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Aroma: Freshly-cut Apple or Cider

Problem:

An apple or cider-like aroma can indicate the presence of acetalaldehyde, an intermediate compound that is ordinarily converted into ethyl alcohol during a properly completed fermentation.

Causes:

  • Oxidation of ethanol can promote the formation of acetalaldehyde.
  • Excessive use of refined sugar in the recipe may cause a cidery taste by not providing the nutrients that malts normally provide for the yeast to complete fermentation.
  • High fermentation temperatures can interfere with the conversion of acetalaldehyde to ethanol.
  • Bacterial contamination and infection can prevent a complete fermentation.
  • If insufficient yeast is pitched for the wort, the fermentation may not go to completion.
  • Poor quality yeast can leave fermentation incomplete.
  • Stale extract syrup can result in incomplete fermentation.

Cures:

  • Allow beer the proper amount of time to ferment and age.
  • Better recipe formulation that reduces the percentage of refined sugar used.
  • Ferment at appropriate temperatures for the required time.
  • Maintain sanitary conditions.
  • Prepare a yeast starter, especially for higher gravity worts, to ensure sufficient yeast is available at the time of pitching into the wort.
  • Use high-quality yeast in good condition, especially with high alcohol beers.
  • Buy quality, fresh extract syrup, or dry extract.
Aroma: Freshly-cut Apple or Cider