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Old 09-04-2007, 11:07 PM   #1
chadtr5
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Default Cider Fermentation Concerns

I have been homebrewing for a couple months now and decided to dive into my first cider batch. It's been four days now and I am not seeing any signs of fermentation...at all. I am doing a five gallon batch, I sanitized everything, I made sure I aerated the cider and the yeast really well, the cider was around 70 degrees when pitched, it really was the perfect start. I EVEN PUT YEAST ENERGIZER IN THERE! The only thing that has me worried is I used White Labs English Cider Yeast and that was set to expire one week after I pitched it. Could this be the problem? Is this typical for a cider fement? I am used to beer recipes where the wort is fermenting out of control within 24 hours.

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:57 AM   #2
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You know, I had that happen with a batch of the White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast just the other day that I pitched into that leaky-lidded primary. There was no visible or olfactory change in the cider. It was until I decided to stir it a little (with a santized spoon) that it basically exploded in my face, fizz-wise. I mean, normally my cider doesn't develop much foam in the primary, but there was ZERO surface activity this time. It was, however, the first time I've used the yeast, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

It may be fermenting, just not visibly. You could try agitating it a little, or getting a SG reading, but you will risk getting nasties in there. I didn't care with mine, because it was such a small batch that I can stand to loose it. I'm sure somebody will give you better advice, but I wouldn't count it (the yeast) out yet.

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Old 09-05-2007, 04:28 AM   #3
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If you're using a carboy try giving it a swirl like Jo7hs2 suggested. One other thing you might try is using a flashlight or some other light source to create a glare on the surface of the liquid and look for tiny little bubbles. They're sometimes hard to see in low light conditions.

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Old 09-05-2007, 04:44 AM   #4
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I'm doing a 5 gal batch using white labs champagne yeast. It took a while before I saw any signs of fermentation (at least 3 days) when it did start it wasn't as visibly active as beer (no krausen) it would slightly foam and then dissipate but once fermentation started the air lock consistently bubbled.
It's been almost 2 weeks now, I'm gunna check it tomorrow I think it's finally done.

Never had a White Labs Yeast that didn't work, many took several days to start.

BTW I am brand new to Cider as well can only share my limited experience.

-Gjork

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Old 09-05-2007, 06:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jo7hs2
...It may be fermenting, just not visibly. You could try agitating it a little, or getting a SG reading, but you will risk getting nasties in there.
If it's fermenting it should be releasing Co2 which you should be able to see every few minutes in the airlock (unless you don't have a good seal).

My recommendation would be to pitch the same sort of yeast again and make sure it's very fresh. Stir it and give it another 2 days.

You don't want your batch to spoil.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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Did your apple juice have preservatives in it?

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Old 09-05-2007, 11:30 AM   #7
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My first thought is that your juice had some sorbate in it. Check the list of ingredients on it and see what's listed. If the ingredients are just juice and vitamins, there won't be a problem.

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Old 09-05-2007, 11:36 AM   #8
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I would look at the juice you used! If it does not start in 4 days you have a problem! If the juice had no preservs. then make another starter and pitch it. Most liquid yeasts do have a delayed reaction but not this long. It should be rumbling along. What does the liquid look like? Is it milky, it should be. I would give it a stir and be careful as it may give off some CO2. If that doesn't work then repitch.

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Old 09-05-2007, 11:58 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the great advise. I peeked inside the fermentation bucket this morning, and while the airlock is not bubbling, there is a foamy head on the surface of the liquid and a sour smell which I read is typical during fementation. This Saturday will be a week and I will take a gravity reading.

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
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Good to hear! Keep us posted!

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