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Old 01-16-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
Lost_Arkitekt
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So, I've just gotten back into homebrewing after many years of doing it once in a blue moon because a friend wanted me to show them how...(and then, of course, I end up doing all the work...Ha!). I've never made cider and after watching BrewTV's episode on cider we gave it a whirl last night. One of the threads I read posted some info on yeasts (not the sticky that's in the cider forum), and since I had some old Coopers, I decided to rehydrate and make a simple syrup "starter" to see if it was good.

Anyway, after a day of the Coopers just sitting there doing nothing, I decided to run out and get some yeast, and it was recommended that I use Nottingham if I wanted to try ale yeast. (As a side note, I made a starter with corn sugar because I didn't want to add DME to the cider...next time, if I try that, I'll just use some of the cider.) Anyway, the Nottingham was brand new, I left out to get room temp, hydrated it with 89*F water, and then pitched last night at about 11:00 pm CST. As of this morning, I have NO activity on the airlock.

Question for the cider experts is two fold. One, how long will it take pasteurized, sugar added cider to start fermenting with Nottingham...ambient temp of about 66*F? After I bought the yeast, etc., the Cooper's "starter" took off and fermented in a 1.5L Magnum champagne bottle. Second, if the Nottingham doesn't seem to be doing its trick, how would you suggest pitching the Cooper's "starter"? I figure I'm supposed to pitch at high krausen, but I'm not sure I want to add an entire liter of yeast to cider. Should I just swirl it around and add about half?

Any thoughts on this would be extremely helpful as I don't want to waste all that juice and yeast. Lastly, has anyone ever washed the yeast after a cider batch?

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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As many here will tell you, airlock activity, or a lack thereof, is not the true measure of whether or not fermentation activity is happening. You need to check gravity in order to know for certain whether or not fermentation is happening. However, I've noticed in ciders that I've made that it usually takes 72 hours before I see strong activity, regardless of the yeasts I've used, i.e. wine vs ale. Give it time, I'm sure the Notty will take off.

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost_Arkitekt View Post
So, I've just gotten back into homebrewing after many years of doing it once in a blue moon because a friend wanted me to show them how...(and then, of course, I end up doing all the work...Ha!). I've never made cider and after watching BrewTV's episode on cider we gave it a whirl last night. One of the threads I read posted some info on yeasts (not the sticky that's in the cider forum), and since I had some old Coopers, I decided to rehydrate and make a simple syrup "starter" to see if it was good.

Anyway, after a day of the Coopers just sitting there doing nothing, I decided to run out and get some yeast, and it was recommended that I use Nottingham if I wanted to try ale yeast. (As a side note, I made a starter with corn sugar because I didn't want to add DME to the cider...next time, if I try that, I'll just use some of the cider.) Anyway, the Nottingham was brand new, I left out to get room temp, hydrated it with 89*F water, and then pitched last night at about 11:00 pm CST. As of this morning, I have NO activity on the airlock.

Question for the cider experts is two fold. One, how long will it take pasteurized, sugar added cider to start fermenting with Nottingham...ambient temp of about 66*F? After I bought the yeast, etc., the Cooper's "starter" took off and fermented in a 1.5L Magnum champagne bottle. Second, if the Nottingham doesn't seem to be doing its trick, how would you suggest pitching the Cooper's "starter"? I figure I'm supposed to pitch at high krausen, but I'm not sure I want to add an entire liter of yeast to cider. Should I just swirl it around and add about half?

Any thoughts on this would be extremely helpful as I don't want to waste all that juice and yeast. Lastly, has anyone ever washed the yeast after a cider batch?
I am a big fan of Nottingham yeast in my cider it leave a bit of (sweetness) since it attenuation is usually less then 100...I dnt know much about the coopers but I bet even if you just used a cup it would work fine....good luck and happy brewing

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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I made the biggest, NOOB, bonehead mistake...meaning I didn't take an SG reading, so I can't tell if it is working or not.

Oh well...we'll see what happens in a few days, and if not, I'll pitch some more yeast. I figure if it is down to 1.040 it is fermenting because I've read that that juice is about 1.045, and I added about 2 lbs of brown sugar...brought up to 170 for 10 minutes with about 2 cups of the apple juice.

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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Straight juice will put you at 1.045 or so, as you said, maybe a tad more. Expect maybe .5-1 point per lb of sugar, so at least 1.055 best 1.065 or so as your start, if this is a 5g batch or so.

Anyhow, cider takes WAY longer to start for me, especially at low temps. Maybe I aerate less, maybe it's just how it is, but I don't expect activity for at least 48 hours, sometimes it's faster than that though. Usually not a lot of airlock activity at all until 48hours though, you can just see a skim of foam forming on top of the cider, that's the only indication I get.

And that's for any yeast I've used from champagne yeast to Coopers, to Nottingham, to S-04, to US-05.

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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Just a note on start times, my batch with ec1118 took 20 minutes to start bubbling, the one with cooper blew foam every where, but only after 24 hours and the batch with Morgan's took a full 48 hours.

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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What were the ingredients of your juice? Was there preservatives in it?

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:19 AM   #8
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Worried for naught! Thanks everyone for the help and encouragement.

I figured it was at about 1.065...thanks, Psych!

My Nottingham started perking at almost 24 hours later, so not as good as some and better than others. Bluespark...hopefully, this doesn't blow foam everywhere. Knock on wood, but I've only had ONE exploding batch in all my years of homebrewing and no exploding bottles. (Just knocked on wood.)

My Coopers is going to be put in a water/air tight container and saved for later batch! Yay...free yeast!

BWN, the only thing other than apple juice and water in my "cider" was ascorbic acid, which being new to cider making seemed okay from what I read. Regardless, it is showing signs of life. All I had was a fermentation bucket (carboys loaded with Belgian Dubbel), and I usually don't use them because I like visually being able to see things.

It sure is nice to be back into brewing again. Hopefully my rant on about Vendor Giveaways didn't offend anyone or put me in a bad light!

PS...in Chicago...I can't weld sanitary, but willing to weld racks, furniture, etc. on the barter system. (My TIG/Stick (multi-process) machine was sold off by a 'friend', so I only do MIG now.)

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:03 AM   #9
Psych
 
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Right on, you're off to the races! ...the cider races!

 
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