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Old 10-11-2012, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default No Airlock Activity after 3 Weeks - Pitch More Yeast?

Good evening all!

I started off with 5 gal of cider, 4lbs brown sugar, and some ale yeast. It's been about a month and my airlock activity has decreased drasictly. It bubbles about ever 5 to 10 minutes.

Surely additional fermentation is required for this batch.vWhat are the thoughts on pitching more yeast? Maybe siphon to a secondary fermentor?

Thanks!
-Matt

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:25 AM   #2
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Good Evening,

4 weeks is plenty of time for fermentation to finish. If you want to rack it secondary then go for it. Only way to be sure it has finished is to take gravity readings over several days. Has it cleared?

Cheers,
Brian

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:37 AM   #3
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Hey Brian

I apologize in advance. I'm a complete noob when it comes to brewing. This is my first batch actually. By cleared, do you mean the actual look? If so, I've attached a picture. I believe it's "clear"

As far as checking the gravity, sadly I forgot to get a SG so I don't think my hydometer will be much help (correct me if I'm wrong).

If I decieded it's fermented enough and I want to acheive a sweeter cider, would the proper method be to rack into a secondary, add camden tablets, and then back sweeten. After that, go ahead and bottle?

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:38 AM   #4
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Use your hydrometer to get a FG reading. If that is the same reading you get in a few days its done.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:40 AM   #5
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There is nothing to be sure of except that you need to take some gravity readings. You could be just seeing offgassing.

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Old 10-11-2012, 03:00 AM   #6
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Thanks all. I'll be sure to get that FG reading and go from there!

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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My bubbling stops after about 1 week. If its still bubbling, I'd say let it go until it fully stops. Then put it in a secondary.

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristan1220 View Post
My bubbling stops after about 1 week. If its still bubbling, I'd say let it go until it fully stops. Then put it in a secondary.

Do not do this. Airlock bubbling means nothing. This is an empty carboy bubbling from temperature changes. Already fermented cider is chock full of CO2 that can offgas and cause airlock activity. Or it could be still going. There's only one way to tell.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
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People love to hate on airlock watching, but in this case it's actually working as an indicator. It's indicating that the OP's primary fermentation is done or almost done. Since you plan to use a secondary anyways then go ahead and rack it over now.

The next steps are correct, but the campden will not stop the yeast from eating any sugars you add as backsweeteners. For instructions on how to have a sweet, sparkling cider I suggest you read through the pasteurization sticky at the top of the cider section.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #10
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At the same time, if you're not sure isn't it always OK to wait another week or two and letting the yeast clean up after themselves and let the brew clear even more? As long as you're not sitting on the lees for months/years...

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