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Old 08-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #501
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Have two 3 gallon batches that have been going for just under a week. One batch has White Labs Belgian Saison yeast and the other is Hefeweizein IV yeast

I read that you didn't have much luck with the Belgian Saison yeast any tips for making the best of this batch?

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Old 08-25-2011, 05:25 PM   #502
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caburdet78 - the main problem I had with the WLP belgian saison was that it fermented out so fast that by the time I checked it for the first time, it was already completely dry, and not much flavor was left. It mellowed over time, but never got back much flavor. I would keep it as cool as possible and check it often. If its been going for a week, you might even want to check it now because that yeast will tear through some cider. If you can catch it before it ferments out, I'd try to cold crash it, although I dont know if this yeast crashes very well or not - I never got the chance to find out.

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:09 PM   #503
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Not sure how that saison yeast will react to temp with only simple sugars, but for beer, most saison yeasts produce spicy (clove) notes at low temps and fruity (banana) notes at higher temps. I think the range for most is mid 60s to high 70s, and can go hotter (if you really like bananas).

I would guess the key with yours is going to be keeping an eye on it to stop it before the flavor gets eaten, seeing as how you are already a few days in. Reducing the temp at the later stages can slow the progress down, making it easier to catch at the right FG.

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #504
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So I am not sure that I have the equipment to cold crash it...would racking it to a secondary slow it down enough?

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Old 08-25-2011, 07:30 PM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caburdet78 View Post
So I am not sure that I have the equipment to cold crash it...would racking it to a secondary slow it down enough?
I was suggesting lowering the temps a bit to the low end of the range to slow it down to make it easier to catch it at your FG, at which point you would then need to cold crash (or ???) to stop the yeast, then rack. With cider, most yeast will continue feeding and removing flavor until it tastes like cheap white wine. If you have no means of adjusting temp, you just need to be more vigilant about checking the progress. The yeast will still need to be completely stopped at some point though, and racking alone will not do this as the more active yeast are the ones in suspension.

If you have no means at all of cold crashing (spare fridge?), I assume you also don't keg, which means you are going to have to stop the yeast some other way. One option is pasteurization. Another is chemicals, which I will not discuss as I don't have enough knowledge about them.

If you are going the pasteurizing route and want it carbed, the simplest method is to catch it at the correct FG, then add the proper amount of bottling sugar, bottle. You then have to check a bottle every so often for proper carbing, and when it is properly carbed, pasteurize the whole batch. A trickier method is to catch it early (higher FG), bottle it, then either pasteurize when it has carbed properly. There are trickier methods still that are discussed here and in other threads.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:33 PM   #506
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Another is chemicals, which I will not discuss as I don't have enough knowledge about them.
to piggy back on this, the common potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite DO NOT stop an active fermentation in its tracks. kmeta can temporarily stun the yeast, and kill weak strains or in super high doses (which wouldn't want to use on PPM wise in your cider). sorbate inhibits yeast reproduction, but not if there are enough yeast present to overrun it.

You need to cold crash it to get the yeast out of suspension, whether you plan on using sulphites and sorbate or simply cold crashing as a technique alone.

I know that cvillekevin had at one point talked about suspecting the removal nitrogen to stop fermentation in a commercial operation, but that he didn't know how you could accomplish something like this on a home brewer scale. I could have misrepresented the last part - so cville jump in and correct me if I did.


On a personal note, I don't cold crash all my ciders due to my inability to handle all that cider via a cold crash method I do find you can make a great backsweetened draft cider using concentrated fresh pressed cider juice.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:16 AM   #507
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Quote:
So I am not sure that I have the equipment to cold crash it...would racking it to a secondary slow it down enough?
Cold crashing does not take much equipment, just some extra space in the refrigerator and an extra carboy. Rack the cider off the yeast cake, chill it for a couple days at as near freezing as you can get it, and then rack it back to a keg for force carbonation or the original container if you want to let it clear and/or keep an eye on it for a while to verify that the cold crash stopped it. If you keep your keg cold, then you dont have to worry if got out all the yeast in the crash, because any remaining ones will be slowed way down.

I have racked ciders without crashing before to slow them down. I do that because sometimes two ciders taste ready to go at the same time and I only have space in the fridge to cold crash one. It does slow the ale yeast batches down enough to delay the crash for a few days. Every once in a while a single rack can cause the fermenation to stop for low nutrient juice, but usually it starts back up. The yeast cake provides a lot of nutrients.

Quote:
the easiest method is to catch it at the correct FG, pasteurize the whole batch (in bulk or in bottles), then add the proper amount of bottling sugar and yeast, and bottle.
If you stop the fermentation before terminal FG and then pasteurize, DO NOT add any more yeast. You can drink it still or force carbonate. If there is any fermentable sugar besides the priming sugar and you add more yeast, you will get burst bottles.

Quote:
the common potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite DO NOT stop an active fermentation in its tracks.
I've been able to stop ferments up to 1.010 with kmeta and sorbate, but I wouldnt recommend it. I did a 16-batch experiment a few years ago with S04 yeast and varying amounts of kmeta and sorbate vs cold crashing. At least half a dose of kmeta, stirred and allowed to absorb for about 15-30 min, followed by full dose of sorbate will stop the fermentation, but that much sorbate leaves an aftertaste that I dont like - sort of a medicinal vanilla and baby aspirin taste. Some of my friends were OK with it. It seemed to me like the taste of sorbate would work better in a root beer. If you take a tiny bit from the jar it comes in, and put it on your tongue, thats the taste. It doesnt go away. If it doesnt bother you, then you have no worries, I try to avoid it.

Quote:
cvillekevin had at one point talked about suspecting the removal nitrogen to stop fermentation in a commercial operation, but that he didn't know how you could accomplish something like this on a home brewer scale.
Its a little tricky, but doable. I've done seven batches using nutrient reduction to bottle carb a sweet cider and havent burst any bottles yet, knock on wood. I wrote about it a few months ago. You need low nitrogen juice (which is most organically grown juice), a yeast that uses a lot of nutrients, like a wheat yeast (I've had good results with Wy3333) and a way to contain bottle spills in case they do burst. You may also need to do some experimenting to find the right yeast that works with your juice.

Quote:
I do find you can make a great backsweetened draft cider using concentrated fresh pressed cider juice.
If you keep your kegs cold you have a lot of options. If you use an ale yeast, you will gain the same benefit as cold crashing, the yeast will go dormant and stay that way as long as you dont lose power. Even lager yeasts, which are nearly impossible to crash, will slow way down in a cold keg. Just drink at bit every few days and if it feels like too much pressure is building up, let some out

I ordered a commercial fridge about a week ago. It should be here in another week. It fits in the same space as my old fridge but is taller so it will fit 2 kegs and 2 carboys at the same time. I'll be able to cold crash two batches at a time if I need to and still get my drank on. true temp control so I should be getting more consistent crashes, plus I wont freeze my kegs and accidentally make applejack whenever the basement gets real cold. I'm lookin forward to apple harvest season, presses should be starting up in a few weeks.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:45 AM   #508
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I've been able to stop ferments up to 1.010 with kmeta and sorbate, but I wouldnt recommend it. I did a 16-batch experiment a few years ago with S04 yeast and varying amounts of kmeta and sorbate vs cold crashing. At least half a dose of kmeta, stirred and allowed to absorb for about 15-30 min, followed by full dose of sorbate will stop the fermentation
i have had S04 restart a backsweetened 1.014 batch with full k-meta and sorbate doses and ferment it dry in the keg. needless to say i was very surprised when i pulled the release valve. i suspect that i was lazy/haphazard/intoxicated when racking and pulled up some yeast but i'm not sure
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #509
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If you stop the fermentation before terminal FG and then pasteurize, DO NOT add any more yeast. You can drink it still or force carbonate. If there is any fermentable sugar besides the priming sugar and you add more yeast, you will get burst bottles.
Sorry about the bad info earlier, I corrected the post. Midway through writing that post, I realized he probably doesn't keg or have much cold bottle storage if he can't cold crash. I then got confused while editing my post to remove some kegging and still cider details, and merging text. I don't even bottle, except out of a forced keg, so I should have kept my mouth shut.

I just wanted to make sure he realized that he would have to pasteurize if he doesn't crash or cold store, and might need to catch it before his desired FG if he wanted to carb without adding sugar. He hadn't given many details on his process, and if he isn't temp controlling the ferment on a saison yeast in mid summer, it may already be done by now.

Revised steps for the simple method should have been-
Stop at desired FG, add priming sugar, bottle, check bottles periodically for proper carb, then pasteurize batch when carbed.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:51 AM   #510
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so here is my plan so far:

The Airlock is still bubbling so it is still going.
It is currently sitting in a 6 gallon carboy which with 3 gallons makes it hard to take a reading so I am going to purchase a 3 gallon carboy (been meaning to do this anyway)

Going to rack and take a reading

Since I live with my girlfirend and we don't have another fridge I may have to get creative and find some way to crash it

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