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Old 04-01-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
bobsacks
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Default First attempt at cider

Greetings!

I started up a batch of Hard Cider/Apfelwine last week and thought I would post my progress on here. I have a few questions that some of you might know the answer to as well.

When I add more water to my airlock (from it splashing out or evaporating) it takes a while before it starts bubbling again as well as it was. I am not removing the airlock, just pouring more water into the top of it. Is this normal?

Also, I can hear my bucket. It almost sounds like sand being blown around inside of it. Is this normal?

I have included my log of what I have done so far with my notes below.

Thanks!

3/26/2009
Ingredients - 5 Gallons Apple Juice, 2 Packs Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast, 2 pounds dark brown sugar, 2/3 pounds honey, 2 Whole Indian Cloves

Procedure - Dissolved the sugar in 1 lb batches separately and dumped in fermenter. I dumped both yeast packs in 1/2 gallon of 90 degree apple juice for five minutes before pitching. Aerated juice by stirring. Stored in guest bathroom closet with water filled air-lock

OG -1.07

3/29/2009
Steady Fermenting. Airlock is bubbling pretty constantly. Very pleasant apple smell. I can hear movement inside the bucket.

3/31/2009
Airlock stops bubbling when I add more water.

4/1/2009
Airlock still not full strength on bubbling. I know it is working because I can smell it and there is a change in the level of air. Still a very pleasant smell. I still hear the movement from before. It has not let up any.



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Old 04-01-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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I've never been aware of any noise coming from my carboy, other than the bubbling of course. I wouldn't worry about it though.

Perhaps when you're adding water to the airlock it's reducing some of the pressure inside the fermenter, it could take a while for that pressure to build up and resume steady air lock action.

If the pleasant apple smell changes to a foul sulphur-smelling odour don't be alarmed, it's what is commonly referred to as "rhino farts". I'm not exactly sure what causes it to happen, but it does and it'll go away.

Did you take an initial gravity reading? Silly me, I skipped right over it Also, I haven't read anything about Red Star Pasteur being used so I can't wait to hear about the results.

Lastly, welcome to the forums!



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Old 04-01-2009, 08:01 PM   #3
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His OG was 1.070 as indicated.

I concur with most of what Seamus said, and agree to a welcome to HBT and enjoy the addiction.

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Old 04-02-2009, 02:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for getting back to me and for the warm welcome.

When I got home today I decided to get the correct amount of water in my airlock. I pulled it off and poured off the excess and then put it back on the bucket.

It immediately started filling with gas from the fermenting bucket but stopped just short of bubbling. It sat right there until this evening. I put my ear to the bucket to see if it was still making noise and some more gas entered the airlock.

I thought it might have something to do with temperature so I put my floating thermometer by the bucket and went and got a towel out of the drier and wrapped the bucket with it.

The temp is 65 in the closet I am using. After being wrapped for a minute or so I got one good bubble out of the airlock.

Does everything look good or do I need to increase the temperature?

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Old 04-02-2009, 02:58 AM   #5
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65 is a great temp for fermenting in, no need for the blanket. Please tell me you sanitized the thermometer first before throwing it in right?

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Old 04-02-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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I am a bit paranoid about sanitizing stuff. I didn't actually throw the thermometer in the bucket, I just laid it on top so I could get an air temperature reading.

I tried moving the bucket around a bit last night to warmer areas and it didn't make much of a difference. I finally gave in and pulled the air lock and looked in the bucket. It is very clear, no foam or chunks floating in it, and there is a constant trickle of very small bubbles coming up from the depths.

I guess I don't need to worry as much as I am but I just want to make sure I am not doing anything wrong that will ruin my batch.

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Old 04-02-2009, 01:05 PM   #7
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After a week of fermenting, there isn't going to be a ton of activity. Ciders get the bulk of the fermenting done in the first few days, but then trickle on for a long time after that. You're right though, no need to worry, sit back and enjoy a brew.

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Old 04-02-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Also, just remember, the process of making Apfelwine is more like making wine than beer. You could never compare the fermentation between say Apfelwine and a Hefe. Totally different fermentations. For the first 2-3 weeks, I would swirl my apfelwine in the primary each day. This ensures that the yeast stay suspended and somewhat active. Airlock activity will be quite low on this batch, so no need to worry.

I would also highly recommend making Apfelwine in a glass carboy or better bottle. This really helps you see when the apfelwine is close to completion. Almost a month later, and I still see those small CO2 bubbles coming up the sides of the carboy. Plus, it's fun being able to actually "watch" a live fermentation!

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Old 04-03-2009, 01:35 AM   #9
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I just took a gravity reading on this batch and it came out as 1.000

Is that too fast for it to have fermented? I can still see little bubbles popping up when I peak in the air-lock hole.

I tasted a bit after I siphoned it out and it wasn't bad, just not great. Almost had a very mild vinegary taste to it. I wouldn't say that it was sweet at all. It definitely smelled like apples though.

I am going to move this over to a glass carboy or better bottle for aging/secondary fermentation. Would this weekend be too soon to do this given the gravity reading?

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Old 04-27-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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I just bottled my batch of cider. I started it a month ago and bottled it this weekend. I tried a bottle of it after letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours and I think it needs to set for a good long while before it is good. It had a slight vinegary taste to it. I am not expecting any sweetness out of this as I did not backsweeten but I really hope it mellows out in a few months.



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