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-   -   HOw long for primary ferm? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/how-long-primary-ferm-142800/)

Izzoard 10-21-2009 07:35 PM

HOw long for primary ferm?
Hi all,

A few days ago I started my first ever cider (or any type of fermentation) batches.

I've about 6L of pear and 6L of apple fermenting in two demijohns with airlocks (I added champagn yeast). Things are happening, froth and bubbling in the pear, nothing in the apple yet (started it two days after pear).

I bought some kind of acohol measuring thing, looks like a thermometer and is gradiented up to 100. But after taking a label off noticed it says "not for wine or beer only for alcoholic water mixtures". I figure it's not the right thing.

My question is, how do I know when the first stage fermentation is complete?

For that matter, how do I know when the 2nd stage is complete?

Probably shjould have sorted this before I started but I wantred to get stuck in :)

Also, the alcohol meter: does it work by floating somewhat and the depth gives you the reading? This would imply I need to decant out of the demijohn - not very practical!

Thanks for any answers!


LightningInABottle 10-21-2009 07:59 PM


Originally Posted by Izzoard (Post 1624072)
Hi all,

Also, the alcohol meter: does it work by floating somewhat and the depth gives you the reading? This would imply I need to decant out of the demijohn - not very practical!


Yes it does work by floating. You will need something called a wine thief to take out samples to test. I take my samples out and put them in a graduated cylander to test, then dump it back in. Well I put back in what I don't taste test :p

I'm not sure how much good this will do you because you need to take a reading before you pitch the yeast to compare with later readings. This will tell you the ABV. The meter will be useful in helping you decide when the fermentation is done. Be sure to sanitize everything you use to take measurements (hydrometer, wine thief, graduated cylanders and your demijohn stopper if it touches anything)

Good luck with the cider!

Izzoard 10-22-2009 05:32 AM

Thanks for that! So I need the initial SG to be able to calculate the ABV?

Is my current hydrometer useless for cider?



LightningInABottle 10-22-2009 03:51 PM

After re-reading your post it seems like you have bought something that isn't supposed to be used in beer/wine making. I would purchase a hydrometer that is intended for that purpose.

You used champaign yeast and if you let that ferment all the way out you will end up with a really dry alcohol beverage with little or no apple/pear taste. I don't know if you can cold crash using champaign yeast or not. I am using Safale US-05 yeast for my ciders and EC-1118 for my cyser, but I have 16lbs of honey in my cyser because I want some sweetness left over when the ferment is done.

I'm new to brewing also so hopefully one of the experts can chime in and give you some better answers.

vespa2t 10-22-2009 04:00 PM

that sounds like a laboratory tool. I would imagine it says that its not used for wine or beer because there are other things in the liquid like unfermentable sugars that would throw off the reading. Sounds like its only for water and alcohol where the manufacturer knows for certain the SG for certain proportions of mix.

Izzoard 10-26-2009 10:31 AM

Thanks for the responses.

1. After 10 days my pear cider has stopped bubbling through the air-lock and there's no visible foaming now.

a) Should I now remove the sediment?
b) What should I do now?

2. The apple cider has done nothing after a week. Last night i took some of the juice, heated it with about a mug of sugar, added more yeast and returned to the demijohn. If nothing happens in the coming week I presume this batch is wasted and should be binned.

Is there some approximate measure that I can gauge the end of fermentation? I should have taken a SG reading before fermentation but want to make the best of what I have.

I'll start another batch shortly and will take SG reading prior.

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