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Old 09-14-2011, 05:58 AM   #1
bottlebomber
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Default crazy cider fermentation

So I hit these with yeast yesterday: 5 fermenters of fresh pressed cider. OG was 1.055. Pitched montrachet... smells of dog farts fill the room. Barely 24 hours later the gravity is .996. Tastes like lemon juice

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
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How much yeast (grams) per gallon did you use? Since it was fresh-pressed (un-pasteurized, I would assume) did you hit it with any campden first? Lemon Juice is new, though. Still better than rocket fuel. I had a lemonade ferment from 1.060 to .994 in 48 hours, but 24 hours is crazy.

It appears that you may be a pretty experienced brewer, so it may be I am pissing in the wind, but you should really try an ale yeast with your ciders. I can tell you from personal experience that even a low quality ale yeast produces better results than any wine yeast. Cleaner, crisper, clearer and with almost no discernible taste or smell of alcohol. (But it's in there, )

Jonas

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jguy898
How much yeast (grams) per gallon did you use? Since it was fresh-pressed (un-pasteurized, I would assume) did you hit it with any campden first? Lemon Juice is new, though. Still better than rocket fuel. I had a lemonade ferment from 1.060 to .994 in 48 hours, but 24 hours is crazy.

It appears that you may be a pretty experienced brewer, so it may be I am pissing in the wind, but you should really try an ale yeast with your ciders. I can tell you from personal experience that even a low quality ale yeast produces better results than any wine yeast. Cleaner, crisper, clearer and with almost no discernible taste or smell of alcohol. (But it's in there, )

Jonas
You know, I heard about the whole ale yeast thing, but when I rented my rig from the LHBS the guy who's somewhat of a cider whiz said that the ale yeast thing is BS. He said the sugars are so simple and available that any yeast you use will ferment the cider bone dry in a very short time. I chose montrachet because its what the Apfelwein recipe calls for and everyone seems happy with that.
Its very very tart. Not a real alcohol taste though, probably because I didn't add sugar. I added campden, but only the minimal dose, 50ppm. Im planning on aging this stuff for at least 3 months before bottling and then another 3 months in the bottle before I start drinking it, so I think ill be fine off flavours, I hope. It has a farty smell right now, but aside from the really tart flavour (which in my cider book it describes the initial flavour as "harsh") it actually isn't too bad. I put 15 grams of yeast in each 7 gallon batch.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:39 PM   #4
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There's enough sugar in the apples to ferment it but the alcohol content is a question mark. Did you take a gravity reading at the beginning? I'll be curious to know how it turns out, I like Motrachet for cider but it's a champagne yeast so ferments out quite dry. An ale yeast doesn't ferment out as dry, in my experience.

Three months in the fermenter and 3 months is the bottles is a smart move. Cider needs a lot of time to develop flavours and settle. The apple flavour will probably come back somewhat.

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Old 09-14-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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There's enough sugar in the apples to ferment it but the alcohol content is a question mark. Did you take a gravity reading at the beginning? I'll be curious to know how it turns out, I like Motrachet for cider but it's a champagne yeast so ferments out quite dry. An ale yeast doesn't ferment out as dry, in my experience.

Three months in the fermenter and 3 months is the bottles is a smart move. Cider needs a lot of time to develop flavours and settle. The apple flavour will probably come back somewhat.
I did state the starting gravity as 1.055, so that give me an abv of about 7.5% so far... looking at it im going to guess that it is going to have lost another 3 points or so by the time I get home, and I have heard of cider fermenting below .990. Im really in uncharted territory here for me
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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I did state the starting gravity as 1.055, so that give me an abv of about 7.5% so far... looking at it im going to guess that it is going to have lost another 3 points or so by the time I get home, and I have heard of cider fermenting below .990. Im really in uncharted territory here for me
Ah sorry, I missed that. I think 7.5% is good for a cider. When it starts to north of that it needs more time to mellow and starts to taste more like a wine than a cider.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
You know, I heard about the whole ale yeast thing, but when I rented my rig from the LHBS the guy who's somewhat of a cider whiz said that the ale yeast thing is BS. He said the sugars are so simple and available that any yeast you use will ferment the cider bone dry in a very short time. I chose montrachet because its what the Apfelwein recipe calls for and everyone seems happy with that.
Its very very tart. Not a real alcohol taste though, probably because I didn't add sugar. I added campden, but only the minimal dose, 50ppm. Im planning on aging this stuff for at least 3 months before bottling and then another 3 months in the bottle before I start drinking it, so I think ill be fine off flavours, I hope. It has a farty smell right now, but aside from the really tart flavour (which in my cider book it describes the initial flavour as "harsh") it actually isn't too bad. I put 15 grams of yeast in each 7 gallon batch.

The point I was trying to make was not about the attenuation of the yeast, but of the amount of fusels and Sulfur compounds that the different types of yeast will throw. No matter what I try, wine yeast simply continues to throw more fusels than ale yeast and wine yeast seems to almost 'strip' %25 of the flavor from the cider. It is very odd, and I don't like it. Also the amount of esters and such produced varies between yeast strains, and ale yeast Really does provide more body, where wine yeast leaves a paper thin mouthfeel. And the Rhino Farts (or Dog Farts), if you never want to smell those again, use Safale S-04 or S-05 as I have never had those two produce Rhino Farts. And that tart flavour, the only yeasts to ever leave a tart flavour have all been wine yeasts.

I like they guy at my LHBS, as well, but he tries to tell me that Oxygen is good for an aging wine, and that yeast should be rehydrated in 50 degree water, and that whole BANANA'S thrown in the fermenter make better yeast nutrient, and that apples from the midwest all have a fungus that ruins cider, and that he only yeast carb's because co2 from your tank into your keg is will make a beer go flat. ( All true, by the way) Like I said, I like my LHBS guy, too, but I don't trust a word he says when he talks about brewing. Instead, I experimented, tried an ale yeast for the first time a while ago and will not be using wine yeast again in the near future.

Jonas
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