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Old 10-02-2010, 04:12 AM   #1
NorthWoodsBrew
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Default Increasing cider temp for better brewing

I just started my first batch of cider. I used fresh pasteurized cider from a local orchard and forewent these of Campden tablets.

I kind of made a starter with yeast, warm water and some sugar--I didn't have the cider at the time I made the starter. When I did get the cider the next day, I added about 26oz, let it sit for a few hours, then added it to the juice.

48 hours later there's no tumultuous bubbling and the only noticeable change is that there's a foam at the top. I can't tell if it's from CO2 bubbles collecting or if it's yeast floating to the top. I expected a more noticeable change by this point in time. Is this normal?

I don't know if this could result from slightly low temperatures. The English Cider Yeast is supposed to be optimal between 68 and 73 F. The temperature in the basement for the past two days has been between 60 and 66 F. I doubt this would significantly slow the initial fermentation process.

Unfortunately, the temperatures here in Minnesota are dropping quickly. I don't think the basement is temp controlled--rental. I figure the basement will be in the forties and fifties throughout the winter. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any way to control the temperature of six gallons of cider, at around 70 degrees, without incurring huge expenses either buying something or adding to the electricity bill by using an inefficient space heater. Right now I have some old army duffle bags covering the bucket at night. Any better thoughts?

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Old 10-02-2010, 04:53 AM   #2
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Which ECY is this? My experience is that warm temps are good for a fast start, but other than that, cooler is better throughout the ferment. 60 to 66 is just about ideal for ale and wheat yeasts but a little lower is OK.

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Old 10-02-2010, 05:16 AM   #3
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Wait a few more hours, sounds like it is fermenting. If you have a lot of headspace in the bucket it'll take some time to build up the pressure to push out of the airlock.

Also, cooler temps have worked better for me.

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Old 10-02-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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ECY? Is that the yeast? I used the Whit Labs English Cider Yeast WLP775. The temperature range was posted on the White Labs website. (it's actually posted as 68-75, not 73.) Has anyone ever used this yeast?

As I said, I've never done this before. I'm actually on my way to a class at Northern Brewer Supply here in the Twin Cities. I'll post back here if I find anything interesting about this particular yeast.

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Old 10-02-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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I havent used the WLP775 yet. Its on my list to try, as it seems people are getting good results with it.

I have noticed that in general the WLP yeasts take longer to start. For me, the dry yeasts start the fastest - usually within 6 hours, although Notty takes a little longer. The Wyeast smack packs usually kick in within 12-24 hours and the WLP is more like 24-48

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Old 10-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
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I've used WLP775 and I love it. It, and Lalvin 71B are pretty much all I use in my Ciders. My temps usually stay around 72-74 during ferment, and I haven't noticed any issues because of it. Activity for me usually starts within 10-12 hours with the 775

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Old 10-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Every piece of literature I've read about cider making says cooler is better. Apparently some cider makers essentially "lager" their ciders, although they are using wine or cider yeasts.

A cooler ferment also means a slower ferment. That is a big advantage if you are trying to stop the cider before it ferments dry.

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Old 10-02-2010, 08:41 PM   #8
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i use this yeast for all my cider and it really doesnt make a lot of noise till you have a big yeast cake.it really doesnt like suphites and lags because of it.

if it dont start in a day or 2 bring it upstairs and let it get warm. it only needs to be warm to get the fermentation going, after that you will be fine. your cool basement temps are just fine for aging.

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