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Old 10-30-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
bamba
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Default apple juice is fermenting, but the cider is not. why?

Hey folks, it's my first time brewing hard cider, and after reading EdWort's Apfelwein recipe, and perusing other recipes, I made the following two batches, both in 6 gal carboys.

Batch 1: Apple Juice
1.) 5 gallons Mott's apple juice (100% juice from concentrate, with ascorbic acid, pasteurized, but no preservatives)
2.) 2 lbs. dextrose
3.) Nottingham dry ale yeast

Batch 2: Apple Cider

1.) 5 gallons Martinelli's apple cider (100% juice, no additives/preservatives/anything. pasteurized.)
2.) 1.5 lbs light brown sugar
3.) White Labs Hefeweizen liquid yeast (WLP-300)

After 2 days (made batches on Sunday 10/28), the apple juice + dextrose batch is fermenting away. But thus far, there has been zero activity with the cider + brown sugar batch. I purchased the WLP-300 yeast fresh from the local homebrew store, so I assume the yeast should have been fairly healthy (unlike shipped WLP liquids I've ordered from AHS).

Any ideas? They're both in my basement at 66-68F, so I assume the issue must be either bad yeast or difficulty in fermenting brown sugar vs. dextrose. I made absolutely sure to dissolve the sugars in their respective batches, following EdWort's method of dissolving a little sugar in each juice/cider container before adding to the carboy. I know some of you have done brown sugar before, so I assumed that wouldn't be a problem.

I'm really at a loss Any advice would be appreciated!

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Old 10-30-2007, 11:24 PM   #2
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Did you make a starter (with apple juice base)?

No, expect a massive lag time. Double true for same in a cider with no yeast food/energizer type stuff. There are a lot less cells in a tube of yeast than there are in an 11g Nottingham packet.

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Old 10-31-2007, 12:50 AM   #3
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thanks for your reply. dang. is it too late to add a starter? can I do anything, or am I stuck waiting it out? if i leave it alone, how long should it take to get started?

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Old 10-31-2007, 01:01 AM   #4
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My WLP300 batch (unfiltered, pasteurized cider, no added sugar) started up within 12 hours or less; I didn't make a starter, but then mine was only a 1 gallon batch.

It may still start up. What are the chances that the brown sugar had additives/preservatives in it? I've never brewed with the stuff, or checked the ingredients...

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Old 10-31-2007, 01:07 AM   #5
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Brown sugar is fine, don't worry about that. I would bet that your yeast is a little sluggish, that's all. If you have a pinch of yeast nutrient, throw it in. Otherwise, try not to worry. As you know, liquid yeasts are notoriously slow to start sometimes (that why we always recommend a starter, no matter where you got it). I'd say, just wait it out.

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Old 10-31-2007, 01:19 AM   #6
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the brown sugar ingredients are: sugar, molasses

hmph. I think I'll grab some yeast nutrient from the brew shop tomorrow. I'm pretty impatient, as I'd like to have this ready by Thanksgiving (hence, ale yeast instead of wine yeast).

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Old 10-31-2007, 02:13 AM   #7
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i can attest to the fact that it is probably fermenting. I have not seen more than 2 bubbles in my cider in the past 2 weeks, and it went from 1.047 to 1.000. There was no scum on top, but a bunch on the bottom. The airlocks are misleading...

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Old 10-31-2007, 05:17 PM   #8
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how can fermentation occur without CO2 evolution from the carboy? you must have an air leak in your rubber stopper or something.

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Old 10-31-2007, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamba
the brown sugar ingredients are: sugar, molasses

hmph. I think I'll grab some yeast nutrient from the brew shop tomorrow. I'm pretty impatient, as I'd like to have this ready by Thanksgiving (hence, ale yeast instead of wine yeast).
Never happen.. at least nothing that most people are going to consider drinkable. It won't even be done fermentation, let alone clearing, conditioning and carbing. You might have something palatable by Christmas. However a good cider wants for 6 months or more.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamba
how can fermentation occur without CO2 evolution from the carboy? you must have an air leak in your rubber stopper or something.

There always seemed to be pressure in the airlock, but barely any bubbles. it is possible that there was a leak, but it did in fact ferment.
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