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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Airlock is not moving
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:56 AM   #1
zaireeka
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Default Airlock is not moving

Hi, I started a 2 gallon batch of hard cider a week ago with cider that contains potassium sorbate. I have read if you get a starter going and then pitch it into the cider it will ferment. The starter bubbled like crazy and once I added it to the cider it has not moved the air lock once. Is there anyway of rectifying this batch? I have removed the airlock once and there is a foam layer on top and it smells good still. When you take a deep whiff it burns the noise so I think C02 is present. Also I have the two gallons of cider in a 6 gallon bucket, is there just to much air space to pressurize the bucket enough to get the airlock moving?

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Old 11-21-2009, 03:24 AM   #2
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In a word, yes. Cider ferments slowly. It's likely that your airlock won't do anything, the CO2 just fizzes out slowly but steadily, and probably leaks out the lid of the bucket rather than taking the slightly more torturous path through the airlock. Give it a month. It'll probably ferment down fine, depending on the amount of sorbate that was in there.

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Old 11-21-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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You're trying to make hard cider with potassium sorbate in it? I can drive my car with no tires but that doesn't mean I should, and it wouldn't be the best thing for my car either.

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Old 11-21-2009, 10:44 PM   #4
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dmtaylor - Thanks for the advise. I will just let it sit for a month and see how it turns out. No sense dumping until I know it is no good.

Teromous - At the time I didn't know it was a problem, this is my first homebrew. The other day I sourced a mill the presses preservative free, unpasteurized cider so I will be starting a second batch as well. It has certainly been a learning experience.

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Old 11-21-2009, 10:46 PM   #5
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Get out of the habit of thinking the airlock is anything other than a vent to release excess co2 and you will be much happier. Your beer/cider/wine/mead will ferment whether or not the airlock bubbles. It a vent to release excess co2, NOT a fermentation gauge.

airlock bubbling, lack of airlock bubbling, stopped airlock bubbling, fast airlock bubbling, slow airlcok bubbling, heavy metal airlcok bubbling, or disco airlock bubbling really is not an indicator of what is happening to your beer, really isn't important, and it is NOT an accurate gauge of fermentation.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2.

So get out of the habit of thinking that an airlock bubble it telling you anything.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years..

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Old 11-21-2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaireeka View Post
I have removed the airlock once and there is a foam layer on top and it smells good still.
When you do this, you vent off the co2, so it doesn't need to release anymore Therefore it's not bubbling...it is pretty simple.

You really don't need airtight to ferment..in fact airtight would cause an explosion from built up co2...that is EXACTLY what an airlock is there to prevent. It is to bleed off any EXCESS co2.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reply Revvy. Looks like I need to get myself a hydrometer, something I was planning on picking up for my next brew.

I also have a bottling question if you have a moment. I was planning on carbonating the cider and bottling in 750ml wine bottle. Can I use a standard wine cork or do I have to use a champagne cork/wire hood?

Thanks

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