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Old 12-21-2011, 04:40 AM   #1
UNDERGROUNDMINER
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Default Did I completely screw up???

Hello again from the kid in the desert who has not a clue. I took my first ever batch, two weeks into fermentation today, and transfered it to secondary as my airlocks have had no activity for a few days. I have not bought a hydrometer yet. I know, I know... I'm flying blind here and risk ruining it. Heres where I think I may have messed up. I tasted both blends and they were very bland. I realize this was impatient, but I couldn't resist. So I very impulsively threw in some more sugar. Is this a bad thing? Have I spoiled the potential fruits of my labors? Oh yeah, it's pear cider by the way, from fresh picked pears and that's all for juice. Any suggestions? Criticism, creative or otherwise? Thanks a lot for any help!!! And please understand that I am REALLY green here. I am learning a little by the day about this whole science.



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Old 12-21-2011, 04:51 AM   #2
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Yes.



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Old 12-21-2011, 05:00 AM   #3
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hmm... I have not made from fresh ingredients before, but I am curious...

1) did you add any yeast or were you relying on the pear skins yeast?
2) did you witness the primary fermentation activity take-off?
3) did you put whole pieces/chunks of fruit in your primary, or just juice only?
4) if you added sugar in your secondary and the secondary only contains liquid, you should wait at least another 2 weeks before doing anything... if you have pear solids... this is a trickier game and you should have really lost any solids before secondary...
5) you probably don't need a hydrometer if you wait long enough and are sure that you had yeast in there (the whole witness the fermentation thing)

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:00 AM   #4
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Care to elaborate? I need a little more help than that. Also, why do my airlocks keep pumping the liquid into the carboy?

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:02 AM   #5
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You need a hydrometer ASAP. Without it you will never know. If it is finished then you can let it condition for a few months. My experience with apple cider is it takes about 6 months to peak so you need to forget about it till then.

I wouldn't worry about the extra sugar. As long as it wasn't alot you should be fine.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:02 AM   #6
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and one more thing... how much sugar did you impulsively throw in and how big is your batch... i hope you used corn sugar... theres a reason people use this instead of Cane sugar.... Tastes better when fermented...

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:03 AM   #7
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Yes, I used some Lalvin 1118 champagne yeast, Fermax nutrient, and campden tabs. It had crazy activity for about a week. And I just went to check on them since the transfer, which was about 30 minutes ago, and they are going nuts again. But my airlocks keep pumping all the liquid into the carboy. and they aren't over full.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:06 AM   #8
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I used organic cane sugar. And I added about 3 cups to 2.5 gallons. And the other 2.5 gallons had none. When I just transferred, I added maybe about 1/2 a cup to each.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:10 AM   #9
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What do u mean by ur airlocks keep pumping all the liquid into the carboy...if by airlock u mean blow off tube, sometimes if the container is too high then a suction can create and empty ur water container by sucking it into the vesell in which it would be most likely ruin ur batch...plz elaborate

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNDERGROUNDMINER View Post
Care to elaborate? I need a little more help than that. Also, why do my airlocks keep pumping the liquid into the carboy?
Temperature changes are more than likely the cause of your airlock liquid being sucked into your carboy. When the temperature drops (the more sudden the worse) the liquid in the airlock can be sucked into your carboy.

My advice use less liquid in the airlock until fermentation stabilizes and slows some, or use a blow off rig with a relatively long hose that won't allow enough pressure to build in order to suck the blow off liquid into the carboy.

I have had this problem in my ferm chamber when I drop temps to settle the yeast, and in contrast, if the beer is chilled and I warm it, the same can happen.

The pressure changes from the temperature fluctuations. Like I said, more than likely the temperature is the culprit behind your dry airlocks


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