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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Results from juice, yeast and sugar experiments
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #681
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CvilleKevin,

Thanks for the info.

Fermentation has been going for four days at this point, and I have to admit I got caught off guard at how quick it went...1.058 to 1.012. Although it went a little further than I would have liked, I'm still in a range I feel I can work with.

Unfortunately, the cider is still cloudy despite the addition of peptic enzyme. Also, the presence of a sulfur is lingering and making me nervous. The apple character is in the back ground with a decent balance of acid, but I'm picking up a bitter characteristic as well.

Moving forward, and taking in to account that this is my first attempt at cider, I'm going to rack in to my secondary fermentation tank, back sweeten to around 1.015 and put it in to cold storage for 48 hours (hoping cold storage slows down fermentation), prime, bottle carb and pasteurize.

My thought is I hope it will clear a bit and lose some of that sulfur character and mellow a bit. I'm a firm believer in the benefits of two weeks of secondary, but can't quite seem to wrap my head around the process of how to accomplish secondary, maintain my desired gravity without back sweetening, bottle carb and pasteurize.

When you said "but most likely enough yeast will survive to bottle condition", do you mean it would survive through 2-3 days of cold crashing, or will it survive longer if I rack again after 48 hours and hold for two weeks around 40-45 F?

Thanks!

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:49 PM   #682
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Unfortunately, the cider is still cloudy despite the addition of peptic enzyme.
Pectic enzyme doesnt make the cider any more clear while it is fermenting. The yeast stir everything up. They also affect the taste. I would not backsweeten until after the crash. The cider should clear and will taste a lot better after the crash and you will have a better sense of final sweetness.

As far as the smell goes, high temps and a fast ferment stress the yeast. Next time, it will smell a lot better if you ferment it cooler.

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When you said "but most likely enough yeast will survive to bottle condition", do you mean it would survive through 2-3 days of cold crashing, or will it survive longer if I rack again after 48 hours and hold for two weeks around 40-45 F?
I'd expect enough yeast to survive in either case. If you want to make sure you have enough yeast you can always pick up a little bit intentionally when you siphon on the rack following the crash.

When I cold crash, it is to completely eliminate the yeast and Notty is good for that because it drops out of suspension nearly completely when crashed (although addition of enzyme and nutrient make complete elimination of the yeast less likely). If you want to bottle pasteurize and use cold crashing for clearing, it is better to use a lager yeast like S23 that does not all drop out when you crash it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #683
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Originally Posted by CvilleKevin View Post
When I cold crash, it is to completely eliminate the yeast and Notty is good for that because it drops out of suspension nearly completely when crashed (although addition of enzyme and nutrient make complete elimination of the yeast less likely). If you want to bottle pasteurize and use cold crashing for clearing, it is better to use a lager yeast like S23 that does not all drop out when you crash it.
I wouldn't count on cold crashing to eliminate all the yeast in a brew. That could be very unsafe. My first batch I thought this was the case and I syphoned off the lees, I even left a good inch of clear cider behind. After sitting 3 days in the warm air I didn't see any activity, so I bottled. A few days after bottling I opened my first bottle and has a drink. It was carbonated. The next day I started losing bottles.

The moral of the story... Never assume the yeast are gone, unless you kill them off with sufficient heat or with chemicals.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:24 PM   #684
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I wouldn't count on cold crashing to eliminate all the yeast in a brew. That could be very unsafe.
True - I have been stopping cider via cold crashing for well over a decade, but I still never assume that the crash worked 100% until the cider has been sitting still in the secondary and is stable for at least a month.

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After sitting 3 days in the warm air I didn't see any activity, so I bottled.
Yeah, that would be risky. The only yeast that I would bottle 3 days after crashing is Wy3333, which I've used to successfully bottle condition about a half dozen batches - but that was after experimenting with a lot of different yeasts and crash times. So far I've never had one of these burst, but I keep them in bottle crates with separators between each bottle and a pan underneath, just in case.

Keep in mind that the general mechanism of using of cold crashing to stop the cider is to artificially induce a stuck fermentation. This is the same general process (although different method) that JK Scrumpy and some old school European cider makers like Etienne Dupont use to get a bottle fermented sweet cider. Getting a fermentation to reliably stick takes a bit of practice. You need to eliminate nutrients as well as yeast. I have been doing it for years but still only about 85 percent of mine stop on the first crash. Cold crashing works best if you have a consistent source of low nitrogen juice - or if you have kegs that you can carb and keep cold after the crash.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:05 AM   #685
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I was bored yesterday so i attempted a 1 gallon batch of cider. I've been brewing beer for a little while and have wanted to give cider a shot so I went for it. I used a gallon of 100% pure pressed apple cider that had been pasteurized at the factory, 3/4 cup cane sugar, and 1/2 tsp of muntons dry active yeast that I had on hand. Fermentation is going good so far. I did a gravity reading at the start and it was 1.068. I had read in this thread that 1.060-1.065 was a good number so it wouldn't loose a lot of apple flavor when it finished. The question I had was about yeast, how much would be the proper amount for a 1 gallon batch? I weighed out the packet of yeast and divided it by 4 thinking that since its enough for a 5 gallon batch I'd divide by 4 to give it a little extra. Also what's the average turn around on drinking time? I plan to sweeten it with some brown sugar and molasses once the fermentation is done. I'll bottle it in glass along with one plastic bottle so I can keep an eye on carbonation levels and then attempt to stove top pasteurize it. I figured a one gallon batch would be good to practice things like this without having to risk ruining a full 5 gallons. Thanks in advance. Hopefully this will work out ok, the juice I used was really tasty so hopefully that will provide a decent final product. I'll definitely. Be trying a larger batch with some better yeast in the future.

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Old 10-30-2012, 02:53 AM   #686
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The question I had was about yeast, how much would be the proper amount for a 1 gallon batch?
A quarter packet is fine in a gallon. When I do individual gallons, I use anywhere from 1/2 to 1/5 packet

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what's the average turn around on drinking time?
It depends on yeast and temps. Muntons is a fast fermenter and can ferment out a gallon in a few days at room temp. The cooler you can keep it, the slower it will ferment and the more control you will have over the final taste
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:00 AM   #687
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Originally Posted by CvilleKevin

A quarter packet is fine in a gallon. When I do individual gallons, I use anywhere from 1/2 to 1/5 packet

It depends on yeast and temps. Muntons is a fast fermenter and can ferment out a gallon in a few days at room temp. The cooler you can keep it, the slower it will ferment and the more control you will have over the final taste
Cool thanks, it's at between 68-70 right now. I'll check it again in a few days and go from there.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:38 PM   #688
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CvilleKevin - I just got my first batch into the keg following your method - rack, cold crash, rack into clean - looking forward to it getting carbed up :P I also acquired three more kegs

#1 What size Better Bottles do you use? 5 gal or 6 gal?
#2 Do you normally only do 5 gallons of cider per batch (that sounds like a dumb question) and end up with around 4.5 gallons after all of the racking or do you start with more than 5 to make up for the loss?
#3 If kegging, is the cold crashing really necessary? Couldn't one just go primary -> keg (assuming that the keg is gonna stay cold). I think one could, I guess I was more interested if you had tried this in the past?
#4 Just of out curiosity what is your serving setup? Maybe I am missing something but I didn't see a kegerator / keezer setup in any of your pics.

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Old 10-30-2012, 03:19 PM   #689
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I just got my first batch into the keg following your method - rack, cold crash, rack into clean - looking forward to it getting carbed up :P I also acquired three more kegs
Nice!

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#1 What size Better Bottles do you use? 5 gal or 6 gal?
I use 6 gal for primaries, 5 for secondaries. I start with about 5.5 to 5.75 gal of juice and end up with 5 gal of finished cider

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#3 If kegging, is the cold crashing really necessary? Couldn't one just go primary -> keg (assuming that the keg is gonna stay cold). I think one could, I guess I was more interested if you had tried this in the past?
Hmm, You could do this, but then all of the solids that drop during the crash will end up on the bottom of your keg. I suppose that most of them would come out when you pour the first couple of pints. You might need to rock the keg a little bit in the beginning to get everything to settle near the dip tube. Otherwise you could get random murky pours. I suspect that its more efficient to rack the clear cider off the trub, rather than to suck the trub up first from the bottom of the cider, but I've never tried it so cant say for sure. The main reason I dont do this is that I store most of my kegs at room temp so that they can last for 12 months - so I want to make sure the ferment wont start back up. Also I fill bottles from kegs from time to time for friends, family, etc. so I want to make sure that the cider is stable. If you are planning to just keg and drink right away, then it does seem like this method would save a step, probably at the cost of a few cloudy pours.

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#4 Just of out curiosity what is your serving setup? Maybe I am missing something but I didn't see a kegerator / keezer setup in any of your pics
.

I have picnic taps on the kegs that are in the fridge for everyday drinking, so its kinda like a poor mans kegerator. For parties, I put the kegs in 10 gal trash cans with ice, so that they are easier to get to.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:28 PM   #690
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Fermentation definitely got too warm. Can usually hit between 66-68 F with beer wort using evaporation cooling, but just couldn't seem to get the temp on the cider down and stable. Working on an idea for the next round. The flavor seemed to clean up a bit after 24 hrs. I'll see where it is tomorrow and figure out where to go from there.

As far as cold crashing goes...is it better to hit my target gravity/sweetness and put the fermentation bucket into the refrigerator and then rack off the lees after a few days, or should I rack off the lees in to a carboy after reaching desired gravity/sweetness, crash and then rack to another carboy after a few days?

Would you recommend using peptic enzyme in my next attempt if I plan on cold conditioning for two weeks after crashing? I do want to bottle condition and pasteurize after two weeks. Would you recommend using yeast nutrient? I just want to make sure the yeast can stay viable for the bottle conditioning phase.

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