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Old 09-19-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
Giant81
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Default First attempt, no activity

I'm trying to do my first attempt at a hard apple cider. I have a gallon carboy of mead going now and that appears to be running great.

Here are my ingredients and steps. I mixed it up last night, and as of 12hr later I have no activity at all.

The apple juice is pasteurized with the only additive being absorbic acid for vitamin C. The yeast is 71B-1122

1) I put 2x Camden tablets into a bag, crushed with hammer, poured into the pitcher and topped it off with as hot of water as I could get out of the tap.

2) dumped a small cup, stopper, airlock parts, funnel, measuring spoon, and hydrometer + hydrometer case into the pitcher to sanitize.

3) crush two more tablets, fill the carboy half full of hot water, add tablets to the carboy and shake to dissolve, top off completely with hot water.

4) Take the hydrometer container out of the mix, poor off the sanitizer, shake off excess, fill 3/4 full of apple juice, read SG of 1.050

5) dump out the carboy, let air dry a bit on it's side, shake off the funnel, dump the rest of the juice in the carboy

6) take the small cup out, put about 1/2 cup of distilled water in it, nuke in the microwave for 30sec or until luke warm (barely warm to the touch), add half a packet of yeast + 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient, stir until disolved, dump into the carboy.

7) sanitize hands, pull the stopper out, put the stopper on the carboy, plug hole with finger, shake what my mama gave me.

8) pull airlock parts out, shake off, assemble, fill with distilled water, place on stopper, set on table, let sit.

12 hours later I have no activity at all, no bubbles, no airlock activity, nothing. I know I had activity with my mead in much less time, I had bubbles the next morning easily.

The only difference is that I added the yeast straight to the mead, used a full packet instead of a half, and did not check my SG. I also added the YN a week or so later. Are my steps ok? did I kill my yeast by adding the YN with the 1/2 cup while it was activating and not straight to the carboy? Should I just wait a bit longer? Should I throw another packet? I didn't check the Ph, maybe the absorbic acid has the PH too high?

Thanks for the help. I'm kind of a noob when it comes to brewing and thought I'd start easier (meaning less steps) with a hard cider and a mead then try my hand a beer later.

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Old 09-19-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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First, I would say in step 6, it would be better to proof your yeast a bit longer, as opposed to just re-hydrating and tossing in.

That being said, it will work, it just needs more time. Cider is acidic and sometimes that can lengthen the yeast lag time a bit. Also, what temp are you fermenting at currently?

My last 5 gal batch of rhubarb-apple cider took about 48hrs to build any krausen.

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Old 09-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #3
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I'm fermenting, I think from 73 to 68 somewhere in there. I'll have to get a thermometer this weekend.

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Old 09-21-2013, 03:35 AM   #4
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It appears to be going now. I checked it and it has started bubbling. Slowly but surely

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Old 09-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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I too am havin a similar problem with my cider I squezzed 2.5 gallons of crab apple cider left one to ferment all natural the other gallon and a half I crushed campden pills and waited 24 hrs before pitching lalvin ec 1118 yeast on tuesday still no activity any thoughts or help would be much appreciated I have never brewed anything before the wild batch is definitely cooking away after 24 hours of sitting

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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I've never pitched campden tablets before fermenting. I use my campden tablets to mix wiht watter and use as a sanitizer, then poor out and add my pastureized juice.

I pulled the stopper and took a sample last night. SG was about 1.000, which gave the ABV about 6.5 if I'm reading the scale right. Also tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. (Maybe it tastes better because I brewed it myself)

I racked it into a secondary, added a can of apple juice concentrate (brought the SG to about 1.020) and I'm letting it sit through a secondary. My plan is to let it go for a couple weeks but then what? Should I clarify, cold clock the yeast, back sweeten, bottle, and let sit? or maybe add in some more apple concentrate, kill the yeast, bottle and let sit? does clarifying it really matter?

Thanks for your thoughts. The end result I'm looking for is something in the 5-7% range sweeter with some apple taste, carbonated or not isn't a big deal (don't want to make any bottle bombs yet, I'll try that later) and it's clarity isn't a big deal to me, I'm more into the taste then what it looks like.

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Old 09-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant81 View Post
I've never pitched campden tablets before fermenting. I use my campden tablets to mix wiht watter and use as a sanitizer, then poor out and add my pastureized juice.

I pulled the stopper and took a sample last night. SG was about 1.000, which gave the ABV about 6.5 if I'm reading the scale right. Also tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. (Maybe it tastes better because I brewed it myself)

I racked it into a secondary, added a can of apple juice concentrate (brought the SG to about 1.020) and I'm letting it sit through a secondary. My plan is to let it go for a couple weeks but then what? Should I clarify, cold clock the yeast, back sweeten, bottle, and let sit? or maybe add in some more apple concentrate, kill the yeast, bottle and let sit? does clarifying it really matter?

Thanks for your thoughts. The end result I'm looking for is something in the 5-7% range sweeter with some apple taste, carbonated or not isn't a big deal (don't want to make any bottle bombs yet, I'll try that later) and it's clarity isn't a big deal to me, I'm more into the taste then what it looks like.
Why did you add more concentrate at secondary? That will likely ferment out. If you were trying to boost the ABV then fine, but if that was for sweetening you will need to kill the yeast off first.

To backsweeten: you should add campden tabs, let them work for 24-48 hrs, cold crash and rack to a new carboy. In that new carboy, add the sweetener of your choice and wait a day or two to be sure fermentation does not restart. At that point you should be good to bottle, flat though.

Sweetening and bottle conditioning is like playing with fire, unless you use something unfermentable like lactose. And as you mentioned, clarity is an aesthetic thing, but easy to do if you want. I have had good results with sparkolloid or gelatin.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:11 PM   #8
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I was hoping to add in a bit more ABV and apple flavor but now that I think about it, you're right, it would just ferment out. If I didn't want to boost the ABV, would a secondary fermentation be needed? or would I just clarify, rack it off the crud, campden/cold crash, then add apple flavor and bottle?

Thanks.

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Old 09-26-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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clarify, rack it off the crud, campden/cold crash, then add apple flavor and bottle?
Exactly. You might get enough apple flavor and sweetness by just adding concentrate, if that was what you were planning.
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