Cider Newbie - Did I ruin it?

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dpok

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Thanks for reading. My work neighbor is a homebrew supply business, so last year my son and I bought a gallon of apple juice, a packet of yeast and an airlock. It turned out pretty darn good, so we were going to make 3 gallons this year. We sanitized a 3 gallon carboy added yeast. I think we may have messed up by putting it on the kitchen counter. There is no direct sunlight there, but there is light. We are in texas and the temp in the kitchen is 77 deg F. After 24 hours, the airlock started bubbling faster than I remember from last year - about once a second. It did that for about four days. Then it started to slow. We are on day 6. This morning it was bubbling once every 15 seconds and now it is one bubble every 30 seconds.

Are we alright?

Thanks again for reading,
Dave
 

jseyfert3

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Short answer is yes, you'll be fine.

Cider is not affected by light as far as I know. Beer goes bad (skunked) with UV reacting with the hops, which is why that is supposed to be stored in a dark location and comes in dark bottles.

The higher the temp, the faster fermentation will occur. Temps also affect flavors produced during fermentation, I'm not sure of the exact details as I'm too new myself, but cooler is generally considered better for most yeasts w.r.t. cider. 77 is fairly warm for most yeasts. What yeast did you use?
 
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toadie

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Hey Dave if you plan on doing this for a while you might want to invest in an hydrometer to measure the amount of residual sugar left in your cider. It's fairly inexpensive. jserfert is right cooler temps and a long slow fermentation seem better for cider. Mine sits for months in my coolish dark basement. Being in Texas you might not have a basement. Maybe put it in a closet or delay the fermentation for a few months.
Cheers.
 
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dpok

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Thanks for the replies. We have a hydrometer from making a couple batches of wine. We took the SG of the juice when we started and it was 1.046. You are right, no basements here. Like you said, we could wait until we get past AC season (mid-november) for future batches and our non-kitchen temp would be more toward 72.
 

toadie

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My cider usually gets down to 1.00 - 1.004 depending on the yeast. Another thing I did was to buy a small freezer and hook it up to an inexpensive thermostat to control the temperature and turn it into a fridge/fermentation chamber. This is the kind of admission you make to non brewing friends who just shake their heads and walk slowly away.
 
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