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Old 10-19-2011, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default Need your help - cider experiment isn't working

So I made a batch of edwort's apfelwein, and that all turned out awesome and everything. So I figured I'd just do the same, but with local apple cider instead.

What I did:
-5 or so gallons of apple cider. It's pasteurized and unfiltered.
-a bunch of brown sugar dissolved in a bit of water
-a packet of montrachet yeast

What has happened:
-it's been sitting there for 3 weeks, almost a month.
-bubbles come up to the surface, looks like normal fermentation
-took a sample today. SG is still way high at 1.054, and it still tastes super-sweet. There is also a fair bit of carbonation.

My question: is this fermenting, or is something else happening that's causing the cider to get CO2'd up? Is there something I can do to kick-start this shizznit? Maybe use a different kind of yeast? I've got some washed nottingham ale and british ale II kicking around so I could whip up a starter.

Or just sit and do nothing? Wait another month? Just finish drinking the batch of apfelwine that's kicking around in the cellar?

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Old 10-20-2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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Without knowing the OG, it's impossible to say. 'a bunch of brown sugar' could easily be more than the yeast can handle.

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Old 10-20-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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so i had a concern when starting my cider...high gravity brewing sometimes overwhelms the yeast, as daivd_42 said.

@ 1.054 that equates to about 1lb, 2oz of sugar per gallon right now. what was the OG of the cider before adding sugar and what was the SG right before you pitched? It could be possible that they yeast are stuck. You might have benefitted from feeding the primary with extra sugar once fermentation already started (if that is in fact that happened here)

That said, you say it tastes carbonated? so the yeast did do something. I'm a newbie, but I'd pitch more of the same yeast in a starter and add it so there isn't any competition.

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Old 10-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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How long does it usually take for cider to ferment though? Applewine took no time at all - this seems to be taking forever.

I'm just going to leave it for a few months and see what happens. There is something happening there, I just don't know what.

We were hoping to have this ready so we could warm it up on my buddy's wood stove beside his pond that we play hockey on in the winter. Maybe it'll be ready for 2013...

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Old 10-21-2011, 08:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulster2626 View Post
How long does it usually take for cider to ferment though? Applewine took no time at all - this seems to be taking forever.
well that's the crux of the matter isn't it. there are some people that say they leave their primary fermenter alone for months and others that say they rack to a secondary within 10-14 days of pitching. There is no real consensus because it depends on the starting gravity, the additives, the strain of yeast, the temperature, etc.

What I can tell you is that my brew that is currently going was in primary for 16 days. That was with KIV-1116 pitched into a 5gal combination of juice and 12.5lb of sugar and maintained in the dark @ 75F. Gravity at racking to secondary was 1.004.
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