The cysor didn't make it. Sadly, I was expecting it but even so, it was a battle that needed to be fought. I can safely say that the most likely culprit was the preservatives in the cider.
The definition of experience is realizing that you made the same stupid mistake before. Over the past week I was reminded of my first attempts to ferment something. I must have been somewhere around 8 to 10 years old. Oddly enough, that too was cider.
It was shortly after I had a taste of something called apple jack. Someone had given my parents a bottle of it and I managed to score a slight nip of it. I remember it being a bit harsh; it had the flavors of fresh apples but there was a bit more of a kick.
It was a revalation in my life. Who would have thought that something could change so much. There was a mystique to it, similar to beer in that before this moment I had no idea how it could be done. But now I was told that if you leave it out and let it get some air it will change.
My first experiments at the time were with store bought cider. I went through two gallons of cider, each one going more sour than that biting flavor I expected. (In hindsight I realize that either lacto bacilus or acetobacter infected the ciders). It was when I had a gallon of cider from the apple orchard that things changed for the better.
This gallon took a life all its own. Of course I didn't know to look for signs of fermentation or anything like that. I just knew that some how it had the right environment to turn into what I expected. And then fall kicked in and it got too cold to do the experiments anymore. Being a kid, that was the last I thought about it, at least until now.
When you look at failures like this you can choose to see only the waste of what was dumped down the drain. Or you can choose to look at it like Edison and his failures to invent the light bulb. In the future I won't have to waste time playing around with commercial cider. Maybe I have even saved others from the same issues.
Time for a pint...