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Old 01-19-2014, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Just started my first cider! Some questions

In a one gallon jug, starting gravity is 1.064. 2 parts Hansens organic apple juice, 1 part martinelli's apple juice plus 1 cup brown sugar. Liquid English cider yeast WLP775.
I started it last night at about 11pm and it already had a foamy looking rim around it. I didn't read the yeast container until I took it out of the fridge, it says to take it out of the fridge 3-6 hours before using it. But I already had the juice and sugar in the jug and didn't want to wait. Assumed I just needed to bring it to room temp so my husband warmed it up for me under his shirt. Got it a little warmer than room temp. Ooops. Had a yeast gyser when I opened the container. I was supposed to use a third of the jar, but since so much was lost I just added the rest but I think it was still around a third of the container.

My questions...
Why leave the yeast out for 3-6 hours before using it? Is it not to bring it to room temp? Why did it explode?
Do I need to keep the cyder fermenting in the dark? What happens if I don't keep it in the dark?


Thank you!

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Old 01-19-2014, 05:53 PM   #2
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Bringing the vial up to room temperature isn't an absolute necessity. It exploded because of the sudden change in the internal pressure of the vial and the fact that there is some respiration by the yeast that is CO2. FOr future reference, after taking the vial out of the fridge, slowly crack it open to let the pressure equalize, close it tightly and drop it into your pants pocket. This will warm it up and, while you are working, help to mix the yeast into suspension. When it is near the correct pitching temperature, release pressure again, give it a violent shake and place it on the table to stabilize.

As for the quantity to use, I don't do 1 gallon batches of anything. I, also, used a dry Cote de Blanc yeast for the 4 gallons I'm fermenting as of Friday (plan to back sweeten with another gallon of juice with brown sugar and cinnamon after reaching terminal gravity on the 4 gallons. You may have pitched more yeast then needed, but I would presume that will make the cider finish a bit faster then anticipated and perhaps a lot drier than planned.

If you can't keep it in the dark, you can wrap a towel or an old t-shirt around it to cut the light, but I would suspect like beer and wine, you don't want it light struck if at all possible.

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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Thank you!
I can keep it in the dark, I just like looking at it. I'll wrap it in a towel. Then I can still peek.

I want to do larger batches (5 gallon), but since this is my very first, and I am not sure what the heck I am doing, I didn't want to end up wasting 5 gallons of juice on something that may be nasty.

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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1. To keep from shocking the yeast due to the temperature change. 2. probably expanded the liquid by the heating more than the container was meant to hold. 3. ideally yes. 4. The light will cause a flat taste to the cider. It can be covered with a black shirt if need be.

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