, but I cannot attend this weekend because I have young children at home and I need a bit more notice. Thank you though and if it's not too much trouble i'd be interested in a summary of your findings. 

Darlene, what do you mean by VA, in was under the impression that what distinguished a sidra was the presence of acetic acidity. Sorry I can't make it to your panel, next year?



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Claude Jolicoeur

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Nov 1, 2017, 12:33:44 PM11/1/17
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Le mercredi 1 novembre 2017 12:17:50 UTC-4, Thomas McDonough a écrit :
what do you mean by VA, in was under the impression that what distinguished a sidra was the presence of acetic acidity.

VA is volatile acidity.
Acetic acid has the property of being volatile, and that means you can smell it (quite easily when you put your nose on top of a bottle of vinegar)...
Other, non-volatile, acids, like malic acid, don't smell anything.

The volatile acidity in a cider may be measured, and this result is often given in g/L of acetic acid equivalent - this because acetic acid is the main volatil acid in cider.

Claude

Thomas McDonough

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Nov 1, 2017, 12:35:11 PM11/1/17
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Indeed, thank you Claudr

Old Spot

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:21:54 PM11/1/17
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Given this thread I am tasting a bit of sidra natural from www.elnoceu.es.  A very small <llagar> made with very traditional methods. I picked up a few bottles after finding the maker in his orchard and talking my way into a little tour. It is a little more flavorful than the larger brands as to be expected, but frankly, I do not detect much acetic acid in this or any other Asturian cider (that can not be said about Basque cider, however).  The acidic profile to my pallet/nose is more lemony than vinegary.

The point above about the VA target in Basque cider and lack thereof in the Asturian cider makes sense. The two are very different. Basque cider seems to have been exported longer and in more abundance than Asturian cider and 'sidra' as it is know in N America often tends towards Basque versions. If you doubt the difference between the two, just ask either group what they think about the other!

Is there any real objective testing about the level of acetic acid in true Asturian cider? 

Upon visiting numerous llagares, the process I found most interesting was how they maintained the high level of dissolved CO2 in bottled sidra that resulted in the effervescence when 'escanciada'. It seemed that the cider was never racked. Just bottled straight from the first fermentation tank. Any observations on that?

darlenehayes

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:23:29 PM11/1/17
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I wouldn't consider myself and expert by any means, Thom, but as I said, the Basque sidra makers that we spoke with were interested in a certain amount of VA, but I would not say that is true of Asturias. There are other features of sidra that I believe are more important. 

I won't have a chance to do this before leaving for Cider Days tomorrow, but I have a collection of America "sidras" as well as 2 fresh from Asturias and a couple from the same producers that have more age on them that I plan on testing for VA levels using the method described by Claude in his book. I'll post the results when I have them. And either William or I, or both, will post about what comes out of the panel discussion. 

Darlene

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Claude Jolicoeur

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:31:55 PM11/1/17
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Le mercredi 1 novembre 2017 13:23:29 UTC-4, darlenehayes a écrit :
I won't have a chance to do this before leaving for Cider Days tomorrow, but I have a collection of America "sidras" as well as 2 fresh from Asturias and a couple from the same producers that have more age on them that I plan on testing for VA levels using the method described by Claude in his book. I'll post the results when I have them. And either William or I, or both, will post about what comes out of the panel discussion. 

By the way, I should be there also on Sunday for the Spanish cider discussion and tasting...
Do you know if CiderDays will provide true glasses for the tasting? I think I will bring a few of mine (that I brought back from Spain) just in case...
Claude

Edu V Coto

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:38:41 PM11/1/17
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In Asturias is always racked...and in Basque Country since a few years also many Cidermakers rack their ciders. In old times Basque ciders were never racked...and with many of them was a challenge to drink it.

The cider we drink in Asturias is bottled 1 month before being sent to “Sidrerías”.
Just after being bottled, cases are shaked  in special machines, then must rest for 3, 4 weeks. The whole process with temperature controls.
When delivered in the Sidrería , owner must taste it until he knows is the right time to give it to customers. Then bottles must be keeped in cold water, not in the fridge, and then poured properly. All this for ridiculous 2,70€ (I still can not understand it, even if I am asturian)

This is how a great cider is made and enjoyable.

Couple of years ago Basque cider was really archaic, Brett and high VA was quite normal...nowadays is becoming softer, just as asturian cider.

There is no aim for us that Sidra taste like vinegar. To get a real good asturian cider is an art, even when “profesional” Sidrerías get


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darlenehayes

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:45:34 PM11/1/17
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BTW, I've just been reading a set of technical notes on Asturian sidra in preparation for the panel. They list desired ranges for VA as .7 g/L acceptable, 1 g/L proper, 1.5 g/L excessive. There is a 2 g/L limit by law. I recently made a 1 g/L acetic acid sample and found it to be detectible by taste if you were looking for it, but not super obvious.

Darlene

Edu V Coto

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:51:38 PM11/1/17
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1,6...1,8 VA is the average in Asturias.
In Basque Country “was” normal more than 2gr/L VA

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Edu V Coto

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Nov 1, 2017, 1:52:49 PM11/1/17
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Always more than 1gr/L in both regions 

Old Spot

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Nov 1, 2017, 2:03:21 PM11/1/17
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Edu  - gracias por la info! Interesante! Sagardo sigue un 'desafío'.  ;)

darlenehayes

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Nov 1, 2017, 2:29:12 PM11/1/17
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I don't think they'll have true sidra glasses for everyone in the audience, Claude, although the volunteer pourers will get some training in pouring properly with the aid of a tapon. 

darlenehayes

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Nov 1, 2017, 2:33:19 PM11/1/17
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Interesting, Edu. I got those numbers from a translation of Elaboration de Sidra Natural Ecologica by Miguel Angel Pereda Rodriguez. 

William Grote

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Nov 1, 2017, 3:04:44 PM11/1/17
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Threads like this are why I love this group!

Thanks to everyone for contributing!

Miguel Pereda

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Nov 1, 2017, 7:03:59 PM11/1/17
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The “Spanish-style sidra natural” manufacturing is due, as it has been already said by the different participants of this conversation, not only to a single cause but to the conjunction of probably sinergic factors: climate, apple types, technological process employed, fermentation temperature, microorganisms, malolactic fermentation and bottling when the VA is accurate to the manufacturer’s taste. A single way of “escanciado” has to be added.

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Joe Barfield

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Oct 2, 2018, 7:58:07 AM10/2/18
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I just got back from the SISGA Sidra Natural event in Asturias. There was 3 days of llagar visits, a master class on pouring sidra natural, judging of all the foreign ciders accompanying us, a public tasting, and an awards gala. And so much more. I highly recommend professional cideries look into participating next year. www.lasidra.as. It was well worth the effort if you can ship ciders economically. 

One thing from this post I haven't picked up is the importance of apple choice. The Asturians are VERY proud of their apples. I mostly hear them refer to the "amargo" (bitter) nature of the apples, but I am certain the apple blend is very important for making (or imitating) a proper Sidra Natural.
In trying to understand the flavor profiles, I did some end product testing of a few of the sidras. Oddly enough, the two sideries that I tested happened to have representatives sitting at the table with me at the gala... I don't think they would mind me sharing this info, but I will leave the producers names out so I don't accidentally reveal trade secrets. :-)

In the one llagar (cidery) where I spent a good bit of time, they press the apples and move the juice directly into large wooden tonels (large large wooden barrels). No sulphites. No additions. No apparent temperature control. Just juice. After initial fermentation (a few weeks? months?), they move the cider to jacketed stainless steel for temperature-controlled aging before unfiltered bottling.
The ciderest gave me a printout of his lab results for his current batches. 
I did a Total Acid calibration and I detected 5 g/l Malic Acid equivalent. Maybe I will crack open another bottle and do a VA calibration per the Cider Maker's Handbook.
Fecha - 20/4/18 . Anterior 20/1/08
I think this means these numbers are from April 2018.

Tank

Volatile Acid

pH

Alcohol

Temp C

Tonel-1 (recent press)

1.72

3.73

5.8

13.7

Tonel-2 (recent press)

1.57

3.72

5.8

13.9

Stainless-3

0.59

3.6

5.9

14.5

Stainless-4

0.57

3.55

5.9

15.5

Stainless-5

0.96

3.65

6.1

14.5

Stainless-9

2.08

3.7

5.9

14



The VA drops considerably in the stainless - malolactic fermentation converting acetic acid to , right?
He did allow that he blends it before bottling. 
He will be pressing apples soon, so the two wooden tonels were empty when I visited. One of the stainless tanks had 3-year old sidra natural.
I could kick myself for not reviewing this sheet when he gave it to me. I didn't actually understand the significance of VA (volatile acid - meaning acetic acid). I think he would have happily let me taste each tank to understand the progression of his product in terms of VA. Of course, the numbers have changed since April...

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to share about the amazing weekend!
Joe Barfield
Castelo Branco Cider

ps- I sold my first bottles of cider. :-)
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