Cider is fermenting, now what?

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Photopilot

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I have started my first HB project after a long hiatus from homebrewing with a batch of the panty dropping Cider see earlier thread.

I have the mix fermenting in a plastic fermenter. I did not get any bubbles in the airlock for over a day and was nervous but listened closely today and can hear some pretty good fizzing going on now. The plastic lid to the fermenter must not be airtight. My OG was 1.055, I expected higher based on the name, but am just looking forward to having my own product to drink. I used the sweet mead yeast, hoping to not end up with a too dry product as seems to be the case from perusing other cider threads.

My questions for my next steps are:

Does this need a second fermenter? I do have a glass carboy waiting, but would rather not.

Without finning the cider will be cloudy but this will not affect the flavor, correct? What method of finning should I use if I choose to do so?

After the fermentations stops I plan on adding lactose to get it to a desired sweetness then 3/4 cup of sugar to carbonate. I haven't decided to keg or bottle. Any suggestions for lactose addition, boil in water and add?

Thanks

PS i got a full bubbling airlock now, it took about 26 hours
 

BrewFrick

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Well I am flattered that you would choose my recipe to try after getting back into brewing. I found that the sweet mead yeast has left this one more cloudy than other cider I have made in the past, but I bottled it a bit soon after just a week and a half in secondary. Right now after a few weeks in the fridge, mine looks like a pale glass of Mountain Dew. This does not totally have to have a secondary step, I would just leave it in the original fermenter for about 21 days or so and then bottle, being careful not to stir up too much of the sediment when you rack over to your bottling bucket, 3/4 cup of sugar is what I used and it worked great to carb it up. If you want to bottle this as a still cider then leave it in the fermenter for more like a month and a half and then bottle it in wine bottles with corks or beer bottles. I never use finnings in my beer or ciders, it just seems unnatural to me to use something other than time and cold to clear the brews. The taste of the cider will become all the better with age but finnings should not make a taste difference in and of themselves. I can't speak for the lactose either, I have never used it and do not have any plans to, I like the dryer side of most all brews and just used the sweet mead yeast to see that difference it would make in my cider. Hope this has helped you at least a little bit.:mug:
 

JimC

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If you secondary it and leave it to clear and bulk age, it will drop crystal clear all on its own in due time. Due time being 2-3 months. You'll need to rack it every month or so, much like a wine.
 
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JimC said:
I 2-3 months.
I don't see that happening. Being my first batch I am looking to get drinking it soon. Second batch: Hazelnut brown will be brewed this week. I see that being underaged as well. Maybe my 3rd batch can age some.

I used plastic for my primary, which dictates a secondary or bottle soon after fermentation ends I believe. So I will rack it to a glass carboy for a while and see what falls out. It's hard as I sure am thirsty right about now.
 
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Okay I will be putting it into a secondary to clear up a little bit. Also the used a plastic bucket as my primary and it is also my bottling bucket, so i need it back. It started out at 1.055 and is now at 1.05. It is still fizzing inside the bucket though. Should I wait to rack to glass?
 

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You need to give it a few days. About 10 days in the primary and then rack it into the carboy and air lock it for at least a few weeks. If you rack it now you take the chance of loosing some of those yeasties that are working so hard to reproduce. Don't use finings unless it's a last resort!
 

jfrizzell

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Photopilot said:
Okay I will be putting it into a secondary to clear up a little bit. Also the used a plastic bucket as my primary and it is also my bottling bucket, so i need it back. It started out at 1.055 and is now at 1.05. It is still fizzing inside the bucket though. Should I wait to rack to glass?

If it's only dropped from 1.055 to 1.050 then yes, you need to wait. It's just getting started. Fermentation should be more or less done before you rack to a secondary. I'm not sure what the FG of this recipe is, but I'm guessing somewhere around 1.010 so it still has quite a bit of fermenting to go.
 
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jfrizzell said:
If it's only dropped from 1.055 to 1.050 then yes, you need to wait. It's just getting started. Fermentation should be more or less done before you rack to a secondary. I'm not sure what the FG of this recipe is, but I'm guessing somewhere around 1.010 so it still has quite a bit of fermenting to go.
Woops, I meant it has dropped to 1.005. But that was a week or so ago. I will rack tonight. It was still bubbling on Friday but it sounds quiet now. It will be nice to have it in glass. I had stopped using plastic in the past. It is nice to be able to watch the fermenting action, although I will only be watching the clearing action now.
 
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After about 10 days I racked to a secondary and watched as it got clearer. Then a few days ago white spots formed on the surface. It looks like the yeast have woken up and the airlock is bubbling on occasion.

Is this to be expected? I am leaving this weekend for a possible long time away. Should I re-rack againm before I go?
 
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Photopilot said:
Then a few days ago white spots formed on the surface. It looks like the yeast have woken up and the airlock is bubbling on occasion.

Is this to be expected?
I don't mean to sound alarmist, but white spots with a seemingly re-invigorated fermentation describe the symptoms of a bacterial infection fairly well.

A more detailed description (including smell/taste) and/or pictures will help rule out the worst case scenario.
 
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Yuri_Rage said:
I don't mean to sound alarmist, but white spots with a seemingly re-invigorated fermentation describe the symptoms of a bacterial infection fairly well.

A more detailed description (including smell/taste) and/or pictures will help rule out the worst case scenario.
You are probably right here and I was worried about it all along. My kitchen has a leaky sink that has wet wood underneath. I have tried to keep it removed from the area but it has probably infected it. I will take some photos and should I open, smell and try it?

Now I am worried about the nut brown ale I am also fermenting.
 
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I have not opened it up to smell it, I just dont want to face the truth yet, but am sure it is a bacteria. When i saw the first spot, my first thought was mold in my fermenter. At that time the glass in the carboy was clean.

Now the glass is fogged with something, my guess is mold and there are a few spots still floating in it. I am really disappointed as i was looking forward to drinking this when I got back from a multi week training I am about to leave for.

I am pretty sure there is some mold in my kitchen but I tried to minimize exposure possibilities to the cider. My other thought was I used a wine thief to sample and take a hydrometer reading. The hydrometer came from an BTF based soak, but the BTF solution had been setting around a while. I have since read that BTF solution goes inert quickly, so I was probably using a contaminated thief. At least that is my hope as there still may be a chance for my Ale that is fermenting.

Attached is a photo of the carboy. I will smell it later when i can steal up my courage for a big disappointment.

CRW_9581.jpg
 

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