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Old 10-25-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
ChrisNH
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Default Understanding my Cider fermentation

First, let me provide the disclaimer that I am not particularly a hard cider fan.. this is a project I am doing for some family members who want me to do something "useful" with all that brewing gear..

I made a very basic hard cider by pitching cider yeast into 4 gallons of cold pasteurized sweet cider in a 5 gallon carboy. We did this as a "control" batch so we have something to compare to when we start adding things to it with future recipes. Its been sitting at around 62-64 degrees. Fermentation has been steady.. its been burping for several weeks with a nice bit of foam on top.

When I observe the carboy there seems to be some yellow or light brown stuff stuck to the sides, not just near the top as I would expect with beer kreusen. As well, the foam is diminishing. I am considering racking it off to another carboy. Is the gunk stuck to the side of my fermenter any worry? Does racking provide any benefit? How long can I leave it in the primary?

I don't really understand how the fermentation products are going to differ from my beer. If I am going to do it I need to do it tonight or I will have to wait 2-3 weeks for a carboy to be available again.

Thanks,

Chris

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:09 AM   #2
McKinley
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As long as its just a little, then its normal, just a little "Apple Krausen." You shouldn't see near as much crap on your fermenter as you would with any beer. This stuff won't hurt your cider too much as long as you rack in a timely fashion.

At your temps I would guess you could leave that cider on the lees on the longer side without too much trouble from autolysis. Just try to avoid any big heat bursts to your cider. Once the airlock activity has died off avoid opening the fermentation chamber. Cider's oxidize somewhat easily. For my two cents, I think its better to let your fermentation finish healthy rather than rack now before its really done.

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Old 10-26-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
ChrisNH
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Default Left it in

I have decided to leave it in the fermenter for now. My cellar stays a rock solid 62 this time of year. It will slowly drop until it is 50 in February. I plan my batches and yeast selection accordingly. Anyway.. should be no heat bursts.

I have 4 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy.. so I can't really avoid head space unless I top it off somehow. The only case I can make for racking it before fermentation is completely stalled is to fill that space with CO2.

Thanks for the help.

Chris

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Old 10-26-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
Fletch78
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For future reference, use marbles to fill head space. I heard that tip on gotmead.com

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