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Old 03-31-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
Slyr31
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Default New to juice cider

Hi I am currently in the process of making a %100 aldi juice cider I used 20L of berry juice no added sugar or preservatives ! I boiled 2 litres of it and added 500g lactose 500g ( white sugar ) been told it was better to use and also half of a brew starter 1 kit as well as my champagne yeast how do you think this is going to turn out ? After half hour I did the og reading it was ( 0.82 ) after 6 days there is no bubbling going on ? Why is this ? And I tested with my hydrometer and its reading ( 7.2 ) what has gone on with this cider !!!!!!!

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Old 03-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Slyr31 View Post
Hi I am currently in the process of making a %100 aldi juice cider I used 20L of berry juice no added sugar or preservatives ! I boiled 2 litres of it and added 500g lactose 500g ( white sugar ) been told it was better to use and also half of a brew starter 1 kit as well as my champagne yeast how do you think this is going to turn out ? After half hour I did the og reading it was ( 0.82 ) after 6 days there is no bubbling going on ? Why is this ? And I tested with my hydrometer and its reading ( 7.2 ) what has gone on with this cider !!!!!!!
Ok, well, a couple of questions. What is a 'brew starter 1 kit'? Also, what scale are you using for reading your sugars? Specific Gravity? Brix? I don't understand your numbers. :-)
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
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Well, lactose won't ferment. It's used to back-sweeten, usually in beers, for this reason. And heat breaks down sugars so in boiling your juice you probably sapped a lot of the sugar content. Right now your yeast is just wandering around its new home trying to figure out why there's no sofa in the TV room and nothing but mustard in the fridge.

Take a sample; if you don't detect any spoilage then dissolve about 2 cups of brown sugar in a little of the juice, let it cool to room temperature, then add it back in and agitate a bit. Some nutrient wouldn't hurt either. Note that your juice may also contain preservatives. Acids added for vitamins and freshness are okay but mineral-based preservatives can kill your yeast pretty dead.

Generally, juice for cider is not boiled- if you must heat it, for instance to create a wort for graff or to infuse it with juices from fruit pulp, only use a small portion of your total juice.

Good luck!

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Old 04-02-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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You are on your way to making apple wine, not cider. Hold off on adding even more sugar, you are close to 11% as-is, unless you want more alcohol.

Do not worry about bubbles, or absence of, use your hydrometer to determine what the SG is. Since your Original Gravity was 1.082 (not 0.082), if this ferments dry (1.000 or less) and it should ferment dry (if we can ascertain it it fermenting) with your yeast choice you will actually have approximately a 10.5% ACV wine, not cider. This is a very good ACV for apple wine!! With a bit of patience and a few rackings you will have apple wine ready for consumption in 4-6 months, even with the lactose on board. Can you consume sooner? Sure, drink it if you like it. FYI-Cider is typically 6% ACV or less, at least in US.

But we really need a valid hydrometer reading, specific gravity is most common.
This gives good overview of how to use your hydrometer, http://www.wineworks.co.uk/content/hydrometer-usage-guide/

FWIW--I have never had heat eat the sugar, if that were the case cooking/baking with sugar would be a disaster. But heating your juice can change the taste, decrease volume by evaporation, and set the pectins in any fruit/juice....but heat does not decrease the amount of sugar. One thing heat can do is destabilize preservatives, many choose to heat juices which have benzoate or sorbate on board.

If you are fermenting, I would recommend getting some pectic enzyme on board, if you did not use any at the beginning, and especially since you heated the juice....otherwise this may not clear. I would recommend 1 tsp/gallon...but let's determine where this ferment is at with that S.G. reading. Hold off on adding nutrient until you check SG, there is a point at which many do not add nutrient as it can cause more harm than good if added too far into the ferment.

Describe your setup--using a primary bucket or carboy, using sealed container with airlock or open to air but covered to allow access to oxygen?

Can you check a label on your juice, see if it contains anything called 'benzoate'? I would have no worries if you see sulphite or ascorbic acid or sorbate--you can usually still ferment with those in the juice when you buy it.

I am betting that 7.2 you listed came from the 'potential alcohol content' portion on your hydrometer, and if it did then your SG was around 1.055 at that time, which means you are fermenting!! If you listen to it, do you hear a fine pop/sizzle? If so, that is an audible confirmation that you are fermenting.

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Old 04-02-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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Aha. That's good to know about preservatives too. Thanks for the correction!

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