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Old 10-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Tried a hard cider. Ferment fail?

made a cider... recipe is simple 3 gallons of homemade cider(so i know there are no preservatives) 1lbs brown sugar, some cinnamon and allspice.. OG was a bit low but still 1.040, so I pitched some champagne yeast (red star I think). It fermented one week then died. I added some yeast nutrient and I let it go 2 weeks more (with very little sign of any fermentation) So 3 weeks total and I just read it again 1.020?? My understanding champagne yeast should be hitting down around 1.000 flat? Not to mention what is that like 2.5%? I don't know about this... The yeast should have been healthy and I rehydrated before adding, but should I maybe add more yeast?? Temp stays very steady in my basement. Fluctuation at most from 65-70 degrees (note: I have beers in carboys left and right of it fermenting like champions...

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
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I'm new to cider too, but did one the other day and had a OG of 1.053. Seems the 16oz of brown sugar was too light. I used 30oz to 3 gallons of cider. The yeast are ok - so try adding additional fermentable sugars (can of frozen apple concentrate or boiled sugar solution).

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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Try checking your hydrometer in plain water, to make sure it's accurate (it should read 1.000). It really doesn't seem possible for the cider to stick at 1.020.

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCangler17 View Post
I'm new to cider too, but did one the other day and had a OG of 1.053. Seems the 16oz of brown sugar was too light. I used 30oz to 3 gallons of cider. The yeast are ok - so try adding additional fermentable sugars (can of frozen apple concentrate or boiled sugar solution).
yeah I have been kicking around adding more fermentables, but at 1.020 I feel like there should still be fermentable sugars left? I could be wrong though. (I have been drinking all day)


so im considering just adding brown sugar and bottling in some 22's. This seems like a bad plan though, if the yeast is dead.. no carb will happen, if it is sleeping wakes up it could work, but if i'm right about 1.020 indicating that there are still fermentables I will probably have bombs hhaha as the kids are saying these days "fml"
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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know what i'm using a refrac, but still worth a check(why didnt i think of this) thanks yooper

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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UPON FURTHER REVIEW... The refractometer was in need of a slight adjustment looks now more like 2.6 brix or a SG of 1.010? according to the online calculator I have been using... So should I cry over the one hundreth or face facts that this first time expirement was probably doomed to have a low alch from the second I put it in the fermenter with 1.04?

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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Yeah check the refractometer like Yooper said. If it checks out, then I'd add a back sweetener. The yeast shouldn't be dead though, so I'd rack to a new fermenter and add sweetener.

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #8
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Put aside the refractometer and use the hydrometer. Alcohol skews light refraction, so a refractometer reading is useless for checking the FG.

Your reading is probably more like .990, since it seems to be finished.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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Yooper, my lhbs said the refractometer could be used for FG. Was I lied to?

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Yooper, my lhbs said the refractometer could be used for FG. Was I lied to?
"Lied to" is strong. I'd say, no, not "lied to" but the information is incorrect.

There ARE online calculators that can be used to help convert a refractometer reading to a corresponding SG, but it's not all that accurate. It's not too bad in a beer, where the Fg is in the 1.010-1.016 range but in a wine or cider, when the reading usually goes to .990 I don't think it's even convertible. I mean .990 is below 0 brix- so how could you possibly read/convert that?

What you CAN use a refractometer for is to know if fermentation is done, although the reading isn't accurate. What I mean is this- if the reading is 5 brix today, and 5 brix in 3 days, it's done. Then you can use a hydrometer to see what the actual FG reading is.
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