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-   -   Cider fermentation failed to start (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/cider-fermentation-failed-start-83337/)

cmdrico7812 10-08-2008 02:52 AM

Cider fermentation failed to start
So here's where I'm at and how I got here.

I put together a simple cider recipe based on EdWort's Apflewein. Instead of apple juice, I substituted cider, added 2 pounds of dextrose, and a package of Montracht Yeast and put it in the fermenter. My problem (and I don't know what I was thinking here) was to pitch the yeast in the cider but the cider was still relatively cold after getting it out of the grocer's cooler. It was probably 40 degrees or so. I figured the yeast would start, but it might not be for awhile (I had made EdWort's Apflewein once before following the recipe exactly and fermentation started about 12 hours after pitching).

Once I realized my mistake, I pulled out a small space heater and brought the temperature of the fermenter up to about 70 and pitched two more packets of yeast in case the cold killed them.

It has now been 48 hours and nothing is happening (at least there are no bubbles coming from the air lock).

Does anyone have any thoughts on how I can salvage this debacle or did I post too soon and I should just wait it out?

Much thanks in advance.

kaptk2 10-08-2008 03:00 AM

RDWHABH, give it time, if it still has not started after 72 hours take a hydrometer reading to be sure. You may just not realize that it is fermenting.

cmdrico7812 10-09-2008 04:02 PM

So it had been 72 hours since pitching the first packet of yeast last night and still no fermentation. When I pitched the second two packets of yeast after 48 hours I just poured them in without aerating. Last night I cleaned out an ale pail and poured the cider from the carboy into the pail on top of another packet of yeast. I'll check tonight after work for fermentation. I hope this works, I've never had anything not start fermenting before.

monty73741 10-09-2008 04:14 PM

Check the cider to make sure that it all natural, if not you might have killed your yeah
make sure it didnt have sorbic acid in it

cmdrico7812 10-09-2008 04:17 PM

Damn, I didn't check that when I bought it. Anyone have any suggestions if it does, in fact, contain sorbic acid? Is there any chance to salvage any of it for some purpose?

Revvy 10-09-2008 04:19 PM

Bubbles mean nothing...the airlock is a vent, nothing more...don't think that nothing's happening just because the airlock isn't moving. It is a cheap 2 dollar lump of chinese plastic...not a precision instrument...The only precision instrument that can tell you what is going on is your hydrometer...

Did you USE your hydrometer before pitching more yeast? Or just assume that no bubbles meant no fermentation?

It's too late now, but read this for next time....it will save you from unecessary worry...Just replace the word "beer" with cider, all fermentation is the same.


Ben25 10-09-2008 04:19 PM

Let the yeast drop out and drink it as apple juice...

Bob 10-09-2008 05:49 PM

Chemical preservatives used in grocery-store cider, such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, will not kill microflora, only stop them from reproducing. In my experience, however, you can overwhelm the chemicals by pitching lots of yeast, which you have done.

Montrachet yeast is wine yeast, and fermentations with wine yeast are generally nowhere near as excitingly dramatic as ale fermentations. You should have seen some foam by now, though.

I think y'all meant "ascorbic acid", which is an antioxidant and, IIRC, vitamin C. That's why you put lemon juice over sliced apples to keep them from going brown. ;) It is not a microbial inhibitor.


monty73741 10-09-2008 05:58 PM

i meant potassium sorbate....

cmdrico7812 10-09-2008 10:01 PM

I just found one of the jugs in the trash, it does contain potassium sorbate. Damn, time to start over. Any creative ideas on what to do with this botched batch?

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