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Old 03-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #1
kdok105
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Default Very spiced cider

Hi,

So I had some experimental cider (only a gallon) that I fermented for 2 weeks with s04 yeast and some added sugars, racked to secondary, and then added 2 cinnamon sticks and a handful of whole allspice and cloves. Then I left it in my closet for awhile, sort of forgot that I had it for like 4 weeks, checked it and saw that there was still significant bubbling, left it for 2 more weeks, saw that the bubbling had decreased to very minimal, waited a few days until it virtually stopped, and now it's been sitting in my fridge for a few days cold crashing before I plan to bottle it.

Basically it's about as stiff as it's gonna get, and extremely spiced, but I'm wondering why the fermentation took so long after the racking and adding of the spices.

I have heard that certain spices have antibiotic properties that slow the growth of yeast, which could be why, and I've also read some stuff on wine production, and how fermenting on skins (cellulose) can produce methanol. I know that methanol is naturally present in most non-distilled alcoholic beverages and is perfectly safe at such levels, but I'm wondering if the 6 weeks of fermenting with the spices, which are essentially wood bark and fibrous seeds, could have caused an unsafe increase in methanol in the cider. I don't really want to experiment on myself and go blind, and even though my intuition tells me that I shouldn't be too worried, I figured I'd check with the experts first. Thanks.

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Old 03-12-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
Tusch
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Doesn't sound like it took at that long to ferment. If you added more sugar after racking then you essentially started over, no problem there. If you don't have a hydrometer yet, get one, specific gravity readings are the only true way to know a brew's strength and for sure when it is completely fermented.

About the methanol, you are fine. Your intuition is correct, you will never make a high enough concentration of methanol in your brew to make you go blind. The worst thing that can happen from the methanol presented in a fermented beverage is sweet hangover, the only time you will see unsafe levels is if you distilled it and didn't removed the methanol as it distilled out.

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Old 03-13-2009, 12:06 AM   #3
kdok105
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Well that's good news. I actually didn't add more sugar after the racking to secondary, I was just planning to let it clear and add the spices, but then the fermentation started up again quite significantly after it had stopped in the primary, which I found a bit odd.

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