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Old 09-09-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
kalistha
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Default First timer - yeast doesn't seem to work

Hi there,

I'm a complete newbie to cider making and on a lark decided to get into it as we had a bumper crop of apples from our usually infertile apple trees this year.

This is roughly what happened:

1. Picked a whole bunch of apples, ordered equipment
2. Equipment arrived, realised i needed a juicer
3. Bought a juicer. By this time, half the apples were bad.
4. Threw bad apples out, juiced the good ones. Filled half of a 5-gallon fermenting jug. Decided needed more apples.
5. Only had time to pick apples on the next weekend (5 days later), so tossed a load of sodium metabisulphite in the fermenter to sterilise the juice.
6. picked more apples, juiced them over a 2-3 days (hard work!) and added them into my fermenter.
7. finished 24 hours ago, and threw in my yeast. (Youngs cider yeast), according to instructions on packet - toss it in, wait 15 minutes, stir.
8. had too much juice for 5 gallons, so used a plastic demijohn as well (filled half of that).
9. popped airlocks on both containers, but 24 hours later there is no bubbling through the airlocks, nothing. getting worried as apparently vinegar could happen if fermentation doesn't start soon?

the other potential problem is that using a kitchen juicer (centrifugal type) i had a whole load of foam sitting on top of my juice which is looking pretty funky (i can't post pictures as i'm new, but if you want to see it, please pm me).

really not sure what to do now - it's been a couple weeks of hard work and money spent that i don't want to go to waste

can anyone help?

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Old 09-09-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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How much sulfite? If it's a real big load, yeast won't be able to survive in it, and you might have to double your batch and/or agitate it a whole lot to expel the SO2. You only really need about a quarter teaspoon per five gallon batch. Me, I just sanitize my gear with a strong sulfite solution and don't rinse. Also, it's possible your yeast hasn't been through it's lag phase. I've had some brews take longer than a day to start.

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Old 09-09-2010, 10:34 PM   #3
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uh oh. i must have put about 8-10 teaspoons in - but that was about 7-8 days before i put in the yeast. will i now have to order more yeast and agitate it a whole lot before adding the yeast?

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Old 09-09-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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@Yan: do you want to see a photo?

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalistha View Post
uh oh. i must have put about 8-10 teaspoons in - but that was about 7-8 days before i put in the yeast. will i now have to order more yeast and agitate it a whole lot before adding the yeast?
How much? 1/4 teaspoon would have been adequate. If you really did put 10 teaspoons in, you'll have a problem getting the yeast to "work".

I'd start splashing/stirring/shaking to see if you can get some of the sulfite to disipate.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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strange thing though - i have another half a demijohn full that i didn't add any sulphite to - and that doesn't seem to be bubbling as well.

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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is the foam an issue by the way? will it interfere in any way?

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #8
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The foam wouldn't have mattered unless you didn't stir/shake/mix the yeast into the juice. Also, a bit too much sulphite, definitely start shaking it, and you also should wait at least 72hours before deciding that there is no fermentation!

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:06 AM   #9
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ok, thanks. i'll start shaking today and wait a couple more days.

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Old 09-11-2010, 10:29 PM   #10
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ok quick update. it's now been 3 days and still no visible bubbling in my main fermenter, however i've noticed the colour of the juice getting lighter - is this a sign of fermentation?

i've stirred and agitated the container, but nothing much else seems to be happening apart from the colour. i've sniffed it - it smells of juice and a yeasty smell, no smell of vinegar thankfully.

how long should i wait before trying to repitch the yeast?

in my other smaller demijohn (the one i didn't sulphite) though there are no bubbles if i look closely there seems to be sediment moving around slightly - there's also some condensation at the top of the demijohn on the plastic where there is an airspace. is this a good sign?

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