Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Noob questions: secondary ferment & spicing cider

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-18-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
kdok105
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8
Default Noob questions: secondary ferment & spicing cider

Hi,
This is my first attempt at brewing, but I figured I'd experiment a little anyway. A friend of mine brewed some spiced cider, which made me want to to try, so I started the fermentation in a gallon jug with a vapor lock and ale yeast, and just recently racked it to a new jug for the secondary fermentation. However, it appears that there is no activity going on, since there are no bubbles coming up. Is this normal for a secondary fermentation? Was I supposed to add yeast again or just let the suspended yeast keep doin it's thing? I just went ahead and put a little more yeast in since I wasn't sure.

Also, I added cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves with a little brown sugar and honey directly to the jug, and was going to let it sit for a week or so. Was that a rookie move, as in should I have boiled them in water and added the spicy water instead? Also, is there any risk of the yeast fermenting the fiber in the spices and producing methanol? Just a curiosity from a history class when studying prohibition and blindness from wood alcohol. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!

__________________
kdok105 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2009, 10:03 PM   #2
BrewinJack
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Upstairs
Posts: 630
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

you jumpped the gun a little there... likely your fermentation was on its way down when you racked it and the racking process stopped most of the outward fermentation, you might have had a little more fermentation in secondary but not alot...

in adding all that stuff, the brown sugar, and honey and the extra yeast youve started it up again and will have to wait for it to ferment out... I hope you didnt add more then 2-3 cin sticks because mroe then that is kinda over powering to most people... I prefer to add mine when i brew just before primary and add enough so that the CO2 scurbbs out alot and leaves a mellow taste rather then the taste you get when you add in secondary which can over power the brew and drown out the apple flavor...

it will turn out ok but youve gone from haveing somthing drinkable to needing to wait another two weeks, then rack again adn let it sit at least another month.... after that you should be able to drink it... you could certinatly drink it before then, thats just my recamendation....

For the record, you dont need to add more yeast at secondary fermentation time, and you can flavor in secondary if you wish but in my opinion it opens things up for infection or just over dueing it... how will you ever know how it would have tasted with what you orginally brewed??? How do you know what yo add because you dont know your orginal cider's taste? this changes you SG so its gonna cause it to store and age differntly... a whole bunch of stuff...

you get even a small ammount of methanol from fermenting apple juice (you even get some fermenting grain because of the fiber and the improper fermentation of some unfermentable sugars) due to the acidic conditions... do you know how much youd need to drink to even get a little head ake and fuzzy vision for a couple of days???

you need to drink 12-18ml of pure 100% methonol... that doesnt sound like alot... but even the dirtiest fermentation produceds less then 1 part in per 1000 of methonal (and this is really dirty fermentation, even with distillers yeast)... so youd need to drink at least 12,000ml...(about 3 gallons)... and not even that would work because youd piss it all out before it could effect you, and also they treat methonol poisioning with an intervenus line of 180 proof ethonol... so seeing if your drink 10% ABV cider then you ingesting .001% methonal (if you drink 1000ml your drinking 1ml) the ethonal acts as a dietretic and you just piss it all right out... so youd have to drink 12-18 liters in the space of about 20minutes... youd drown before you went blind...

What they were talking about was the fact that distillers would regularlly cut there spirits with wood sprits, or simply flavor wood spirits because it was cheaper and because wood achohal wasnt illeagal, because you couldnt drink it... you drink an entire bottle of methonol (say 750ml 50-100 proof) you need to get to a hospital because youve just imbalmed your liver (methonol when processed directly by the liver, with out ethonol speeding up the process, causes the liver to produce floric acid and fermeldihide(SP?) and if you dont have a doctor tap you up your good as dead)... they often cut the Ethonol with wood achohal so the Ethonol saves your butt, but you wake up with one hell of a headake and after enough blind ... so the rumors are unfounded about home brew, if you want to know about home Distilling then youll have to go to a HD site

Cheers

__________________
Twin Ogre's Brewing Co.

"I wish i could give all my genrals a bottle of what he's drinking..." Honest Abe

"On the 8th day God created Bars"

Primary:
Ginger mead (3 Gal)
Edworts Apfelwine (5Gal)
Australian Lager (5gal)

Secondary:
Operation "Black Gold" (High ABV) (5 Gal)

Bottled:
Carmel Stout
Stright Juice Cider
Apple/Blue berry/ale

Last edited by BrewinJack; 01-18-2009 at 10:11 PM.
BrewinJack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2009, 10:07 PM   #3
Having-A-Homebrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdok105 View Post
Hi,
This is my first attempt at brewing, but I figured I'd experiment a little anyway. A friend of mine brewed some spiced cider, which made me want to to try, so I started the fermentation in a gallon jug with a vapor lock and ale yeast, and just recently racked it to a new jug for the secondary fermentation. However, it appears that there is no activity going on, since there are no bubbles coming up. Is this normal for a secondary fermentation?
The conventional wisdom is that you shouldn't rack to secondary until fermentation is complete. The secondary is more for conditioning and clarification, and perhaps the last of the fermentation. But since you added honey, and yeast, there should be fermentation. You might want to be sure that your setup is gas tight, since an unsealed lid or a badly fitting stopper can create the appearance of a stuck fermentation and also pose other problems.

Quote:
Was I supposed to add yeast again or just let the suspended yeast keep doin it's thing? I just went ahead and put a little more yeast in since I wasn't sure.
It should not be necessary to add yeast when racking to the secondary. However, doing so is unlikely to cause any harm, it's just a waste of yeast.

Quote:
Also, I added cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves with a little brown sugar and honey directly to the jug, and was going to let it sit for a week or so. Was that a rookie move, as in should I have boiled them in water and added the spicy water instead?
I'm not a cider expert but I understand that the sanitation requirements for cider are not anywhere near as strict as they are for beer. I probably would have boiled, but then again it may not be necessary.


Quote:
Also, is there any risk of the yeast fermenting the fiber in the spices and producing methanol? Just a curiosity from a history class when studying prohibition and blindness from wood alcohol. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!
I'm sure you'll get some. There is always some methanol in wine. Not enough to be a problem unless you're doing something else goofy.
__________________
Having-A-Homebrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2009, 10:13 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,719
Liked 4367 Times on 3175 Posts
Likes Given: 850

Default

I always move my cider and wines to secondary when the SG is approximately 1.010 to 1.020. so, you can see that we differ in our techniques. I think you have a lot of room here to do what works for you.

You shouldn't see much in the way of bubbling in the secondary, but if you added honey and brown sugar, it should be fermenting some.

Do you want to post your recipe, including yeast, so we can see where you're at and give advice based on what's happening now? If you've used a hydrometer, those readings would be helpful.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-19-2009, 12:11 AM   #5
kdok105
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 8
Default

Wow, you all know a lot, thanks for all the tips! I'll keep this stuff in mind for the second batch.

This recipe consisted of a gallon of pasteurized apple juice, one cup of honey, some brown sugar (not very much, I actually forgot to keep track), and yeast (Safale S-04 dry English ale yeast by Fermentis, little blue packet). I let it sit for two weeks, and chose to add the spices since there was no more bubbling. I have a hydrometer now but I didn't at the time I started. I made sure to sanitize my equipment in boiling water, iodine, or rubbing alcohol for each step. The only thing I know about it's progress is that it definitely smells good haha!

So explain to me something (please)... For what exactly is the secondary fermentation used? I've read so much about it being used in everything and thought I understood it, but now I'm thinking I don't really have a clue.

__________________
kdok105 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-19-2009, 02:06 AM   #6
OZZ
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 7
Default

Hello,

Im a complete noob too and have my first batch sitting in primary as we speak.

However, from my research secondary fermentation is a bit of a mislabeled term.

There isnt really supposed to be any fermentation at all in the secondary, and if there is.... only just a little that is left over from primary.

As mentioned above, racking to a secondary is done so that the brew can age and clarify (become clear or more clear then it already is). As it ages more flavors will come out, just like wine it gets better as it ages. This is the reason for the secondary, you dont rack to the secondary to do any sort of fermentation at all .... the way I understand it (someone correct me if Im wrong).

Many people dont rack to a secondary at all with cider, and some even with beer. Theres a ton of people that dont use a secondary with their ciders, and I wont be for this go around either.

I plan on leaving mine in the primary for two months, even though fermentation will likely stop within another week (I used S-04 as well). Then Ill rack to one gallon jugs and drink one or two with some friends, and let others sit and age/clarify.

Some people do put spices or what not in the secondary to pick up flavors while it is aging and clarifying .... then you rack it into bottles or keg it from there.

I think this is what your getting confused. Adding fruits, spices or otherwise to your secondary is meant to impart flavors into the final product, rather then boost abv due to fermentation.

.......... I think .... lol

__________________

Last edited by OZZ; 01-19-2009 at 02:09 AM.
OZZ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-19-2009, 02:07 AM   #7
Having-A-Homebrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 51
Default

There are linked posts on secondaries in the sticky in the beginning brewers' forum.

In short, the secondary is used for clarification and conditioning after most of the fermentation is complete. The reason for moving out of the primary is to separate the beer/wine/cider/mead/etc from whatever might be in the primary that could lead to off flavors. For beer that's yeast and any trub (sediment from the brew pot) that might have made it into the fermenter. For some wines and cider it would include remnants of fruit, or for red wine, the must. For my favorite cherry cyser, the cherries and the pits are left behind in the primary.

Many brewers and vintners use a secondary fermentation vessel of more airtight construction, such as a glass carboy, while using a primary fermentation vessel designed to be disassembled for easy cleaning.

__________________
Having-A-Homebrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Noob cider help... How long do you generally ferment Cider? unclejimbay Cider Forum 9 01-27-2012 08:20 PM
Spicing a lager post-ferment cactusgarrett General Techniques 2 10-08-2009 11:55 AM
A warning on spicing cider Toppers Cider Forum 3 06-26-2008 02:06 PM
Can't get cider (Apfelwein) to ferment! Other questions... AKSE Cider Forum 8 03-18-2008 03:45 PM
Noob Questions - secondary fermenter Matt Foley Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 06-08-2007 05:37 PM