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Old 10-03-2012, 04:42 AM   #1
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Default New bubbles on surface...two weeks after racking

While I was checking on my IPA I happened to glance at my ciders and noticed some new bubbles on the surface of one of the gallons. The bubbles are tiny and are in groups of various sizes no larger in diameter than a pencil eraser. What could be causing this?

We're following the method on makinghardcider.com and the cider has been in secondary for about two weeks. Before racking we had two equal gravity readings the days apart. The ONLY thing I've done since racking is add vodka to the airlock because it was looking a little low.

Amy ideas?

I'm hoping it is nothing bad. We did two different gallons and this was by far the better tasting cider when we racked.

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Old 10-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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Was there any change in temp etc? Looks like it's time to another hydrometer reading.

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Old 10-03-2012, 05:29 PM   #3
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No change in temp at all. The temp has been a steady 60 degrees in a swamp cooler since racking. I checked again this morning and it appears the number of bubbles has increased. The stopper is tight, but I did notice a little gnat in the outer section of the airlock, so I sanitized that and refilled it. Since the bug was in the outer section and I use vodka I figure I'm safe there. There are no bubbles on the surface of our other gallon.

If it helps, the gallon in question was made using Whole Foods 365 juice and pitched with about 4 grams of Nottingham. The other gallon was made with Kirkland (Costco) juice, 1/4 can apple juice concentrate and pitched with 4 grams of Nottingham. We forgot to check SG on the Whole Foods (we're still new to this.) The SG on the Kirkland was 1.050.

The gravity on our last two samples for the gallon in question was 1.009. The gravity on the other gallon was 1.006. We were planning to rack at 1.005, but since we had two equal readings a few days apart for both gallons we went ahead and racked. When we racked we actually left a good bit of cider behind because the siphon was indavertently pulled out. There was maybe an inch or inch and a half of cider left on top of the yeast so I'm fairly confident that we didn't pick up any sediment. Is it possible that fermentation was briefly stuck when we racked and now, for some reason, whatever yeast was left in suspension has started to ferment again? If fermentation is indeed ocurring do I need to rack again once it stops, or can we go straight to bottling?

I hate to check gravity again as it is only a gallon, and it is the better tasting of the two, but I guess that is going to be the only way to know what is going on.

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:57 AM   #4
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Update: checked gravity in both gallons this evening. The gallon with visible bubbles is down to 1.004 from 1.009 at racking. The other is down to 1.004 from 1.005 at racking. I even saw some airlock activity in the second. Why is this happening and how do I handle this?

Our plan was to stay in secondary for three weeks and then bottle condition for at least another three weeks.

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:47 AM   #5
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Cider is 100% fermentable. It will reach .995 if given the chance and if the yeast can handle the alcohol content. Read up on back sweetening if you feel it needs to have sweetness to it. I personally like mine dry and usually ferment it all out. I wouldn't suggest conditioning if you want it sweet without pasteurizing. If you have to much sugar left the bottles will go boom.

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Old 10-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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Cider is 100% fermentable. It will reach .995 if given the chance and if the yeast can handle the alcohol content. Read up on back sweetening if you feel it needs to have sweetness to it. I personally like mine dry and usually ferment it all out. I wouldn't suggest conditioning if you want it sweet without pasteurizing. If you have to much sugar left the bottles will go boom.
Actually, cider commonly will go to .990 (totally dry) so it's just not done yet.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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So what is the best course of action here? I'm not really sure what I should do.

We don't plan to backsweeten. These are our first two attempts at making cider so we're really just trying to get a baseline idea to see if we like it and figure out what changes we might want to try.

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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So what is the best course of action here? I'm not really sure what I should do.

We don't plan to backsweeten. These are our first two attempts at making cider so we're really just trying to get a baseline idea to see if we like it and figure out what changes we might want to try.
Wait until it's done. Then wait until it's clear. Then bottle. It's that simple.
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