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Old 12-31-2009, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Fermented at 58 for a week... good or bad?

I brewed a raspberry cider (my first cider) on the 19th... it was bubbling away at a rate of about one per second where I usually ferment my beer (about 65 deg F)... nothing fierce, but steady. I never really thought about it when I left for vacation on the 24th and turned the thermostat way down to about 55 deg... I used Notty yeast, so I know it likes cool temps, but was this too far? The air temp was returned to about 65 deg F yesterday evening, and the carboy has worked it's way back up to about 63-64 where it can finish fermenting.

As of today, it's been about 12 days since she was brewed, and now that the temps back up, it's back to about a bubble every ten seconds or so, with clear bubbling along the surface of the cider...

I'll take a gravity reading a little later to see where we've progressed to...

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Old 12-31-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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Not low enough to even make the yeast go dormant, just slow.

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Old 12-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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It's at 1.018 after starting at 1.068... If I was kegging, I'd probably stop it here based on flavor... but the wife wants it in bottles. So I plan to let it ferment out, before adding lactose.

Anything I should do other than just let her be for a few more weeks? Like I said, this is my first cider, so I've not yet learned the subtle differences between fermenting beer.

Unless someone says differently, I'll probably let her work closer to 1.000, before transferring to secondary with some gelatin. Give her another week or so, then bottle with the 1/2 lb of lactose, 4 oz of raspberry flavoring, and 4 oz of priming sugar called for in the recipe. My only fear is the slow fermentation... and it's ability to bottle carb on it's own...

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Old 12-31-2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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The craft cider makers allow their cider to ferment outside, where it freezes, thaws, and starts fermenting again. You have nothing to worry about on your cider.

Thing about cider is you got to let it go slow. Don't rush it like beer. Letting it go to 1.000 is a good idea. I'm curious, why gelatin? Personally, I like two weeks in the secondary before bottling if I was using pasteurized juice.

Priming cider is difficult, as it kind of just wants to ferment again. Actually, my go to website, based on the book Craft Cider Making, on the topic says you can bottle earlier than 1.000. Give it a read over: http://www.cider.org.uk/part4.htm

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Old 01-06-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
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The gelatin in the secondary was intended to improve clarity... not a good idea?

As of today, she's dropped to 1.012. That's another 0.006 in about a week. I'll give it at least another week before considering transfer to secondary, but will probably give it two. That'll be 4 or 5 weeks respectively.

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Old 01-07-2010, 01:29 AM   #6
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Can you see how much lees you have (inches) in how much cider? You could rack it now, which might help with the clarity issue without adding gelatin (I'm feeling a little lazy and not checking on this - but really? Gelatin?). Also, racking off of lees helps prevent the lees from affecting the flavor. Technically, I think you are in the safe range for bottling a sweet cider if you added chemicals to it, but you can let it go dryer and there is nothing wrong with an older cider because they taste better.

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Old 01-07-2010, 01:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleWineProject View Post
Can you see how much lees you have (inches) in how much cider? You could rack it now, which might help with the clarity issue without adding gelatin (I'm feeling a little lazy and not checking on this - but really? Gelatin?). Also, racking off of lees helps prevent the lees from affecting the flavor. Technically, I think you are in the safe range for bottling a sweet cider if you added chemicals to it, but you can let it go dryer and there is nothing wrong with an older cider because they taste better.
I used gelatin in a few beers recently after learning it from this site... absolutely amazing how quick and how well it clarifies a brew. My last cream ale looks like a miller light... luckily it still tasted like a cream ale.

Figured it'd do the same in a cider... but I'm new to ciders, so I'm open to ideas...
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:53 AM   #8
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Okay, I broke out my wine making book, and gelatin is in there. For ciders, most people just add pectic enzyme before fermenting. Apples have pectin in them, which is the ingredient needed to make jam and jelly. The enzyme breaks it down pectin, but when the yeast starts to die, the pectic enzyme helps the other solids fall to the bottom at the same time.

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Old 01-07-2010, 05:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleWineProject View Post
Okay, I broke out my wine making book, and gelatin is in there. For ciders, most people just add pectic enzyme before fermenting. Apples have pectin in them, which is the ingredient needed to make jam and jelly. The enzyme breaks it down pectin, but when the yeast starts to die, the pectic enzyme helps the other solids fall to the bottom at the same time.
There's all sorts of clarifiers you can use to assist the process. Aside from gelatin there are things like isinglass, and Super Kleer. There is also irish moss, but you won't see too many cidermakers use it because it requires you to boil the moss in the brew. I've made a hard cider from boiled cider without any clarifiers or pectic enzyme. It turned out just fine and was clear enough to read through, so really things can turn out different from what you expect.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:35 PM   #10
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Before I left for Christmas for 2 weeks, I split a packet of Nottingham between 2 gallon jugs of pasteurized cider and set the thermostat on 60.

When I came back on the 30th, the gravity of both of these was between 1.015-1.020. Tasted good, so I racked and cold crashed. I have been drinking one of them straight out of the jug, the other I plan to put in bottles and keep in the fridge.

I haven't used pectic enzyme in cider, but I used some in a cyser and it worked really well, even added during the last part of fermentation.

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