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Old 12-13-2008, 05:51 PM   #11
gwin99
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so after reading the posts (here and elsewhere), heres my questions:

1: What is the process of stopping an active fermentation. I ask this as i am now confused - my local brew shop told me that i would have to do this once the "must?" has reached a desired flavor. But I keep reading that there is no way to do this, and that i would have to let it ferment dry then backsweeten.

2: Is he right or wrong, or do i have it backwards somehow :-)?

3: I have read from another post that it was (maybe for him, if not) practice to cold-crash then "stabilize" chemically - with k-sor and campden tabs. Is this a personal choice, or a standard procedure like sanitizing? Or is it two different methods for the same goal?

Thanks guys for all the posts and info - hopefully i can stop badgering you with questions soon! :-)


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Old 12-13-2008, 09:27 PM   #12
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badger away we all think we all like to be asked brewing questions because it allows us to pass knowelge of our experience and seprate prefrences...

in reply to 1, i am sorry you are confused, you can stop fermentation close to a desired flavor be never exactally... cold crashing works, you need to put it some where cold, definatly at or just slightly below 32F degrees... this will casue in most yeast 80-90% dormanciy in a 24-48 hour periode. The achohal content will not allow the wort to freeze quickly and you must be careful because if it freezes it will not clear properly, according to a text i have it refers to "chill haze" which will cause discoloration or hazy cider or beer... During cold crash you will see your yeast begin to drop out of solution in the form of less on the bottom of the fermenter. This will reduce the ammount of yeast in solution (provided you dont shake it up and disturb the less) by roughtly 75-80%,some yeast will remain in solution despite all your efforts. After no more then 48hours you should remove the wort from the fridge and rack it into a prechilled container (simply another fermenter which has been keep at roughly the same tempature as your now chilled wort. Rack the cider off the less into the second container, careful not to disturb the less and get it back into solution. After you have racked as much cider as possiable with out disturbing the yeast take and SG reading and taste... this is only becasue there will have been a change since you started cold crashing because it will have taken time to stop fermentation. Before the brew warms above 40 degrees you will need to put in an ammount of Camp Tabs and K-Sorb or other anit-yeast chems. try and keep the tempature down for the nest 6-12 hours so the chemicals can do thier work and knock any remaining yeast out. Then for another 12-24 hours return to below 32F degrees to have dead yeast fall out of solution, as well as likely 80-90% of any remaining yeast left in solution. At this point your yeast count in neligable and even if they do re-animate from cold crash they will not be able to reporduce and the current generation will die off with in 24 hours... this the simplest and most effective way to stop fermentation completely but you will have a differnt in flavor from when you decided to stop to when you finally finnish. After you have completed this, taste and if you like it then bottle it. Unless you have a carbonateing setup you can not carbonate this, there are no yeast left to produce carbonation.

Theoretically you can reduce the ammount of yeast by cold crashing over and over again by nearly 95% but this will most definatly cause chil haze if not done properly and then you would not have to worry about a large ammount of fermentation due to the surviving yeast, you could add priming sugar and bottle with out much worry of bottle bombs because of such a low yeast count.

The other alternative has already been explained, you can let ferment completely and backsweeten, which is infinatly simpler and farm more consistant because you literally sweeten to taste, its how you want it and its as persice as you want it to be.

to reply to number 2: He is not wrong, he is merely telling you what he believes is the best way, brewing is done completely to preference and ability.

To reply to 3: Yes this is a personal choice, there is no standard on how to produce home made hard cider, its a craft. It would be like saying that there is only one way to make chocolate chip cookies, which there are actully thousands of ways to make them, same with cider.

As stated before, I would not sugest cold crashing or useing chemical preservatives at all, they are extra added variables and are extra possiable headakes if done incorrectly or somtimes even if done correctly... I would sugest getting a couple of batches the old fashioned way done under your belt before you start playing with the chemicals and gagets. And remember Brewing is personal preference, and what you believe is with in your ability to do with out causeing injuy or death to yourself, and of course somtimes money is an object. Technique is only 15-20% of this hobby... say another 30-35% is ingeedants, and time, and equipment. 5-10% is luck, and the last and alrgest chunck of all that last 40-45% is just plain ass what you want out of brewin, your preference, and peception of what you want... So rule number one is "that there is no concreat rules", except rule 0, and rule zero is "make sure everything is really damn clean"

I think you should try jumping in and getting your feet wet

cheers


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Old 12-14-2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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BrewinJack: You are my new "best friend"!

Now it all makes sense... I feel now that I'm not so blind going into this - and more comfortable in doing so.

last question :-): Is it a "bad thing" to rack more than 2-3 times before conditioning? I ask becuase i just racked-off from my secondary fermenter (cleaned, sani, and put back in) but it had only been in the secondary for a week... Is that too early or its really a visual thing (lees on bottom)? And how long would it have to sit on the lees to impart these off flavors?

The motivation behind this was the tidbit of info that "you dont want to leave your brew sitting on the lees too long, it may impart bad/off flavors". I had about 1/2 inch of lees on bottom when i decided to do this...


Thanks again!
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:48 PM   #14
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ok well that aounds like a goodly deal of less, this is purely basses on the type of yeast you are useing... some yeast enpart a bad flavor if you leave it on the yeast; most prominant Plain bakers yeast, some lager yeast (if not lagered (for the record lagering is fermentation at low tempatures less then 40F degrees) mostly), and some wine yeast, also plain redstar champage yeast. Some that i have known not to produce off flavors Coopers cider yeast, most cider yeast in fact, Ale yeast tend to not cause flavor problems as well. This is a genral statment the only way to know is if you ask sombody who has left it on that piticular yeast and noticed a problem or no problem. Differnt yeast cause differnt negitive and positive things. So inorder to know specifically i would have to know what yeast your useing.


THe number of times you rack is a complex variable... you see every time you rack you intoduce O2 into the brew which causes oxidation... during rigoris fermentation this is not bad, yeast process O2 like most orginism and during the heaviest fermentation so recipies sugest a brew bubbler(a mettle fish tank bubbler normally made out of stainless steel or aluminium which is normally unpainted but sealed with a nutral polimer so it does not effect its enviorment, if desiered DO NOT use a plastic on, they gum up and are not ment to be put in somthing that is later to be drunk) to introduce more O2 during heavy fermentation and speed things up (lack of O2 is often why brews stall or flame out, or slow after inital fermentation because there is less 02 and the yeast are foced to work harder, like a runner breathing hard)

But after primary introduction of O2 is a negitive thing, it causes Oxidation which produceds off flavors with in it self and possiable contamination, and also it dirupts the frigile finnish chemistry of the yeast during the later stages of fermentation.... so if you must rack more tehn say 2-3 times you must be very careful at all times not to splash and not disrupt the liquid as much as possiable. Racking a fourth time will cause very little problems if you are careful, a fifth is pushihng it, and a sixth your asking for trouble and your likely gonna get it... after 4 rackings (the fifth or sixth time) you can pretty much chuck any off flavors up to oxidation

The normal racking

1st from primary into secondary (some dont even do this one)

2nd from secondary into bottling bucket (for some this is the only time)

IF you use cold crashing (but when cold crashing oidation is not as large an issue because Oxidation is lower at lower tampatures)

1st when going from primary to secondary (this is a must in my experience because the already establised yeast cake grows signifcantly and forces you to sacrife more cider not to disturbe the yeast)

2nd from cashed secondary (The fermenter you crashed your brew in) into the prechilled fermenter you had standing by

3rd from your prechilled (call it your chem pail where you put in your chemicals and completely stalled your brew and let the last of the yeast to settle out) into your bottleing bucket

so you can likley safely add atleast 2 more rackings to each of these break downs (the cold crash one only because you have kept the tempature down)

You can propbably see why cold crashing to stop fermentation multiple times would cause definate problems because of such a large ammount of racking

It is rally a taste and a visual thing... if you think you got too much less and arent sure the take a thimble full and give it a taste, if seems like its starting to pick up the yeasty flavor and so off flavors then rack... if not then check again the next day the same way and so on. If you see a cloudy residue in the cider then defiantly rack into a santized pail... if your not sure taste and look, if things seem ok they probably are... if things seem off then they probably arent ok.

I am sure that isnt your last question, go ahead and keep asking.

Cheers
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Twin Ogre's Brewing Co.

"I wish i could give all my genrals a bottle of what he's drinking..." Honest Abe

"On the 8th day God created Bars"

Primary:
Ginger mead (3 Gal)
Edworts Apfelwine (5Gal)
Australian Lager (5gal)

Secondary:
Operation "Black Gold" (High ABV) (5 Gal)

Bottled:
Carmel Stout
Stright Juice Cider
Apple/Blue berry/ale

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Old 12-18-2008, 08:45 PM   #15
gwin99
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I very much like the detailed posts!

I used Lavlin d-47 in a 5 gallon carboy, fermenting about 2 1/2 galons of fresh apple cider. I had started to notice some bad smells from the carboy and was thinking infection? Only because it wasnt the same smell as before (from primary)...

Whats the tell-tale signs of an infected cider?

I'll admit, i dropped like 4 campden tabs in there over 48hrs ago in a rushed decision but, now looking to see if it was a legitamate concern or over-reaction...
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:23 AM   #16
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For a new brewer - affectionately called noobs, back sweetening with a none ferment able sugar substitute is the best answer.
You have converted all the sugar in the cider/juice to alcohol, and it can get pretty dry tasting. All your doing is adjusting the taste to your liking.
Crash cooling, chemicals, etc are other options down the line but just starting out. Keep it as simple as you can so you enjoy making it, and you enjoy drinking it. There is ton's of time and more brews to get complicated on.
By the way, welcome to homebrewing.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwin99 View Post
I very much like the detailed posts!

I used Lavlin d-47 in a 5 gallon carboy, fermenting about 2 1/2 galons of fresh apple cider. I had started to notice some bad smells from the carboy and was thinking infection? Only because it wasnt the same smell as before (from primary)...

Whats the tell-tale signs of an infected cider?

I'll admit, i dropped like 4 campden tabs in there over 48hrs ago in a rushed decision but, now looking to see if it was a legitamate concern or over-reaction...
I hate to say it but you over reacted... many call the smelly fermenter you discribe as a stage called "rhino farts" in which some of the more organic componets of the juice and the yeast decompse in the fermenter and cause a slightly rank smell... i actully like the smell... the camptabs probably severly stunded things and likely you may have kill your batch... or maybe your yeast shrugged off the sulfites... either way you were on the right track, lets just hope you still are... infections are actully qutie hard to get with good brewing practices of cleaning and sanitizeing... in over 6 years of brewin not once have i had an infection (knock on wood)... keep an eye on this, if you see no signs of fermentation in a few days then youve knocked out your yeast with the camptabs and you may have to decide what to do then...

If it is stalled then you should either let the sulfites die out and then repinch your yeast with a a cup or two(loose not packed) of brown sugar and see if you can get it to restart then fement out compeltely...

Or you can taste it and see if you like the taste, after the sulfites are out of the picture and then decide not to restart fermentation. and just bottle.

If you restart fermentation with more yeast and added sugar you will have a higher ABV then you orginally predicted and it will take a much longer time to ferment out.

Cheers
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Twin Ogre's Brewing Co.

"I wish i could give all my genrals a bottle of what he's drinking..." Honest Abe

"On the 8th day God created Bars"

Primary:
Ginger mead (3 Gal)
Edworts Apfelwine (5Gal)
Australian Lager (5gal)

Secondary:
Operation "Black Gold" (High ABV) (5 Gal)

Bottled:
Carmel Stout
Stright Juice Cider
Apple/Blue berry/ale
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:22 AM   #18
gwin99
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Crap - but i'm glad this is normal... woulda been a mental "setback" if it was an infection...

It's clearing now and it looks like it knocked the rest of the yeast out, as you predicted... So I went ahead and took a taste - very sweet... almost too sweet. but has the right "notes" - tastewise, withstanding only that i think i should add just a tiny tiny bit tartness.

I have read that people use citric acid and others have used tannin? what are the pro's and cons of these? is one generally better than the other - when adding "tart" to the brew?

Do i have this wrong - that these are not used this way?

Thanks to all and have a Merry Christmas!!!
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:53 AM   #19
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I would be more concerned with whether or not it is finished fermenting. If you did manage to stun the yeast, you should try to restart fermentation. Perhaps with a racking and repitching new yeast.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:11 AM   #20
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BrewinJack - Not a knock, but please.

Break up your post with more paragraphs. I am just having a hard time processing what your writing.

Maybe I'm just suffering from getting old, but...

Once again, I actually like reading what your writing, it just kind of hard to read through it. Thank you for sharing.


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