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Old 03-02-2013, 05:41 AM   #1
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Default Hard cider apple juice problem

Well it's not exactly hard cider if I'm using store bought apple juice but its really bothering me the fact that I don't know if I'm doing something wrong. About a month ago I bought kedem brand apple juice from stop n shop because it was the cheapest apple juice and I looked at the ingredients and it said it did not include potassium sorbate. Well I just dumped that batch because I almost threw up when I smelled it because it never fermented and it smelled horrible. Yesterday I started apple & eve apple juice from Walmart and it still looks like the same thing is happening. I'm doing a 1 gallon batch, crushed a campden tablet waited 24 hours before putting Lalvin ec118 and a little wyeast nutrients and again it looks like nothing is going on. Is it the apple juice that secretly has potassium sorbate in it that it just doesn't say in the ingredients? Did anyone ever use these brands I searched multiple times and couldn't find anyone that used the brand I'm using. I'm about to just give up and wait until I can get my hands on natural apple cider but its a little difficult considering I'm from Brooklyn and there are no farms around here. Any suggestions?

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Old 03-02-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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It can take more than 24 hours for the ferment to establish. Does the label list a benzoate product? If so, there is the problem. I have used many products which contain sorbate and ferment is achieved, though best to avoid if you can.
Just make sure your must is around 70F, give it a stir 1-2x a day and you should see ferment soon.

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Old 03-02-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Your not going to see much "going on", perhaps a small ring of bubbles around the outer surface of the apple juice. As mentioned previously more often than not take 2-3 days before you may "see" any activity. As for the smell you have mentioned, if it is a strong sulfur smell this is normal, although in my experience when making 5 gallons batches I don't notice it until at least the 5-7 day mark, it is commonly referred to here on HBT as "rhino farts". I have made somewhere around 50 gallons of cider/apfelwein using EdWort's recipe/method with great success.

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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It sounds to me like you might be buying incorrect juice. Buy juice that lists nothing but juice and Ascorbic Acid as the ingredients. Crush one campden tablet per gallon into the juice, and make sure you wait 24 hours until you pitch. Gently mix the yeast in when you pitch, and within 24-36 you should start to see some real activity, at least I did when I made mine.

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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I have successfully made 3 or 4 5 gallon batches using Kadeem apple juice from stop and shop because during Jewish holidays it is 3 half gallon bottles for $5. I do not use campden tablets and pitch rehydrated Nottingham.

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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Just a noob here, but I have four batches with various brands of store bought juice going. One of them took a full 24 hours to get going, so hang in there. You may want to check and make sure you have a good seal on your stopper. I had one batch that wasn't bubbling through the airlock, turns out the stopper wasn't tight enough. I've been shaking the heck out of my fermenter when I add sugar, it helps dissolve the sugar, and oxygenates the juice. Keep in mind if your juice is pasteurized, the campden tablets aren't needed. Hope this helps, don't get discouraged, sanitize well and keep trying!

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truck1985
It sounds to me like you might be buying incorrect juice. Buy juice that lists nothing but juice and Ascorbic Acid as the ingredients. Crush one campden tablet per gallon into the juice, and make sure you wait 24 hours until you pitch. Gently mix the yeast in when you pitch, and within 24-36 you should start to see some real activity, at least I did when I made mine.
I made my first batch of cider yesterday and I did not camden tablets, are they needed? I called Northern Brewers and they just told me to double my yeast nutrient. For apple juice I used the Cosco brand that just has on the label "from freest pressed apples". For yeast I used the RED Star brand and I have my fridge set on 65 degrees. Should I have used actual cider, will the cider make because I did not use the camden tablets, and do I need to ferment at a higher temp? The apple juice turned from a crystal clear to a hazy gold color with a ring of bubbles around the edge and a few in and around the middle also SG was 1.050. What am I loping for in FG and time until completion?
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTexan View Post
I made my first batch of cider yesterday and I did not camden tablets, are they needed? I called Northern Brewers and they just told me to double my yeast nutrient. For apple juice I used the Cosco brand that just has on the label "from freest pressed apples". For yeast I used the RED Star brand and I have my fridge set on 65 degrees. Should I have used actual cider, will the cider make because I did not use the camden tablets, and do I need to ferment at a higher temp? The apple juice turned from a crystal clear to a hazy gold color with a ring of bubbles around the edge and a few in and around the middle also SG was 1.050. What am I loping for in FG and time until completion?
I used a Champagne Yeast when I made mine. I was told both by my supplier and by a recipe book I have that campden is needed, since you can't really boil your must, other wise you open up the pectins and it will turn to jelly. I fermented at room temperature (about 70-75 degrees F). Juice works just fine. I prefer a dry cider, so I would ferment to dryness, or until the fermentation stops on its own, about 0.99 Specific Gravity. Though, you might have a problem carbonating if you expect to naturally carbonate in the bottles.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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Maybe you need to go to the heath food store, buy some expensive "no preservative" juice" and see if you get the same results? That way at least you will know if it's you or the juice you are buying or something is horribly wrong with your process. Wait till you have one you know has no preservatives rather than buying cheap and hoping they are truthful.

I have been using Musselman's apple juice with success:

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Old 03-02-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truck1985

I used a Champagne Yeast when I made mine. I was told both by my supplier and by a recipe book I have that campden is needed, since you can't really boil your must, other wise you open up the pectins and it will turn to jelly. I fermented at room temperature (about 70-75 degrees F). Juice works just fine. I prefer a dry cider, so I would ferment to dryness, or until the fermentation stops on its own, about 0.99 Specific Gravity. Though, you might have a problem carbonating if you expect to naturally carbonate in the bottles.
Would it be to late to put the Camden tablets in it now? I nixed it up yesterday about lunch time.
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