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timotb 02-01-2011 03:29 PM

Slow Ferment
I have seven 5-gallon ciders fermenting started the middle of last October. I added just under 2 lbs granulated sugar per 5 gallon batch, and Nottingham yeast. BSG was 1.060. They are all mostly clear with hardly any bubbling action, but still some. Room temperature is about 50F.

Yesterday, I sampled a batch with a SG of 1.030. That is about 4%ABV. It tastes very sweet. This is the first time I tried Nottingham yeast. I think it is known to be a slow ferment.

Ive used Red Star Champagne yeast in years past with 5 lbs sugar per 5 gallons and got a harsh 13%ABV.

My goal this year is to reach about 8-10% ABV to reduce the harshness. Do I just need more ferment time? Add sugar or nutrients?

SKMO 02-01-2011 03:54 PM

At 1.030 it seems like you have a ton of sugar left so I would not add that. You are trying to get lower sugar concentrations, not more. Why would you add sugar ? ?

Whatever you did 4 months ago, I would think that fermentation has about run it's course. I'd toss some champagne yeast and then kill it with sulfites or sorbates when it gets to a level you like.

Bombo80 02-01-2011 04:47 PM

I would get it into a warmer environment. Say in the 65 to 70 degree range. Your yeast are doing thier job, but because of the temp, they are doing it very slowly. I would get it somewhere warmer and rouse up the yeast (just swirl the fermenter) and give it another week and see where it's at.

CidahMastah 02-01-2011 04:53 PM

I think your temp is too low. I would recc bringing your temp up to 60F. Your yeast is probably strained from working at such low temps to start with, and now they don't wanna get up and are dormant.

My money is on temp increase for 2 weeks and see if you rekindle the fermentation. 1.030F.G. is way to high for even an ale yeast.

Nottingham spec sheet says typical end gravity of 1.008. The recc fermenting temp is 57F-70F thus, I would go 63-65F to give the best temp swing protection.

timotb 02-01-2011 06:17 PM

Thanks guys......great answers.....no more sugar....more temperature

Calder 02-03-2011 12:33 AM

Nottingham will get you to .998/1.000. Ignore what the spec sheet says, that's for beer.

I agree warm it up. After it is warmed up, rouse the yeast (swirl the fermenter, or use a racking cane). If it starts working; great. If it doesn't, yeast probably gave up; re-pitch. I think the yeast will pick right up, but you will need to swirl them back into solution.

This will get you to 8% abv with no additional sugar.

timotb 02-03-2011 11:12 PM

"rouse the yeast" I assume this means stir or otherwise shake up the sediments. Each container got a good shake in the moving from the cold basement to warm living room. 5/7 of the containers are showing more active bubbling. 2 are showing slow bubbling. If they dont improve bubbling in the next day or so, I plan to use my racking cane to agitate the sediments.

CidahMastah 02-04-2011 11:54 AM

I think your good shake should do it. If they are bubbling along, you are good to go.

rbald42 02-05-2011 04:37 AM

I just finished fermentation on a cider using Nottingham. OG was 1.065. Pitched a packet and fermented at 63 ambient and it took about 2.5 weeks to get to 1.008. YMMV.

Calder 02-05-2011 03:44 PM


Originally Posted by rbald42 (Post 2616466)
I just finished fermentation on a cider using Nottingham. OG was 1.065. Pitched a packet and fermented at 63 ambient and it took about 2.5 weeks to get to 1.008. YMMV.

My bet is that it isn't finished. There are not a lot of nutrients in apple juice, so it tends to go slowly near the end when the alcohol is relatively high (that's about 7.5% right now).

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