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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Peach cider with safeale s-04?
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
carlnpa
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Default Peach cider with safeale s-04?

I've been following the cider forum for a couple years now and have made a number of 5 gallon batches of cider with safale s-04, cane sugar to sg 1.080/1.090 and cold crashing when fermentation stops. Basically the cville way, with great results.

Our peach trees were loaded and ripe, I crushed about 20lbs of ripe peaches less pits in a 5 gallon pail, added 10lbs cane sugar to SG 1.100, pitched the S-04 and let her rip. Fermentation was going within a few hours and smells great. This was 7 days ago.

Heres the question.

Fermentation appears slower but steady compared to the apple ciders, how long should I wait before racking to secondary?

Will my solids (peels etc) cause any flavor issues if I wait for the fermentation to slow way down before racking?

Same deal as apple cider and S-04 with fermentation just stopping around 10% abv? Plan to cold crash, should be stable and not entirely dry?

Thanks for ideas.

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Old 08-12-2014, 01:28 PM   #2
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Default Update not going as planned

Update for anyone working with peaches.

Two weeks after pitching the Safale S04 (exp 09/14) I opened the pail to rack into another container.

There was a real thick crust of peach peels etc on the surface. Smells great. Tastes fine.

Removed the crust and checked sg - 1.09. ?

Must have stalled the fermentation, I would have expected a much lower number with as much sugar as is in this batch.

I pitched a new package of S04, still a very slow fermentation two days later, temps in low 70's.

I thought maybe the amount of solids was preventing the S04 from doing its thing. The second pitch though should be powering through this.

I keep my yeast refrigerated, possible bad or tired yeast?

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Old 08-12-2014, 02:49 PM   #3
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Did you sanitize the peaches in any way? Lactobacillus occurs naturally in fruit rinds/skins. Pretty easy to end up with a soured cider if you didn't thoroughly sanitize the fruit.

On the fermentation side, your fermentation is slow because you underpitched. A single packet of S-04 is not enough for a 1.10 OG beer. According to the Mr. Malty calculator, the proper pitch rate for that OG at 5.0 gallons would have been 3.5 packets (or a 2.64 liter starter).

So, it would help if you would go get two more S-04 yeast packets and pitch those.

Good luck!

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Old 08-12-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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Also, peaches are a stone fruit and have more unfermentable sugars than apple. It's usually sorbitol. Pears also have higher sorbitol than apples, and when I mix apple juice and pear in a 50/50 mix I have ended up at 1.008 both times. Don't remember which yeast though.


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Old 08-12-2014, 11:02 PM   #5
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Not sure I agree with phug. I would expect there to be enough fermentables in peaches to obtain a gravity of .996 or lower. Beer yeast may be unable to survive in an alcohol environment of 13 or 14 percent which is more or less where your sugar content would take your peach wine. I would use Premier Cuvee or another yeast such as 71B or QA 23.

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Old 08-12-2014, 11:07 PM   #6
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Did you use yeast nutrient in the fermentation? There is a lack of nutrients for the yeast in fruits and you have to add the nutrient to the batch to get a good healthy fermentation. I also agree with TopherM, you need more yeast in that bad boy.

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Old 08-14-2014, 02:34 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the replies. We are trying for a minimal input drink similar to what cville was going for in his tests.

We are right in the heart of Adams Co, PA, orchard country, Musselmans and Motts factories are down the road. Ready access to several good cider mills and raw materials.

Topher - I wash but do not sanitize.

Brewer - I don't use yeast nutrient.

Bernard - I hope the S04 yeast -stops- at 10% abv, sg 1.01 from where I started. I'm shooting for that and will cold crash at around that level anyway and rack into secondary and watch for awhile before bottling.

I have found with excess sugar, S04, and sg around 1.08-1.09, I don't have to back sweeten.

Update, after I posted the other day I found I had no more S04 on hand only Montrachet and 1118. I decided not use them as in the past with the high sg I have made some real rocket fuel.

So, I just gave it a stir. I can smell the alcohol, I really suspect my initial sg reading of 1.10 was low, the peach cider I made was naturally pretty thick.

I picked up some more S04 today, decided not to repitch, I am getting 15 bubbles a minute now which suits me fine. I really didn't want to open it up again, I do have a concern about strange introductions to the brew.

Topher - out of curiosity what does Mr. Malty calc show for 1.08 sg and S04 pitch rate?

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Old 08-14-2014, 03:54 PM   #8
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2.8 packs of dry yeast or a 4.06 liter starter @ 1.08.

It's not that 1 packet won't ferment your batch, but you are overwhelming the yeast. There's more sugar than the colony needs, but they sure don't want it to go to waste, so to compensate, they are eating it faster and reproducing faster, which leads to off flavors. It's very similar to if you had the fermentation temp too high - the yeast's metabolic rate goes into hyperdrive to get that extra sugar while the gettin's good, but the high metabolic rate comes along with undesirable esters, phenols, and fusel alcohols.

With the proper pitch rate, no stress, no off flavors, clean cider.

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Old 08-18-2014, 02:41 AM   #9
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Default Update - end of week three

Thank you Topher.

I pitched two more packs of s04 today.

Three weeks into it at this point with the slowest fermentation I have ever had.

1 packet s04 three weeks ago, sg 1.10(my initial sg may have been off due to solids)

1 packet s04 one week ago (removed floating solids, mostly skins sg 1.09)

2 packets s04 today (three full weeks, sg 1.075)

It tastes and smells great still so it isn't lost yet, hopefully the extra yeast will get it going.

I still plan to rack and cold crash at 1.01 the s04 should be done at that point, if it ever reaches that point.

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Old 08-30-2014, 04:09 PM   #10
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Default Update end of week five

Update end of week five.

Absolutely the slowest fermentation I have ever dealt with.

The fermentation slowed way down this past week, I didn't have time to rack it, so I cold crashed it without racking.

I racked it to secondary this morning, SG 1.045 so non temperature compensated abv of 7.2%.

It smells good (definite alcohol aroma though, higher than 7.2 I believe)and tastes great.

Certainly not a failure, but with that high SG I think I better keep this stuff cold.

In this case the S04 did not dry it out. I have seen this same thing with apple cider and higher SG, like 1.08/1.09. The S04 just stops. I have never had fermentation start again after cold crashing, and no back sweetening is needed.

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