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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Day 3 and No Significant Airlock Activity or Bubbling/Fizzing
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Day 3 and No Significant Airlock Activity or Bubbling/Fizzing

I tried my hand at hard cider for the first time this week. On Sunday, I poured 5 gallons (probably closer to 4.6 gallons) of unpasturized cider with no preservatives into a 5 gallon sanitized carboy (StarSan) and then added 5 campden tablets to it. I put a rubber stopper over the top to cover it until Tuesday night. On Tuesday night I added a vial of WLP002 English ale yeast, but shortly after realized I forgot to add the yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme.

So, I boiled a cup of water on the stove and added one tablespoon of yeast nutrient. Then I cooled the solution down to room temperature in the fridge and added 2 teaspoons of pectic enzyme. I went back to the carboy, and dumped the solution through a sanitized funnel into the carboy and restoppered it with another rubber stopper with an airlock. It has now been 36 hours.

When I came home last night, I noted that the airlock floater was raised, but there seemed to be no krausen and very few bubbles at all in the carboy. This morning was the same. I thought that maybe I had put too much StarSan in the airlock so I dumped a bit out, but the airlock floater didn't even go back up when I put it back on. Do I have a stuck fermentation? Did I screw up the batch by adding the yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme within a few hours of pitching the yeast? Is there anything I can do to make this thing move along? Or is it doing what it's supposed to do?

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Old 10-23-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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I just finished a cider for my girlfriend. There was literally 0 krausening and the whole time looked the way my beers do after 2 weeks in primary. My airlock did have some significant activity though towards the end of the first week, but I was using a german champagne yeast so maybe that's the difference?

How long between dropping yeast in and adding the nutrient? Maybe you just need to give it a shake to wake those sleepy guys up?

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Old 10-23-2014, 04:20 PM   #3
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Maybe a 3 hour lag between pitching the yeast and adding the nutrient. I guess I'll wait a few more days and take a gravity reading to see if it's going down.

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Old 10-28-2014, 04:08 PM   #4
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I noticed some small bubbles appearing on top of the cider on day 4. On day 5, there was a bit more and some minor airlock activity. For the last two days however, it's been chugging along with a ton of fizzing and airlock activity, going on three days strong. However, it seems to be starting to settle down a bit now. There is less krausen in the center, but I can still see some churning in the must, and the airlock still has some activity. I'll take a gravity reading later this week, but I'd say that it has likely fermented successfully.

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Old 10-28-2014, 06:54 PM   #5
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I guess my question is when you added the K-meta - presumably to kill wild yeasts with the free SO2 that the Campden Tabs produce , if you add a bung how does the SO2 evaporate off the cider? And if it does not evaporate why will it not then help kill much of the yeast that you pitch?

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Old 10-28-2014, 09:10 PM   #6
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SO2 doesn't evaporate, it becomes chemically bound. In the simplest terms you have Free SO2 and Total SO2. Free SO2 does all the work and the Total is all the SO2 that's tied up, once SO2goes to the total side there's no getting it back, you'll have to add more to get more "working" SO2.
It's better to think of SO2 as an antioxidant and preservative rather than yeast killer. It makes life harder for yeast but isn't very effective at killing them. Also SO2 effectiveness varies greatly depending on PH levels lower PH (say 3.0-3.25) makes SO2 far more effective (this gets into molecular SO2 which isn't a necessary discussion at the home DIY level).

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Old 10-29-2014, 09:19 AM   #7
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Did you crush the campden tabs & dissolve them in water before adding to the must? Did you aerate the must (wort) before yeast pitch? Did you make a starter for the yeast or did you just pour it in? What is the must temp? I'd say give it a gentle stir, then wait & see. Make sure the temp is within acceptable parameters for the yeast strain. Best way to tell if fermentation is going is to take a SG reading.
Regards, GF.

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