Chlorophenols?

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Nick Middleditch

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Apr 18, 2022, 5:57:05 AMApr 18
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Good morning. 

Following my first racking and sampling of this years cider one of the 6 (1000 litre) batches has a distinct tcp/germolene medicinal aroma and taste. Is this chlorophenols? It’s not strong enough to be very unpleasant but definitely detectable. 

This is a first for me and all batches are treated the same in terms of processing. The sources of apples however varies for each ibc.  

I wild yeast ferment in ibcs (starsan sterilised) with 25ppm so2 (1/2 dose) added to the juice. The ibcs are not temperature controlled and stored outside in a barn. I chlorinate the water used to wash the apples but not in excessive quantities. 

My main question is will/can the flavour be removed by filtering/pasturing/maturing or should I discard the batch. Or turn to vinegar, will it still remain in vinegar? 

It is one ibc out of 6 and I would normally blend all ibcs before bottling. On a small trial blending of the 6 it is still slightly noticeable but obviously not as much. 

Fingers crossed for good news.

Kind regards
Nick

Andrew Lea

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Apr 18, 2022, 10:08:01 AMApr 18
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It is sometimes hard to distinguish between chlorophenols and other volatile phenols sensorially. But if it’s a TCP aroma rather than simple farmyard / elastoplast / bandaid it’s indeed possible it’s chlorinated. However, chlorophenols in cider are really only likely where chlorine has been used as part of the process. They don’t arise naturally. Unfortunately they tend to have much lower aroma thresholds than the regular volatile phenols which are generated by lactic acid bacteria or Brettamomyces (parts per billion or less, rather than parts per million). So they are more noticeable and much more difficult to blend off.  

Chlorophenols are moderately stable and do not mature out like regular volatile phenols might, nor will they be removed by pasteurising. They might be removed by a tight filter pad but this will likely remove other flavours too. I think they will probably persist in vinegar. If they are metabolised further they could become chloranisoles which are notoriously responsible for cork taint in wines. 

If the IBCs were secondhand, could it be carry-over from previous contents?  I would not try to blend off the affected IBC, but rather isolate it and see what happens over the next few months, on the off chance it may be a regular volatile phenol and may change. In any case you don’t want to taint your good stuff. 

If you are in the UK I’m not clear why you would treat your fruit with chlorinated water in the first place. Is your mains water not up to scratch or is your supply off-grid?

Andrew

Wittenham Hill Cider Portal
www.cider.org.uk

On 18 Apr 2022, at 11:57, Nick Middleditch <nmiddl...@gmail.com> wrote:

Good morning. 
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Nick Middleditch

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Apr 18, 2022, 2:20:19 PMApr 18
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Thank you Andrew. 
I feared as much. 

The ibcs were secondhand but assured food safe. Most only having water in them before hand. 
They are also in their second year of use as this is the first occurrence of anything like this happening.

There is a very small possibility of that ibc previously being used to store chlorinated water in not being cleaned thoroughly enough in-between adding the apple juice. Hence chlorine. 

I am in the uk but I do make my cider slightly off grid in effect so use a combination of rain water and a currently untested supply so it’s a belt and braces approach to ensure good levels of hygiene really. 

On the grounds of question marks I think your right to leave it as a separate entity until I can be sure. 
And be far more careful with chlorine going forward if that is a possible cause. 

Kind regards
Nick

On 18 Apr 2022, at 15:08, Andrew Lea <ci...@cider.org.uk> wrote:



Nick Middleditch

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May 2, 2022, 3:14:57 PMMay 2
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So it turns out the chlorophenols were down to human error. 
I had inadvertently left a tiny amount bleach/cleaner in the bottle I used to put the sample in. 
When I sampled it a second time using a different/clean bottle there was no chlorophenol taint at all.  Just delicious cider flavours. 

I’m so glad that I have not ruined 1000 litres of cider. 

Lesson learned, wash out sample bottles more carefully.  ….phew!

Kind regards
Nick

On 18 Apr 2022, at 19:20, Nick Middleditch <nmiddl...@gmail.com> wrote:

Thank you Andrew. 
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