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Old 12-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #1
fitnesskelly
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Default First brew-will it hurt to taste?

Hi everyone!
Using a pretty simple method, I'm making my first hard cider. It's brewing in the gallon jugs that the apple juice came in with bungs and airlocks. I'd like to start tasting it periodically until it's a taste I like (this is what I do with the fermented foods I make). Can I do this without hurting the process? If I take the bung and airlock off, obviously air gets in, and this concerns me.
Thanks for the help!



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Old 12-06-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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I can't seeing this being a problem as long as you do it right. Most of us take periodical SG measurements and that means taking a sample, which many (if not all) of us drink after measuring.

Just remember to watch that the airspace doesn't get to large, and be sure to take samples with sanitized equipment. (usually a turkey baster)

The fermentation will continually replace the CO2 that gets disturbed as long as it isn't disturbed too often.

Another concern since you sounds like you want to stop it midfermentation. Be cafeful that you don't get bottle bombs. Yooper often says that stopping an active fermentation is like stopping a freight train (or something like that).



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Old 12-06-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Oh gosh, now you have scared me! How would I know when the fermentation process is over? I've seen conflicting info regarding if the airlock bubbles indicate the cider is still fermenting.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitnesskelly View Post
Oh gosh, now you have scared me! How would I know when the fermentation process is over? I've seen conflicting info regarding if the airlock bubbles indicate the cider is still fermenting.
Use a hydrometer to tell when it is finished. You'll need it to have stable (unchanging) readings over many days. I think 30 days is what most people go by. Once it stablizes you can use campden and potasium sorbate if you want to backsweeten.

If you want to stop it early, you can do a stovetop pasturization. If stovetop pasturization is done correctly, it will kill off the yeast.

Or you can cold crash it, but this doesn't kill the yeast, it just puts them into hybernation. If you warm it up again, they'll wake up and get back to work. So it has to STAY cold until consumed.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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Fermentation is done when the specific gravity remains the same for at least a few days. It will probably end up at around 1.000 (less if you added sugar or other fermentables). My last batch (just juice) finished at 1.002.

If you want sweet cider you're probably better off letting it ferment dry and backsweetening, then either pasteurize or add potassium sorbate and cold crash after it carbonates. Personally, I like it dry.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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I'm sorry, when I read the title to this thread, my mind went straight to the gutter.

And now I have John Cougar Mellencamp stuck in my head!

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hamsterbite View Post
I'm sorry, when I read the title to this thread, my mind went straight to the gutter.

And now I have John Cougar Mellencamp stuck in my head!
BAHAHAHAHA! I need a cider...


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