Newb made a cider mistake
It's our first time making cider. I'd appreciate any advice. Here's the status:
We took a half quart of pasteurized cider and added some sugar. We pitched a packet of Champagne yeast and let it go in a sealed container for two days. It showed a lot of activity.
We took ~ 4.5 gallons of unpasteurized cider. They were divided into 5 jugs. The 4 full jugs got a full tablet, the one half gallon got a half. 28 hours later we poured them into a sanitized carboy, and added cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, maple syrup, and brown sugar. We then pitched the starter, and placed the container in the basement. It's hovering around 65 degrees there. It's been 4 days and all we get for activity is a slight bulge of CO2. No bubbling, no sign of yeast forming anywhere.
There are two things that I probably did wrong. When I pitched the starter into the unpasteurized cider, that cider was rather cold. Warmer than the fridge, but not much. The other, the part that scares me, is that I didn't do anything to the tablets before putting them in the jugs. The tablets don't give any instructions to crush them, or do anything really.
I'll gladly take any advice at this point. I'm hoping that the worst case is that the yeast is nearly dead and a re-pitching will work.
You can always warm it up by putting it in your house (opposed to basement). I got a stuck batch to work again by taking it out of the basement. Crushing the cambden is not a requirement. It'll dissolve on its own.
Of course the pasteurized cider is not good either. Hopefully it will get diluted out to the point of a non issue.
Try getting it warm before you throw it out.
Actually, *not* crushing the campden tabs may give you just a bit better chance of getting the ferment started ... though it could slow down the ferment as they dissolve.
The problem is that the temp is too cold. Bring it to a warmer room ... say 72* to 78* if possible, or put it in a closet with a spaceheater etc. If it was in one large carboy you could put a heating blanket around it (I guess you could still do that by putting all the jugs together and wrapping the electric blanket around them).
But moving to a warm room is preferable.
Then, especially with the campden you've added, keep it in that warm environment at least until the primary fermentation is done.
BTW: the cold has not killed the yeast ... but they have remained inactive. And the campden will not kill the yeast, it only makes them temporarily retarded.
Thanks for the responses! I've brought it up to the first floor where it'll probably be around 70-78 for the foreseeable future. I'll post about the results in a couple days.
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