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Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

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  1. Rick Stephens

    Is it okay to Boil my Cider to stop fermentation?

    Note, gently warming your cider to 60C will kill all the yeast. Do not boil.
  2. Rick Stephens

    Bottle Pressure Limits

    I had my one and only bottle bomb last week while pasteurizing a skeeter pee batch. I've done well over 50 gallons of bottle carbed and pasteurized ciders and pee this last 6 months. The 10 gal. skeeter pee batch with the bottle bomb was interesting in that I decided to catch it and bottle on...
  3. Rick Stephens

    Is BIGGER better?

    Two things cause O2 and bacteria problems - too much headspace and a large surface area. The Big Mouth Bubblers and Fermonsters with the big lids are not so good for long secondaries with their huge surface area. I always move to a traditional carboy for secondary, no matter how hard they are to...
  4. Rick Stephens

    Please help fix my cider

    Either will work, you might get their advice. The Vierka is a wine tannin, I use something similar.
  5. Rick Stephens

    Please help fix my cider

    One easy step that always adds crispness to your cider is to take the pH to between 3.2 and 3.4. I tend to nail my juice ad 3.4 before fermenting and come in pretty close to that when finished. The added little bite is a big positive. I use both malic and ascorbic in equal measures and use the...
  6. Rick Stephens

    Raspberry Lemonade not fermenting

    'Patience grasshopper' - Probably the most important ingredient when waiting on fermentation in lemon juice.
  7. Rick Stephens

    Raspberry Lemonade not fermenting

    My last lemon juice 'skeeter pee' batch was a month on S04 with no activity, so I split it in half into a pair 5 gal carboys, added water and sugar but no additional lemon juice. Then I did a science experiment to see how much activity I could get in a quart jar with warm water, sugar, nutrients...
  8. Rick Stephens

    Adding in concentrated fruit juice?

    Around here all my tasters: SWMBO, growed kids, friends etc. ask for the blueberry pomegranate cider more than anything 'cept skeeter pee. I make the blueberry pom cider with 5 gal plain ol' apple juice, set to 3.4 pH. I use either S04 or Nottie. When finished primary, I rack into bottling...
  9. Rick Stephens

    Need for racking in a conical fermenter

    Not having ever used one.... more accurately, not having ever seen one, I can't directly refer to what would work. However, lees tends to cake up and be more solid than the fluids above it. If you drain from the bottom, IMHO, you will only remove a very small portion of the lees even if you...
  10. Rick Stephens

    First batch taste test.

  11. Rick Stephens

    Carbonation with sugar in bottle and lees removing

    Since I bottle carbonate, like Raptor99, I end up with a little sediment/lees in the bottom of every bottle. I don't care. A little care in pouring leaves almost all of it behind when you pour almost all of it in a glass. And I will stand my homemade hard cider and skeeter pee against any store...
  12. Rick Stephens

    Carbonation with sugar in bottle and lees removing

    If you bottle carb there are always lees. You can take several sweetening paths with force carbonation that would be perfectly clear.
  13. Rick Stephens

    Do Campden tablets eliminate the need to sanitize? (I assume the answer is NO)

    I made a bunch of batches with frozen blueberries. Never rinsed them, or even unfroze them before adding to the fermenter beginning of primary and late in secondary. Never a problem, for what it is worth. I Starsan the apples since I do pick up windfalls.
  14. Rick Stephens

    Do Campden tablets eliminate the need to sanitize? (I assume the answer is NO)

    I actually dunk all my apples, before grinding and pressing, in a trough full of sanitizer that was just used to clean and sanitize the grinder table, buckets, press, mesh bags, and tools.
  15. Rick Stephens

    Should it look like this? And can I open it to check?

    First let it finish primary... that means nearly all the airlock activity is gone and gravity is down to around a 1.000. Then decide from the taste what you need. If you decide it needs a secondary then it needs to be properly stored with limited airspace and a good airlock. My advice is not...
  16. Rick Stephens

    Hard Apple Cider: Safale S-04, Nottingham Ale, and Red Star Red Star Premier Blanc Champagne Yeasts

    I started out with champagne yeasts and found the rocket fuel result a bit too hard for my tastes. I do like S04 and Nottie a lot. Also enjoy Lalvin C. Clarity is not on my list of requirements although it is really nice to show off a perfectly clear cider. The very first thing I came to this...
  17. Rick Stephens

    Should it look like this? And can I open it to check?

    Mostly you should not worry about primary fermentation behaviors that you are seeing. If your yeast is one that tends to create a lot of foam, called 'krausen' BTW, then you would benefit from more headspace or a tube leading off from the top vent into a jar to capture the spill. I usually just...
  18. Rick Stephens

    Forgotten Cider

    interesting results. I never had anything last that long, makes me wonder what triggers going stale or bad. Sounds you have perfect cleanliness to remain quality after that amount of time.
  19. Rick Stephens

    Beginner - Here's what I've bought, any help and tips?

    Unlike some others, I often use tea at the start to add some tannins. Also sometimes just use wine tannin powder to supplement instead. I always adjust the pH to where I want it by adding acids. At times I use a particular sugar, like agave, or brown, or corn sugar etc, to achieve some given...
  20. Rick Stephens

    Same chest freezer/temp for fermenting and serving?

    Most of the yeasts I use recommend in the 60's. I stored some bottles that were bottle carbing in the sunroom once, while that room is part of the house, we close all the heat vents and let it cool off. Those bottle would not restart until I brought them back into the basement which is always in...