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Old 12-22-2012, 08:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyHoller View Post
So, to recap, three options:

1) do nothing, leave it on the lees for another three weeks
2) rack to secondary, risk not having enough fermentation to fill headspace with CO2
3) bottle now
4) Rack to secondary, on top of more unfermented juice. This lets you leave lees behind and will replace any volume loss, minimize headspace, and allow for a little more fermentation to make some CO2. Come back in three weeks and deal with it then.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadyHoller

So, to recap, three options:

1) do nothing, leave it on the lees for another three weeks
2) rack to secondary, risk not having enough fermentation to fill headspace with CO2
3) bottle now

Thanks for any help.
Just as LeBadass said.. Go to secondary and add some juice.... I'm pretty sure you'll get a brand-new shining Holiday cap of CO2!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #13
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thank you. excellent suggestion. Any thoughts on how much juice would be needed to get it kicking again? I have 40 gallons in a 55 gallon jug (yes, too much headspace, I know, but that's just kind of where I found myself at the end of pressing day.)

Any thoughts on a handful of un-sulfured raisins? I heard they were an old-timer's trick for adding nutrients to get some more fermentation out of the juice.

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Old 12-22-2012, 10:48 PM   #14
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If you have 40 gallons now, we can estimate around 37/38 post racking. If it's going into a 55 gallon container you're looking at trouble if it's gonna be 3 weeks with that much headspace. 10 gallons would probably be safe, 5 could be on the edge, or some combination of juice and sugar.

Depending on juice availability you may actually be better off waiting.

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton
If you have 40 gallons now, we can estimate around 37/38 post racking. If it's going into a 55 gallon container you're looking at trouble if it's gonna be 3 weeks with that much headspace. 10 gallons would probably be safe, 5 could be on the edge, or some combination of juice and sugar.

Depending on juice availability you may actually be better off waiting.
Wait! That's bad advice, I have better.....
Since you'll be gone for a while Just tell me where you live, Leave me one of those huge oversized straws.... I'll take care of it!
HAHAHAHA
MARRY CHRISTMAS
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:43 AM   #16
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So if you guys would like to know, I just bottled that cider I was talking about. Here's the post-report:

My brew of a gallon of cider, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 1 oz. of Nottingham Ale Yeast sat in primary for 17 days, going from an s.g. of 1.060 to 1.020. At this point it was still bubbling regularly, although it had slowed. I racked to secondary, where it sat for 22 more days and reached an s.g. of 1.014, giving a final ABV between 6 and 7%. I bottled still and dry when it appeared that all bubbling activity in the airlock had ceased, although the small amounts of pressure released from bottles indicate that some tiny amount of activity is still occurring. The cider is mellow, pleasantly fruity, and overall quite delicious.

Very pleased with a first brew!

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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I keep hearing good things about Nottingham, thanks for the feedback!

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:48 PM   #18
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In case anyone is ever searching these pages in the future with a similar question to the one I asked above, here are the results:

(to recap, I had 45gal. of cider in a 55gal. poly barrel fermenter, and I basically walked away from it for a month and a half. Airlock activity ceased halfway through that period.)

The two main problems I was concerned with were:

(1) too much headspace: once the yeast stopped working, I was no longer getting any new CO2, and I risked infusion of O2 through the walls of the poly jug and through the airlock. If the CO2 dissipated, the cider could have oxidized and gone stale.

(2) yeast autolysis: I never racked out of primary. So it was sitting on a big cake of lees for the whole 6 or 7 weeks. When yeast runs out of sugar, I am told it can start recycling the nutrients by feeding on the mass of dead yeast. This apparently imparts "off flavors," although I wouldn't know how to identify them.

Well, what happened? I got back into town, and with fingers crossed, we opened that bad boy up, and found that the cider was delicious. It was bone dry, but had a crisp fresh apple aroma and nice acidity and tannin. (100% from our little scabby apples that come from our neglected orchard of big old trees). I was amazed. We back-sweetened a bunch of it up to 1.010 - 1.013 and bottled. Monitoring the carb pressure as it builds, and am preparing for a big night of pasteurizing, if need be. The rest of it is now off the lees and bulk stored in carboys with no headspace.

I still have no idea how to tell if malo-lactic is occurring/has occurred.

Thanks everyone for helpful comments up to this point. I think I lucked out on this one.

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:24 PM   #19
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Congrats! Sounds like an 'old school' method if ever I heard of one. Set it, and forget it!

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:51 PM   #20
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45 gallons of delicious, well-balanced cider is good news indeed!

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