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Old 11-03-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Low yeast activity

Yeah, I am an unfortunate newbie who used cider with the potassium sorbate. I have small bubbles mostly and I haven't seen any major bubbling since I started this batch 6 days ago. I did put some yeast energizer and EC-1118 in after a few days, but only a small improvement. I am wondering is this batch is stuck or if I should let it keep going even with the small bubbles.

I was thinking about racking this into another container and making a new yeast starter. This site was saying that you can mix a killer strain with some oj (no oj joke intended!) to give it a kick in the pants.
Make a different kind of starter: use about a 1/2 cup of warm water, dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar in the water, add some orange juice to this mix, make sure the temperature is about 90 F, before adding a packet of Red Star Premier Cuvee or Lalvin EC-1118 yeast to this mixture. Wait until it really gets working. Take about a gallon of your must and warm it up to about 68 to 70 F. Now add the yeast starter to the gallon of must, as it starts to work and gets going, SLOWLY add small portions of the stuck fermentation to that which is working. You should not add more than a quart, make sure the temperature of that which you are adding is at least 70 F. As the volume of the working must gets larger, you can add larger portions to the fermentation. Make sure the temperature is at least 70 F before you add it.

I'll add a couple links to pics of my cider in the car boy. My s.g. was 1.050. I went with 4.5 gal of cider, .5 gal of peach puree, and 2lbs of honey. I didn't have good luck with some red star wine yeast and ended up throwing some EC-1118 in it. Any thoughts or recommendations are welcome.

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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There are tons of posts out there regarding "stuck or slow fermentations". Visual signs are definitely not the way to judge fermentation progress. However, if you do have small bubbles of CO2, the yeast will be working for you. I would recommend checking the specific gravity of your cider. You should find that the gravity reading has fallen compared with the original gravity. As long as that's the case, just leave it alone.

Also, with 2lbs of honey, the fermentation may take a bit longer to complete. I would recommend leaving this batch in the primary, on the yeast cake, for at least another 2 weeks before transferring to secondary. If you transfer too early, you'll take the majority of the yeast out of the batch thus slowing down the fermentation even further.
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