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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Didn't this go waaay too fast?
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:33 AM   #1
mysigp226
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Default Didn't this go waaay too fast?

First attempt at brewing anything...

- 6g of 100% natural apple cider, pasteurized, lots of suspended stuff
- Yeast Nutrient (1/2 teaspoon per gallon)
- Acid Blend (tartaric, malic and citric)
- Lalvin 71B-1122 Yeast

Day 1 : Pitched it all in a fermenting bucket, left the lid off and covered with a towel (SG 1.049)

Day 2 : SG 1.046

Day 3 : SG 1.040 (put lid on bucket, and attached airlock as it didn't look like the fermenting was risking a blow off)

Day 4 : SG 1.020 (yesterday, I freaked out that it was dropping too quick so I racked off to a glass carboy, leaving some "gunk" behind in bucket. Hoping that would slow it down.)

Day 5 : SG 1.008 (tonight, *shock*)

The cider is _VERY_ cloudy, like nothing has settled. It tastes just fine as far as I can tell. I prefer a carbonated sweet cider. I'm wondering what to do? Should I cold crash it in my garage and then rack it off again?

I have pectic enzyme on order, but I didn't think the SG would drop so quickly so I don't know if it will help to add that when it arrives in a few days. The guy at the homebrew shop said I was at least a few months away from bottling when I started so I don't have any bottling gear either!

Thoughts?

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Old 10-27-2008, 03:36 AM   #2
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Why are you checking your gravity everyday? Leave that cider alone for a month or two and let it do what it needs to do. It should clear up in a month or so.

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Old 10-27-2008, 03:40 AM   #3
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I was trying to keep tasting notes and measurements in an effort to learn what's going on Also, I believe my Cider book says to rackoff at 1.005 or there abouts..so that's why I was taking dailies waiting for that number.

So is the above "normal"? I had assumed the fermentation period didn't have a cyclical nature and that the SG would always go down until it hit a maximum low.

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Old 10-27-2008, 04:07 AM   #4
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Sounds pretty normal to me. I'd leave it be for a while & let it finish, a month will do it good. Regards, GF.

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Old 10-28-2008, 06:43 AM   #5
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71B is a fast fermenter. Mine went from 1.060 to 1.000 in 6 days which is when I cold crashed it. My guess is that if you leave it alone it will get every last bit of sugar. If you age it a year, you may have a decent dry white wine. If you want something that is recognizable as cider, you want to cold crash it soon. That will probably help with the clarity as well

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Old 10-28-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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bit earlie to really look at it. but looks like a nice exponential growth of the yeasties. Probably perfectly normal.

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Old 11-16-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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Update to this thread...

I semi-cold crashed in the garage about 10 days after pitching the yeast and waited for the pectic enzyme to arrive. This seemed to slow down the fermentation process, but obviously did not kill the yeast (see below).

When the pectic enzyme arrived, I brought the 5g carboy in the house again and added it. (I purchased a 5g carboy sling/carrier and it was _WAY_ easier to handle...I highly recommend one)

I let the pectic enzyme work for a couple days and it cleared a little, but not enough for my tastes so I added some Sparkolloid and let it sit another week or two. During that period the fermentation kicked up a little bit, but not much.

When the Sparkolloid finished it's job the cider was nearly crystal clear. Absolutely beautiful. Taste was still sweet, a bit like Strongbow or Woodchuck.

I ended up priming and bottling 2 gallons worth of Growlers and 2 gallons worth of various jugs/plastic bottles. 3 gallons went into the refrigerator and 1 gallon I pasteurized in Growlers using my canning boiler for longer term storage at room temperature. (I haven't tried the pasteurized stuff yet)

I had a glass a few nights ago of the refrigerator cider and enjoyed it immensely. It had a light sparkle to it. It's awesome as is, only 30 days after pitching. Or as awesome as a first timer can expect A couple friends have tried some and said it was good, and they are the kind of friends that would tell me it sucked if it did.

I put the remaining liquid in a 1gallon carboy and it's still slowly bubbling on the counter. I want to let it sit until I run out of the "sweet" stuff and compare against the aged version.

The 1gallon apple cider is on the left

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Old 11-16-2008, 03:30 AM   #8
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congratulations on your happy result.
Cider really should be drunk fresh, like beer not like wine. So I think your timing was right on. If you leave the ferment a little longer at a higher temp you will get a dryer drink - its just a question of style.

BTW you will find that you can add pectinase at the beginning of your ferment rather than in the secondary. Also next time you might find that drinking it right at 5 days is very tasty. Sure its not clear and it has a bit of a yeasty note but a lot of people like this cloudy type of drink as well.

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Old 11-16-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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Agreed, I make my cider with nottingham and nothing else (og 1.050), and after three weeks it's down to about 1.008 or so. Perfect for me, not clear, but has plenty of apple character and just enough sweetness left. I find that the wine yeasts take away alot of the flavor and mouthfeel. My .02.

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Old 11-16-2008, 03:51 PM   #10
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I started my first batch a few weeks ago, I hope to bottle in about another week.

I used the Nottingham yeast, but then I read that Wheat yeasts work well to help keep them more sweet. So my next batch I am going to try that.

Mine is 100% fresh pressed juice no additives, not pasteurized, but they do a UV thing that is supposed to kill bacteria. SG was 1.058

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