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Old 05-18-2009, 05:08 AM   #1
Scut_Monkey
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Default Slow cider fermentation

So I "assembled" some cider on 5/8/09 and it reached a OG of 1.054 by using preservative free, pasteurized juice. I added 3 12oz cans of apple juice concentrate to both increase the fermentables and for extra flavor. I used a smack pack of Wyeast 3068 and 4 teaspoons of yeast nutrient. The fermentations took off probably after 16 hours and is now at 1.026. The fermentation has slowed a lot. I was wondering what you guys recommend. Wait, pitch more, gently stir yeast cake, add more nutrient? This is my first batch of cider and I thought I would ask as I'm not sure how these ferment. Thanks!

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like a normal ferment to me. Ciders typically ferment a bit slower than wort in my experience. You can agitate the container to keep the yeast suspended if you like but the marginal benefit of doing this is usually not noticeable.

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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I'd leave it alone to do it's thing. Apple juice based fermentations can go pretty quickly (compared to wine/mead) & a certain amount of slow down is normal. A lot depends on the yeast profile too; I've never used a smack-pack, so I cannot advise you there, but I'm sure there are plenty of others on this site who do know & they'll likely be along soon & put in their 2 cents worth. Regards, GF.

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Old 05-18-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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My cider using the same yeast took quite a few weeks to reach it's FG, no worries! What is the ambient temperature of the room you're fermenting in?

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:36 AM   #5
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The ambient temp is 70F. I will most likely check it again (SG) tonight to make sure it is moved and not stabilized. Thanks for the info.

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Old 05-20-2009, 12:41 AM   #6
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70F is within the suitable range for the yeast as suggested by the manufacturer, I fermented a couple degrees below the recommended minimum and I believe that the result was a fairly powerful peanut butter flavour/aroma, although I can't be sure that the temperature is the culprit.

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Old 05-20-2009, 06:27 AM   #7
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The fermentation seemed to pick up slightly with the airlock bubbling every 15 seconds or so while it was previously every 60 seconds a couple days ago. I have not noticed any peanut butter flavors from the samples I have pulled. Could this be diacetyl. I will let you know if I do detect any but as of now it tastes like apple juice with more apple flavor and less sweetness.

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
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I haven't experienced a high-diacetyl home brew before but I don't think that it's the culprit. I pitched a Wyeast packet into only 19L of very well aerated AJ and although it fermented in a room with an ambient temp of 17*C/63*F (min. recommended temp. is 64*F) the cider was at least one or two degrees C above that for the first week.

I've read that diacetyl is heavy on the butter, although never have I seen peanuts mentioned. This leads me to believe that it is not diacetyl, although a d-rest couldn't have hurt! Next time for sure.

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Old 05-22-2009, 04:35 AM   #9
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Just an update. I have taken another sample and in three days the gravity has come down .004 which seem adequate for me for a 1 month ferment. As of now it is at 1.020 and has roughly 16 days to go. I would like for it to finish around 1.008-1.010 to keep some sweetness but I bought some lactose just in case it dips to low. Should be a nice way to determine who is lactose intolerant when they run to the can.

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