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Old 12-03-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Default ale yeast takes forevs...

so i started my cider back around the first week of october. one with champagne yeast (idk what kind, was like 95 cents), one with ale yeast (s-04). the champagne yeast version fermented to dryness in a week, i aged it for a while and now it sits in bottles.

the ale yeast one is still chugging away in the primary. it has been 8+ weeks. i'm around 1.010 (starting gravity of around 1.045). i'm getting a bubble every 30 seconds or so, clearly some co2 bubbles on the surface...

this is my first try with cider. is it typical for ale yeast to take forever? i'm starting to get concerned with it still hanging around on the yeast cake.

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Old 12-03-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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While that's a pretty slow ferment, so long as it keeps chugging along you should be fine. My S-04 batches probably average around 6 weeks with cool fermentation temps.

If you're nervous about it sitting on the lees too long you can go ahead a rack it off to a new carboy. If looking for faster batches in the future, consider using yeast energizer and nutrients.

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Old 12-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #3
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While that's a pretty slow ferment, so long as it keeps chugging along you should be fine. My S-04 batches probably average around 6 weeks with cool fermentation temps.

If you're nervous about it sitting on the lees too long you can go ahead a rack it off to a new carboy. If looking for faster batches in the future, consider using yeast energizer and nutrients.
Part of the reason I'm surprised is because I did use yeast nutrient! My house is pretty cool, around 63-66 degrees. Oh well, in any case it should be done in a couple of weeks. With ale yeast, should I still expect a FG of around 1.000?
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Part of the reason I'm surprised is because I did use yeast nutrient! My house is pretty cool, around 63-66 degrees. Oh well, in any case it should be done in a couple of weeks. With ale yeast, should I still expect a FG of around 1.000?
Huh, well then it's definitely a stubbornly slow ferment since those are pretty typical temps. It should still bottom out around 1.000 eventually though. . .
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:42 AM   #5
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My cider batches with ale yeast go from 1.060 ish to around 1.010 in 2 weeks and stop there. I usually let them sit another week or two before bottling.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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A little cool, but not nearly out of S-04 's wheelhouse. And you used nutrient? Well, if its still chugging away you should get a good final result.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #7
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My cider batches with ale yeast go from 1.060 ish to around 1.010 in 2 weeks and stop there. I usually let them sit another week or two before bottling.
Interesting that you are getting them to stop at 1.010. That would leave plenty of residual sweetness without backsweetening. I would be scared to death of bottle bombs. You've been okay, though?
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #8
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A little cool, but not nearly out of S-04 's wheelhouse. And you used nutrient? Well, if its still chugging away you should get a good final result.
I have given it two doses of nutrient - one initially and one after four weeks when it was around 1.020. None for a while. What is a typical nutrient schedule? I gave it a teaspoon or two each time.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:31 AM   #9
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Interesting that you are getting them to stop at 1.010. That would leave plenty of residual sweetness without backsweetening. I would be scared to death of bottle bombs. You've been okay, though?
Yeah, never any bombs, I don't bottle till the hydrometer readings are stable for a couple days in a row at least. I use a normal amount of priming sugar and end with something I'd call semi-sweet. I'm really happy with how it turns out.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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I have given it two doses of nutrient - one initially and one after four weeks when it was around 1.020. None for a while. What is a typical nutrient schedule? I gave it a teaspoon or two each time.
That time frame sounds fine to me. I can't speak to the dose size, I don't know the gallon ammount of the batch.
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