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Old 08-20-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
SMCH
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Default A Variety of Fun Cider Questions!

Hey all,

Here's a few questions I've run into as I'm just getting started...

If my juice is starting at 1.060 and 10 days later it's down to around 1.000 is there any reason to ferment further? Any reason to ferment below 1.000?

Is it bad to leave your brew in the primary too long? Any consequences?

Will racking to the secondary slow down fermentation because you are abandoning (or at least trying to) lees from primary which is basically yeast (right?)?

When is headspace dangerous? How much headspace is dangerous?

Can I use marbles to eliminate headspace? Do they have to be glass marbles are any special type (clear vs colored)?

Lastly, I'm also making grape juice wine. The juice looks done fermenting but I'd like to be sure and so should I add a campden tablet (with the airlock on), wait 24 hours, then add sorbate? Do I need both? Help!

Any help appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-21-2011, 03:52 AM   #2
Calder
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Originally Posted by SMCH View Post
If my juice is starting at 1.060 and 10 days later it's down to around 1.000 is there any reason to ferment further? Any reason to ferment below 1.000?
Assuming you are going to carbonate the cider, you need to let it finish, so that you know how much sugar there is for carbonating. Otherwise you might end up over-carbonating and get bottle bombs.

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Originally Posted by SMCH View Post
Is it bad to leave your brew in the primary too long? Any consequences?
No issues. This is not beer, and leaving it on the lees is recommended.

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Originally Posted by SMCH View Post
Will racking to the secondary slow down fermentation because you are abandoning (or at least trying to) lees from primary which is basically yeast (right?)?
Yeast that is on the bottom is done. There is still a lot of yeast in suspension. Racking will take this with it. The only time this is a problem is if it has gotten too cool, and good yeast dropped due to low temp. This should not be a problem this time of year.

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When is headspace dangerous? How much headspace is dangerous?
Racking after fermentation is done. Make sure headspace is minimal. The cider will let entrained CO2 out that will help. I often add some fresh apple juice to top up the fermenter whenever I rack. The yeast ferments the juice and creates CO2.

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Can I use marbles to eliminate headspace? Do they have to be glass marbles are any special type (clear vs colored)?
As I said before, I would add more juice.
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