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FarmerGeorge

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Forgive me if these questions have been asked a thousand times, but it is my first batch of cider. In a 5 gallon food grade bucket I added 4.5 gallons of Musselman's cider and a can of frozen concentrated. I had purchased some Lalvin EC-118 from Amazon a month or so ago and stored it in the refrigerator. I pitched the yeast is some warm water with some cider mixed in and saw minor bubbling in the pint jar. Not really knowing what to expect, I watched about 4 hours of less than vigorous yeast activity. I then mixed the yeast in the bucket, secured the bucket and loaded the air lock. After two days in a cool (about 65 degree) closet, I had zero bubbles in the airlock. I then mixed another package of yeast (bought 10 when I got them). This time I got a bit more bubbling activity so I decided it was probably bad yeast the first time. After a few hours, I poured the second batch of yeast in the cider. Two days later still no bubbles in airlock. Am I dealing with bad yeast? How long until I should be seeing bubbles? Is there something more I should do to the yeast to bring it along? I have 8 more packets. Should I keep mixing in yeast until it takes off? If you can tell where I went wrong, please let me know.
 

Mike_kever_kombi

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Did you use any yeast nutrient?

Airlock activity is not a sure sign of fermentation. Oft times there is a lot of air loss around the lid of the bucket, even if you think it is on tight.

The only sure way to know is to take a gravity reading, but I don't recommend that for another week or 2, assuming you took a SG.

You have pitched enough yeast, now relax and let them do their thing
 
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FarmerGeorge

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Thanks Mike. I'll excercise a bit more patience and see what happens. I was just expecting more activity. Next batch will defininately be in a carboy, but was kind of "testing the waters" on this batch. I didn't take into account the blind faith required in a food grade bucket. Thanks for your reply.
 

theonetrueruss

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Why are you waiting a few hours after hydrating your yeast to pitch it? I doubt this is causing an issue but it is not necessary.
 
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FarmerGeorge

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I guess I'm not sure. I read a ton before starting and thought I'd read that somewhere. Won't do it next time. Thanks for the input.
 

MarkKF

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Hydrate yeast in juice. Not water. Add nutrient to recipe next time. Wrap a blanket around your bucket and wait for now.
 

Maylar

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From Lavin's data sheet on EC-1118:

Rehydrate EC-1118 in 5 times its weight of potable water at 40°C. Let stand for at least 20 minutes
then gently stir occasionally to break up any clumps. Add to the must.
- THE TOTAL REHYDRATION DURATION SHOULD NEVER EXCEED 45 MINUTES
- AVOID COLD SHOCKING THE YEAST. THE TEMPERATURE DROP BETWEEN THE
MUST TO BE INOCULATED AND THE REHYDRATION MEDIUM SHOULD NEVER BE
>10°C (if any doubt, please contact your supplier or Lallemand)
- IT IS ESSENTIAL TO REHYDRATE THE YEAST IN A CLEAN CONTAINER.
- INITIAL REHYDRATION IN MUST IS NOT ADVISABLE.
 
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