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Old 12-12-2010, 10:23 PM   #1
DubbinFive1Eight
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Default Is my cider fermenting? It can't be...

Alright so this is my first shot at cider... Got a hold of a farm that hooked me up with some untainted cider, so to speak, and here's the recipe:

4 gallons cider
2lbs brown sugar
4lbs strawberries, sliced
Fresh Cinnomon
Nutmeg

1 gallon of pasturized cider for backsweetening later on.


So heres the deal, I mixed all of the above ingredients except for the pasturized cider, mixed in 5 campden tablets, and let it sit for 48 hours (Yeast has NOT been pitched).

I was away for the weekend and couldn't monitor the cider... However when I came back, it was bubbling atleast once every second, like a healthy beer fermentation.

How is this possible? Is the campden reacting with something? EVERYTHING in there should be dead, including all the wild yeast.

Thanks for any advice guys, hope this batch isn't already F'd.


PS. I'm a sterilization freak so contamination isn't the issue!


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Old 12-13-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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Bump?


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Old 12-13-2010, 12:07 AM   #3
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why do you use pasturized cider for back sweetening only?
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:11 AM   #4
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I'm told pasturized cider contains sugars that aren't fermentable by yeast (although I've also heard juice pasturized by UV light WILL ferment unlike heat pasturization). So if I use that to backsweeten, I'm keeping the general cider flavor and adding something that wont possibly cause bottle combustion due to extended fermentation lol
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbinFive1Eight View Post
I'm told pasturized cider contains sugars that aren't fermentable by yeast (although I've also heard juice pasturized by UV light WILL ferment unlike heat pasturization). So if I use that to backsweeten, I'm keeping the general cider flavor and adding something that wont possibly cause bottle combustion due to extended fermentation lol
The pasteurization isn't what makes it not ferment its the preservatives. if you put in another cider with potassium Benzoate you may have killed your yeast.

you can use lactose to backsweeten.

The UV pasteurization is supposed to make a clearer cider and the heat pasteurization a hazey cider. I haven't tried both so i consider this hearsay.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by j8715 View Post
The pasteurization isn't what makes it not ferment its the preservatives. if you put in another cider with potassium Benzoate you may have killed your yeast.

you can use lactose to backsweeten.

The UV pasteurization is supposed to make a clearer cider and the heat pasteurization a hazey cider. I haven't tried both so i consider this hearsay.
Actually not sure if the cider is potassium benzoate free or not... Shouldn't have any considering its UV pasteurized, labeled ''raw''.

And WOW I guess I missed the most important part here... I haven't pitched my yeast yet, which is why I was concerned about the bubbling! The only explination 'I can think of would be wild yeast going at it, but 5 campden tablets should surely kill those guys no problem.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbinFive1Eight View Post
I'm told pasturized cider contains sugars that aren't fermentable by yeast (although I've also heard juice pasturized by UV light WILL ferment unlike heat pasturization). So if I use that to backsweeten, I'm keeping the general cider flavor and adding something that wont possibly cause bottle combustion due to extended fermentation lol
As was mentioned, pasteurized or not doesn't affect the fermentability. If you use a gallon to sweeten, and don't stabilize cider first (or bottle pasteurize it according to the sticky) you WILL have bottle bombs.

I can't answer why your cider is already fermenting, except that campden won't kill 100% of all microbes. Apparently waiting 48 hours before adding yeast let some wild yeast or bacteria take hold, if the SG is changing. It could also be that it's not fermenting. Maybe the weather got warmer, or the barometric pressure changed. Take a gravity reading. If it's the same as it was when you mixed up the cider, then just add the yeast and don't worry about it!
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:22 AM   #8
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Go figure this was my first batch of anything I didn't take an OGR... Guess I'll be winging this one, adding the yeast and hoping for the best.

There's definitely temperature changes and barometric changes as well (have had some nutty weather here the last few days) so maybe thats part of it. But coming from a beer brewing point of stand, this looks like fermentation.

I'll go crack the lid off and see if she's got a krausen going, and take a gravity reading while I'm in there. Nooot too happy about this one...

Thanks guys
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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campden doesnt kill yeast it only knocks it down, and its capabilities are directly related to pH of the juice

Id bet it will taste fine from the yeast standpoint

but I gotta ask, why strawberries, 2# of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg? what were you hoping for?
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:47 AM   #10
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Just trying something not too many other people have. It's a twist off another recipe from a friend... Whose end result turned out great. Ended up using strawberries, kiwi, and some other fruits as well. Looking for a hard cider type flavor with a hint of strawberry and spice, and a mild alcohol content. Whether it will turn out that way or not, I dunno, but there's only one way to find out...


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