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-   -   Cider won't start fermenting (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cider-wont-start-fermenting-117733/)

Skarredmind 05-05-2009 06:30 PM

Cider won't start fermenting
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

I set this one down the evening of Apr 24.

Ingredients 5 gallons fresh pressed no preservatives apple cider (I did not campden tablet the mix however, and they insist there is no potassium sorbate in it)
2 Packs expired (it expired in Jan 09) Lalvin d47 (I placed it in 1.5 cups warm water to rehydrate it before pitching) and it seemed ok then
1/4 tsp pectic enzyme

I placed this in my plastic bucket primary (everything sanitized of course) and let it go. Nothing happened (though there is a massive amount of sediment at the bottom of the fermenter). It is worth pointing out that the day after this started we were hit by a heat wave and the house got into the mid/high 80's for a few days before we got back to more seasonal cool temperatures.

Since it hadn't started bubbling by May 1, I picked up a fresh packet of Lalvin D47, and pitched that dry on May 2.

Still nothing, I opened it up and there is a yeasty smell to it, and there seems to be some bubbles on the top (they aren't popping, I don't want to call it slime, but there is something I feel I could skim off the top)

Any ideas? I am stumped!

I made a 1 gallon batch of this using store bought no preservatives apple juice and had wonderful results (because it was already clear I didn't add the pectic enzyme).


PS the Mead I made the same evening is going wonderfully, so at least that did work for me :-D

Poobah58 05-05-2009 06:54 PM

How warm was the water you added the yeast to? Also, what was the OG and what is the current SG? You may have a simple air leak...

Skarredmind 05-05-2009 07:35 PM

The water was warm to the touch, not hot, so I estimate in the 80-90 degree range, though I did not keep exact measurements on that part.

OG was 1.054 I will have the current SG as soon as my equipment is sanitized.

Assuming this is a leak, the solution would be to rack it to an airtight carboy correct? Or should I let it sit in the primary longer? Will it hurt the cider if I rack it "too soon". Also is there any reason to not leave the sediment behind?

Much appreciated. Back soon with SG

Beernip 05-05-2009 08:44 PM


Originally Posted by Skarredmind (Post 1304431)
though there is a massive amount of sediment at the bottom of the fermenter

Sounds like you may just have an air leak. The SG will tell you.

Skarredmind 05-05-2009 08:49 PM

Yup, SG is reading close to 1.000 right now, looks like a leak... time to buy a new primary.

My other questions stand tho. Rack it? leave the sediment? etc


Beernip 05-07-2009 05:23 AM

I usually wait 4-6 weeks before I rack it to a secondary.

Poobah58 05-07-2009 12:29 PM

Air leak in early primary is OK. I don't airlock until secondary. Sometimes I primary in a bucket with a towel draped on top. Go ahead and rack after 2-4 weeks to a carboy (glass or PET) then make sure you have an air tight seal. Then age for 3-12 months...

Skarredmind 05-09-2009 04:33 AM

Thanks very much!!

david_42 05-09-2009 02:41 PM

With straight juice, that much yeast and 80F, a two-day ferment is nominal.

Kauai_Kahuna 05-11-2009 09:52 PM

And the hydrometer calms another soul....
What a tool, without it I could not sleep at night.
Best of luck, sounds like it will be interesting with two yeast types, please post how it ends up.

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