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Old 10-12-2007, 03:18 PM   #1
drevilz4l
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Default First Batch No Fermentation

Hi. My first post.

I am currently making a batch of hard cider, and after about 3 days there has been no fermentation activity. Heres my recipe

5 Gallons of Unpasteurized cider
5 Camden Tablets
2 1/2 Tsp Pectin Enzyme
White Labs English Ale Yeast (WLP002)
OG is 1.050

I added the cider to my primary fermenter and added the Camden tablets and waited 2 days. I then added the pectin enzyme and waited about an hour, the pitched the yeast. It was at about 70 degrees. After 2 days there was no activity and the OG had not changed. I aerated the cider and waited another day. I then pitched another yeast (some generic ale yeast from a cooper stout kit). It has been about 24 hours and there is still no activity. Their is a slight sulphury smell in the fermenter if I remove the airlock, but no bubbles or foam.

I was just wondering how long it usually takes cider to start fermenting, and if theres a way to save this batch. Thanks.

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Old 10-12-2007, 03:25 PM   #2
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It should have definitely started by now.

On the label of the cider container, what is the list of ingredients?

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Old 10-12-2007, 03:30 PM   #3
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If it's unpastuerized, then it might not have a label. It might be clandestine outlaw juice...you know, because the government is looking out for us. ha. Anyway...the commercially-sold versions I see are pasteurized...or else the USDA would be flipping their sh*t. Yeah, you can get it direct from the orchard this time of year and they have labels, but they almost never add anything.

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Old 10-12-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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Yeah its from an orchard, in fact it was pressed probably an hour before I bought it.

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Old 10-12-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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Are you 100% sure they didn't add anything to it? No preservatives, for example? I'm thinking there must be something interfering with the fermentation starting.

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Old 10-12-2007, 04:06 PM   #6
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Pretty sure, the bottling room is right above the pressing room at the orchard. It goes straight from there to the bottles. Only place I know of around my area that doesn't pasteurize their cider.

Do you think theres possible too much sugar for the ale yeast to ferment....maybe I should try a wine yeast and see where that goes?

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Old 10-12-2007, 04:29 PM   #7
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No, I wouldn't think there would be too much sugar. I would make a guess as to the sg being in the 1.050s or so, but it would be best to check with a hydrometer just to be sure.

Just because they didn't pasteurize it doesn't mean they didn't add preservatives to it, incidently. Pasteurized cider doesn't need preservatives but unpasteurized often does. You could check with them just to be sure.

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Old 10-14-2007, 03:01 AM   #8
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Good news, I pitched a wine yeast and the fermentation is taking off. I cannot think of any good reason why it didn't work initially, but its steadily bubbling away. A quick question, assuming this comes out like a new england style, and pretty dry, what can I do to sweeten it, and still keep it carbonated. I've also heard adding raisins adds to the flavor. I'd like to add some stuff to the secondary. Any ideas would be awesome.

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Old 10-14-2007, 05:05 AM   #9
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Splenda works really well it doesn't ferment. I'm a sugar junkie and splenda is ok for me I still prefer the real stuff.

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Old 10-17-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
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Default WLP002 might be the issue

I'm trying to get a beer to take off with WLP002, pitched it 3 days ago and still nothing. That might be the issue. They say it flocculates so well that it basically forms at the bottom of the container, not exposing enough of itself to get a good ferm going. They also say to defeat this you need a lot of stirring and agitation. The white labs site makes reference to what you experienced about adding another yeast and the fermentation taking off.

From http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebr...s_wlp002.html:

I have used White Labs Liquid yeast on two separate occasions. WLP002 for a brown ale and WLP004 for an Irish stout. Using one vial in 5 gallons of wort, the wort showed no signs of fermentation after 2-3 days. Then I added one packet of dry yeast, and within a few hours, fermentation began. I am wondering why the beer doesn't ferment with only the liquid yeast? I purchase it from homebrew store, and it is kept refrigerated until it is used. Also, to my knowledge, neither had expired.

Sometimes they just need some agitation, which is sort of what happened when the dry yeast was added. It gave nucleation sites for gas to escape and signs of fermentation to be evident. That happens a lot when fermentations don't start; you add another yeast, and soon you see fermentation. It isn't actually what was just added but the kick-start into the yeast. Both WLP002 and 004 are flocculent, and they can settle to the bottom after pitching. With flocculent strains it is even more important to stir the fermenter in the beginning. Either leaving a fish-pump type device with an air filter on for 1 hour post-pitching or stirring the fermenter a few times a day will keep the yeast in suspension and drive out CO2.

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