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Old 10-05-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
ohiochris
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Default Just getting into cider making...( a few questions)

I finished one batch of hard cider and made a little over 4 gallons using 3 packets of regular baking yeast and some brown sugar added. The fermentation really got bubbling great the first night and looked like an air compressor for 5 days then it slowed considerably and I bottled it. It tastes really yeasty and slightly sour but overall not all that bad. I am unaware of the alcohol content but I can feel it after drinking just one bottle. 2 days ago I started a second batch but am using Lavlin EC-118 champagne yeast instead , trying for a higher alcohol content but it seems to not be very active , it bubbles now and then but in comparison to the baking yeast it really isnt doing much and I am wondering if that is normal ? Also, I have been reading about certain kinds of "turbo yeast" that claim up to 20% alcohol in 5 days with a high alcohol tolerance , has anybody ever tried these and how do they work in cider ? The baking yeast worked pretty fast but from what I read, it is not very alcohol tolerant and will die off before the content gets very high....still, a few things I read on the web said it can make high alcohol content so I am confused. Any good suggestions for quick , high alc. content yeast ? thanks

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:25 AM   #2
rjschroed
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certainly you can get more alcohol using a "turbo" yeast if the sugar is available. Once fermentable sugars are gone, your all out of alcohol potential. You could add more sugars but be careful I imagine at some point your going to be dealing with stuck fermentations, etc. you really need a hydrometer to A) be able to tell how much potential alcohol your starting with and B) be able to tell when your fermentation is done. I would also personally question the taste profile of these "turbo" yeasts. reminds me of sam adams utopius (sp?) and if I'm thinking of if right the way that is made is kind of two fold, first Sam Adams developed that yeast to withstand high ABV and second, I believe they fermented in stages, repitching yeast and using nutrients frequently. I always wanted to see how high ABV I could go but the reality of it always has been that it would be really freaking expensive. more expensive than drinking equivalent amounts of lower ABV homebrew.

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:56 AM   #3
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I'm trying some EC-1118 with some Welch's--wanted a dryer version of the classic "beginner's brew." I'm getting similar results--slow & steady but with much less gas than some of my other batches. Bread yeast is cultured specifically to create CO2 in dough, so it stands to reason that your airlock would be very active when using it to ferment. I think you could probably used a stepped feeding to get more alcohol out of a bread yeast, but if I remember it usually dies off at about 7-8% ABV. What I like is that it's easy to get a sweet finish without backsweetening--just start with plenty of sugar and the yeast will quit before it's all consumed. With higher alcohol yeasts if you try that you end up needing so much starting sugar the yeast are overwhelmed and can't get started.

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