View Full Version : Sparkly, not sparkling... any ideas?

Chevette Girl
01-09-2012, 01:28 AM
I've drunk a bottle of this and it tastes fine, it's just cloudy and sparkly. Seriously, you agitate the bottle a little and it looks like someone put clear glitter in a bottle of fresh pressed unfiltered apple cider. Any ideas what this could be?

I don't know if I can get my camera to do it justice but if I manage, I'll put it up. It's like tiny little clear flakes of something. They settle out but are very easily stirred back up, like a snow globe. I don't remember being able to feel them when drinking, and the closest thing I've ever seen to this was one apple cider jelly I made many years previous that wouldn't set, it had sort of two-dimensional crystals in it too, which also weren't particularly present in the mouthfeel.

Technically this is a wine but it's made from a second run of a crabapple cyser I apparently still haven't bottled. Started May 06, bottled Sept 07.

12 cups water
1 4" cinnamon stick
juice from one lemon
1 decaf tea bag
5 cups brown sugar
fruit bag and probably also lees and some excess cyser from 3-gal crabapple cyser using regular tart red crabs and some very tart yellow apples that had a bite but not the same bite as a true crabapple.

Boil water with cinnamon and tea bag, then add sugar, stir until dissolved. Allow to cool before pouring over fruit bag so the yeast isn't killed and any remaining pectinase from the first run isn't denatured. Add lemon juice. Remove tea bag, leave cinnamon stick. Forget to list what kind of yeast was used in the original cyser. It was either K1-V1116 or EC-1118 because that's all that was available to me at the time, I'm suspecting more likely it was EC-1118.

I took initial SG readings (1.040) but it's not useful since I don't know precise volumes of must, fruit and cyser (11.4% at SG 1.003), it was 3 gallons with the fruit, almost 2 gallons after the fruit was removed, I racked it into a gallon carboy and a 3-litre Rosso wine jug with an extra cinnamon stick then I think I combined them again temporarily into a 3-gal carboy when I bottled. Finishing gravity was 1.000.

The original cyser in its carboy is still a bit cloudy despite 5 years and some bentonite, I can't remember how clear this wine was when I bottled it but it's cloudy in the bottle, not much has settled out.

Any ideas what this glittery stuff might be? Maybe acid from the apples precipitating out? I'll have a look at the original cyser batch next time I'm spelunking under the counter and see if it's got anything like that (or if it's cleared since I hit it with the bentonite).

01-09-2012, 01:30 AM
I dunno what it is, but you make it sound pretty.

Chevette Girl
01-09-2012, 01:36 AM
It is pretty, in a "how can this be good to drink?" kind of way ;D

01-09-2012, 03:41 AM
well theres a crowed here that apparently make a manuka mead (distilled i think) with gold leaf flakes in it. its only $200us a bottle.

01-10-2012, 04:35 PM
I seem to recall you have a buon vino filter.

Run it through stage 3 & 2 filtration and see if it goes away?

Chevette Girl
01-10-2012, 04:40 PM
Oh, I'm sure it would. I'm tempted to see what I might catch in a coffee filter, and I probably will try that when I crack the next bottle open, but for the three bottles of this that are left, it's not worth setting up the buon vino.

01-10-2012, 04:47 PM
Could this be wine diamonds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartaric_acid#Tartaric_acid_in_wine)?

Chevette Girl
01-10-2012, 04:57 PM
I did sort of wonder that myself but I don't think apples contain that kind of acid, I thought apples were predominantly malic acid and I didn't think malic acid did that... besides, I've seen wine diamonds before and they're 3-dimensional, not little 2-D planar things... It's almost like someone made shavings off the large sugar crystals you get on the Dutch butter cookies?

If I catch any in my coffee filter when I open that bottle, I'm definitely going to taste the sparkles to see if they taste acidic.

01-10-2012, 06:52 PM
Ya, my guess is tartaric acid...

01-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Perhaps some kind of calcification?