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Old 10-08-2008, 03:52 AM   #1
cmdrico7812
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Default 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.

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Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:00 AM   #2
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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.

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
cmdrico7812
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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.

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Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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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

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
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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?

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Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:19 PM   #6
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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.

http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/...before_action/

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:19 PM   #7
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Let the yeast drop out and drink it as apple juice...

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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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.

Bob

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:58 PM   #9
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i meant potassium sorbate....

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Old 10-09-2008, 11:01 PM   #10
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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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Zwei Brüder Brauerei


Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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