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Old 12-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
amybroman
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Default Cider Won't Ferment!

Hello!

I am in need of some advice for my incredibly stubborn cider that I am currently brewing. I started the brew right after the snowstorm in October. I purchased 5 gallons of unpasturized, non uv-treated, raw cider and heated it to about 160°F for about 30 minutes. I added 1.5lb of raw turbinado cane sugar, 1lb of corn sugar, and 1/4 cup of molasses. I also boiled a pie pumpkin and some tart apples and added that to the mix. I added 1 packet of activated Safale-04 and let it go. The O.G. was 1.072. After 12 days, the airlock had bubbled minimally and the F.G. was 1.070. I added two active packets of Safale-05 and let it go once again. I checked it after another 12 days after minimal airlock bubbling at the F.G. was 1.050. I have just added Wyeast 4766 and the airlock is still showing no signs of fermentation.

Any thoughts? I would like to have an ABV around 6%.


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Old 12-06-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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Well, it seems to be fermenting, albeit slowly. What temp is it at?


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Old 12-06-2011, 12:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem
Well, it seems to be fermenting, albeit slowly. What temp is it at?
Hi Jlem,

It is at around 70°F.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:57 AM   #4
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Hi Jlem,

It is at around 70°F.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:43 AM   #5
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I would think that at 70º F, you should be showing some signs of fermentation. Have you checked for leaks in the container? maybe a leaky lid or a leak in the bung or airlock?

Since the gravity is dropping, it seems to be fermenting. Is it showing any bubbles or activity in the must? There's one hell of a yeastie party in there right now...sounds like they should be producing some CO2.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:48 AM   #6
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Try adding a bit of nutrient. Could be slowbecause the yeast just doesn't have enough to go on besides sugar. Just dissolve it in some boiling water, let it cool and mix it in. A bit of aeration might help too.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:52 AM   #7
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You might try bringing the temp up a little to see if it starts, or add a yeast starter of the Safale that has been working a couple of days.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:17 AM   #8
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Sorry but a couple questions and observations and apologize if these are obvious questions that you already took into account.

1. Are you using a hydrometer or refractometer to test specific gravity?
1a. Are you sure the hydrometer is accurate? Ie, did you measure water (distilled preferably) and get a reading extremely close to 1.000?
1b. If using a refractometer did you account for the alcohol variance. You probably know this but refractometers don't do well testing fluids with alcohol in them. But can be used accurately in an alcohol enviorment with some calibrations.

2. Were you working off a known recipe? And if so, were you above or below the expected pre-fermentation gravity?

Your ferm temp sounds good and to paraprhase the above post. There's a lot of yeast in that brew! Those guys just eat everything. Maybe there are not many fermentables in this cider, (sounds like there is quite a few though) I'd check (if you haven't already) on the testing tools and if they are working as advertised just keep our little buddies at a happy fermenting temp and forget about it for a month or two. I think the yeast were overwhelemed in a high specific gravity enviorment and are just getting themselves built up and ready to go eat some sugars, fart co2 and pee alcohol.

Disclaimer: I don't have a clue about Cider.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:40 PM   #9
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Temp seems fine. Air lock activity (or lack thereof) doesn't mean a thing. Your gravity readings show that the yeast are working. Leave it be for another week and check the gravity again. If it is still dropping, just sit back and relax.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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Dan,

I was using a hydrometer and it is accurate. I wasnt working off a known recipe. I appreciate the feedback! This is my first cider brew and I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong. Thank you!

Jlem,

Thank you for the input. I will check it in a week and check back in. I appreciate the help!


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