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Best way to Re-start Fermentation?

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msabiers

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Batch, Feb 9:
-- 4 gal. Mussleman's Cider (no preserves)
-- Corn syrup to make OG = 1.085
-- Lalvin 1118 yeast
-- Temp. 73 F.
-- 5 tsp Fermax yeast nutrient
-- 2 tsp Barrel Sundries Pectic Enzyme

My goal: Apfelwein @ 0.099

Day 2: 67 burps per minute on the airlock!
Day 4: 2 bpm on the airlock.
Day 6: No bpm at all, SG= 1.045
Day 8: 1st Rack off lees
Day 24: 2nd Rack off lees
Today (Day 47): 3rd Rack off lees, SG still @1.045 (very clear, almost no fine sediment)

QUESTION: What's the best way to achieve my goal of 0.099?
 

MVKTR2

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Create essentially another starter with 1-2 qts juice and either the same yeast or perhaps a different yeast. Once it is going well swirl for a few mins or oxygenate briefly then pitch. At 1.045 there is still a ton of sugar to be consumed and you've removed most of the yeast by moving it off the lees. You need active fermenting healthy yeast to kick fermentation off again. The oxygen will help with yeast propegation which at 1.045 there is a need for. Additionally when making the starter add yeast energizer and nutrients in. You might consider adding energizer to the whole batch when pitching the starter, someone might chime in on that.
 

CKuhns

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QUESTION: What's the best way to achieve my goal of 0.099?

As MVK suggests do a starter.

I would:
- Pitch Lavlin EC1118 it is pretty aggressive so will likely out perform anything you have left in there and with a starter goes very dry can go sub 1.000.

1118 is posted and will ferment from 50 -80 Deg F and does pretty well at 60 - 65 Deg F.

Do aerate the starter by swirling occasionally or setting on a stir plate and let it go for 24 hours prior to pitching. (Allows the yest cells to multiply.)

I would not:
- Aerate the cider itself.
- Add any more nutrients. You probably have enough already and your yeast likely did not use all of it.

Good luck let us know how it went.
 

bernardsmith

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I think the problem may be two- or three -fold: one is in the racking. Racking removes viable yeast and you have racked twice in the first month.

The other problem may be the use of corn syrup. I assume that is high fructose corn syrup. I don't have any scientific evidence for what I am about to say , merely anecdotal evidence but the ONLY times I have ever had a stalled fermentation is when I have tried to make wine from jam and that jam included high fructose syrup. It looks like the sugars in the apple juice all fermented out (about 45 - 50 points) and what is left is what might be the high fructose syrup...
The third problem may be that your cider is being insufficiently aerated. Cannot speak about brewers making cider, but when wine makers make cider we stir the bejesus out of the wine several times a day - a) to aerate the must and b) to remove CO2. A build-up of CO2 in the must will cause the pH to drop and too low a pH can inhibit fermentation.

At 1.045 I WOULD aerate the must. Yeast go through oxygen like it's air... I would stir the must several times a day to add O2 and to remove CO2. When the gravity drops to about 1.005 I would stop aerating. The yeast may still want the O2 but the cider doesn't.
 

Maylar

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The other problem may be the use of corn syrup. I assume that is high fructose corn syrup. I don't have any scientific evidence for what I am about to say , merely anecdotal evidence but the ONLY times I have ever had a stalled fermentation is when I have tried to make wine from jam and that jam included high fructose syrup. It looks like the sugars in the apple juice all fermented out (about 45 - 50 points) and what is left is what might be the high fructose syrup...
That's an interesting observation, and I think plausible. There are also some corn syrups with preservatives (sodium benzoate) which could complicate matters.

He used EC1118 which is a beast and totally capable of taking 1.085 juice dry.
 

fuelish

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I might guess the CS as well (and it had to be a fair amount to bring 4 gallons of cider to 1.085....unfortunately, telling us "corn syrup to make OG=1.085" isn't very specific)...1118 is a helluva powerhouse, 1.085 is just, like, breakfast for them ;)
 
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msabiers

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Thanks for the helpful & thoughtful suggestions! Here's answers to a couple of the questions raised:
-- all G readings w/a hydrometer. I only have one, so can't check it, but I have used it before & have no reason not to trust it.
-- 64 oz. light corn syrup, no additives or preservatives.
-- Yes, watching the 1118 drop off from 67 bpm (almost a steady stream) to 2 bpm, then to Zero @ 72 hours was very unexpected, not to say weird.
-- I had aerated the batch somewhat before adding the starter. Left the lid off for the first 24 hours after pitching yeast, then capped w/water trap & didn't touch it until it had been inactive for nearly a week, when I took my first (surprising) reading.
-- I racked it because I assumed all the yeast had gone belly-up. Any reason to believe otherwise? (Zombie Yeast?)
Putting your suggestions together, here's what I'll do:
-- Assume this was an isolated freak of nature
-- Assume the remaining sugar will be yummy to yeast
-- Warm a couple of quarts of the batch up to 104-109
-- Prep a new starter & re-hydrate the 1118 until it shows activity (say 15-20 min., judging from past experience)
-- Synchronize the temp of the starter & the short batch & mix together.
-- give that "intermediate" starter up to 24 hours to either live & flourish or die.
-- If it flourishes, then add to the main batch & proceed as usual
-- If it dies, hold a (very) brief memorial service, then start again from scratch.
If any of you can warn me of any cow pies I might be about to step in using this procedure, I'd be very grateful.
 

Greghark

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Not that it will help your situation but the batch I am currently making had a similar quick stop in activity. In my case it had fermented all the way, but this was the first time I had seen it go from 1-2 bubbles per second to almost nothing in less than 24 hours. I usually observe a tapering in activity that last a few days or a week. Best of luck with your batch.
 
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