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Old 11-10-2008, 03:49 AM   #1
timotb
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Default Slow or stuck cider?

This is my 3rd year making hard cider. One or two batches are slow bubbling or maybe stopped and stuck. I started October 25 2008. I never used Camden or sulfate tablets and had good luck until now.

Here is what I did:

40 gallons of custom pressed cider direct from apples in 5 gallon plastic carboy water jugs with airlocks
5 pounds of granulated sugar each carboy
Red Star Champaign yeast each
¼ teaspoon of powder tannin each
5 teaspoons of yeast nutrient each
beginning specific gravity after adding sugar was on average 1.090 each

All the carboys took off and bubbled profusely for several days. I moved them to my basement where it is about 60F, installed airlocks after the bubbling slowed, and racked first time November 5th. After that racking, I added about 6, 3 inch cinnamon sticks and about 6 whole cloves, replaced the air lock and let them do their thing.

Today (Nov 9) I’m noticing that one, maybe two carboys are very slow to bubble. I’m concerned I could be stuck. Any ideas?

Thanks
Tim

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:12 AM   #2
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Sometimes, I've had batches ferment all the way to dryness, 0.998, in less than a week. The yeast used can make a big difference sometimes!

I gather that you did not use cultured yeast to ferment any of the batches of cider, but allowed wild yeast to do this job.

I would compare the current SG readings of the slow batches to the current SG readings of the other batches.

Depending on wild yeast may be problematic sometimes, especially when the must has been boosted with so much sugar.

If the SG tests high on the suspected batches, I would first try adding yeast nutrient.

If that didn't do the trick, I'd re-pitch the yeast with a packet of some of the cultured stuff of your choice.

Pogo

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:43 AM   #3
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He said he used "Red Star Champaign yeast" so I don't think that is a problem.
The 60 degF is pretty low and that might be part of the problem or you have no problem and they are just done fermenting. Check your SG. It is .999 or below chances are you are done. If its higher than that warm them up to at least 68 degF. 60 is a little cold of a regular yeast like Red Star. Fermentation temp range 45-95 deg F. but at the colder temps it gets real slow.

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Old 11-10-2008, 11:29 AM   #4
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I'm doing one now that had the same symptoms. I added come energizer and nutrient and it brought it back to life!

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Old 11-10-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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ok....thanks guys....In the past it took 8 weeks to be done....but I will check the SG to be sure. Could be slow, and still normal.

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Old 11-13-2008, 05:34 PM   #6
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Hey I just wanted to follow up on this conversation.....I moved what I thought was my stuck cider batch upstairs to 68F....and sampled the SG..... .995 If I did the math right, Initial SG of 1.090= 11.8, Ending SG of 0.995= (minus)-0.7. Then: 11.8- (-.7) = 12.5% ABV
ITS DONE! The last 2 years I figured 2 months from start to finish...Its only been 2 weeks for this batch. I wonder if the yeast nutrient added this year made the difference.

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