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Old 08-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
sirmichael
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Default Fermentation issue?

I made a cider on 8/11 with 5 gallons of tree top cider,2 pounds of brown sugar, yeast nutrient and Wyeast cider yeast. The OG was 1.066 but when I took my gravity reading last night it was only down to 1.050.

I unfortunately didn't smack my smack pack until about an hour or so before I pitched and I obviously didn't make a starter. Which is probably why I didn't see any activity until 4 days later. When it started it went hard. To the point where I had to switch to a blow off tube which I've never had to do for a cider before.

It's in a glass carboy and there are plenty of bubbles coming up the side so I know it's still working. Temps have had a big range. We had a couple of 90+ days here in Seattle last week and the fermometer got up past 76. It's now down to 66-70. Is there any reason to think this won't finish all the way out like my previous ciders have? If it doesn't I guess I will have a super sweet low ABV cider.

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Old 08-23-2012, 02:14 AM   #2
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It would be ideal to keep the carboy in an environment were there is a constant temperature, but if you can't avoid that then oh well. Any signs of a yeast infection?
It's a bit strange that after 3 weeks there's only a minimal drop in your reading, something is definately wrong here. Send some pics if you can

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Old 08-23-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
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The first photo was 4 days after pitching when I changed from an airlock to the blow off tube.

I just took the second photo. You can see there are still plenty of bubbles coming up.

And it's been 11 days (8-11 to 8-22) not 3 weeks.

image-883423760.jpg   image-112807550.jpg  
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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ah crap, don't know how I got 3 weeks!!! Looks fine to me! If there's activity, then that gravity reading is going to drop sooner or later. If you want to speed up the process, try wrapping something around the carboy, ideally a nice thick, tightly fitted piece of clothing to keep that temp up. What sort of final gravity reading are you after?

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:30 PM   #5
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Looks & sounds ok. If the fermentation didn't start for almost 4 days that means you dropped 0.016 in ~5 days giving you a speed of about 0.0032/day. This is pretty typical.

Lots of foam does not necessarily indicate a super fast fermentation. Amount of pectin remaining in the juice and the minerality of the juice are more likely causes along with other likely factors.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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Ideally I'd like it to ferment dry and I will back sweeten with juice concentrate. But if it got down to 1.01 I would be pleased.

I didn't think about the 4 day delay. You're right that would mean a larger drop over a shorter period. Fermentation is still going and I should probably just relax. It's going to be a good cider either way.

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:08 AM   #7
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So another few days have passed and the cider is now down to 1.036. It's definitely picked up the pace. I'm hoping to bottle on the 7th. Right now it's going around .014 every five days so if it keeps the pace it would almost be dry by that time which will be perfect for my back sweetening plan.

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