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Old 06-13-2009, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Interesting Apfelwein Problem - Predictions/Guesses

I made some Apfelwein pretty much in accordance to EdWort's recipe. The exception being that I brewed on top of my last batch's scrap, and didn't add any dextrose. SG 1.049

Week one went well. The AJ/AW looked and smelled exactly like the other batches I've brewed (awesome yeasty-apply smell + lots of bubbles). I checked it again today at two weeks (SG 1.015) and it was completely still. I mean no activity on the surface, bubbles, anything. Dead. In the past it has always bubbled slowly at this time point, and fermented to an SG of 0.990-1.000.

I picked up the carboy and put it on the table. It jostled a little bit. I figured the fermentation was stuck, possibly due to Montrachet being sensitive to the lees I left in (which were six months old by that time, and may have degraded somehow). So I found some Premier Cuvee yeast, and while I waited for the yeast to hydrate, I stared at the carboy and wondered what really happened. It was still dead.

I poured in the new yeast hoping to restart fermentation - that it did. Immediately after I put the airlock back on, not thirty seconds after pouring in the new yeast, I started seeing bubbles come up, and floating particles of yeast gyrate inside the carboy.

The way I see it there are two main possibilities. Pouring in the Cuvee restarted the Montrachet. Or, the bubbles I first saw were due to a release of CO2 already in the AW, and the Cuvee was responsible for the continuing bubbles I am still seeing.

Fermentation has started, but what will come of my drink? My intuition tells me that a freshly hydrated 5 gram pack of yeast could not be producing that amount of CO2, and the act of pouring in the yeast-water mixture must have agitated the yeast bed causing fermentation to restart. It's hard to tell though, the immediate bubbles could have been from a release of CO2 already in there.

Will the Premier Curvee I put in work alongside the Montrachet, or will one "kill off" the other? Any guesses on taste if it actually is the Cuvee?

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Old 06-13-2009, 12:47 PM   #2
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Chances are it wasn't done in the first place (by evidence of the tiny bubbles ).

If the new yeast has a higher attenuation rate than the original then it will ferment out only whatever sugars are left.

If the attenuation of the original is greater than the new one then nothing will happen.

Logically, the addition of another yeast will (probably) impart some yeasty flavor to the batch. Allowing it to sit another couple of weeks/months should clean it up though.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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Brewing on the previous batches yeast doesn't make much sense, there could be infections in there and yeast is pretty cheap.
The bubbles were dissolved CO2, this always happens if you put something in at the end of primary, the new yeast would take hours to start working.
1 hydrometer reading doesn't tell you if the yeast has stopped, you should wait and take another reading after a day or two, if you did have a stuck ferment it shows the yeast was stressed, maybe it cooled down or the ABV got too high.
As far as I know yeast don't "kill each other off".
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