Cider with safale 05

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jkessal

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New to cider. Guy at store told me to use safal 05 cuz it wont dry out my cider but its at .998 which is not the prob. I pitched yeast dec 2 (1.070 gravity) and its now jan 7 and just got to .998 and still bubbling every 7 seconds or so. Very slow fermentation is this a prob.
 
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jkessal

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I actually prefer it to b dry but why did it take so long to get to this point. The temp has been pretty steady at 68°f.
 

brewing_clown

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I haven't made many ciders, but every one was the same. It slowed right down toward the end. I think the last one took around a month before I racked to secondary. I don't think you have a problem.
 

beekeeperman

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My 5 gal batch with 05 seem to go on fermenting for 6-8 weeks but temps were in the
lower 60s mostly. Ended up with FG of 1.005. Just bottled it after 11 weeks.
 

hubs731

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I am using S04 yeast in my fermenting bucket with 6 gallons of store bought cider. I have seen almost no activity in the airlock. After a few days, shook it up and that got the airlock bubbling for a day or two. After that, the airlock was inactive again. Every 4 days I get a hydrometer reading. When I pop the top the cider is noticibly fermenting. The gravity is definitely lowering, about .010 every 4 days. I just don't understand why I don't see action in the airlock.
 
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jkessal

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Make sure u got enough yeast nutrient in it. I just had another batch going really slow. I added nutrient and it finished 3 days later
 

hubs731

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When it "finishes" it's approx. 1.000 or .999 correct? If I stop it sooner, will it not be as dry of a cider?
 

brewing_clown

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@hubs731 - Sounds like your fermenting bucket is not airtight. Ciders can be slow to ferment, so may not generate enough pressure to cause activity in the airlock if your vessel is not airtight.
 

hubs731

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That may be possible. It has been in primary for 2 weeks though. My OG was 1.044 and three days ago it was 1.010. I'm thinking of racking today. If I do, should I use potassium sorbate to halt the yeast? How long in the secondary? Or could I rack into secondary, cold crash for 2 days then bottle?
 
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jkessal

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Its only about 4.5% alc. at this point. Thats fine if thats what ur looking for
 
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jkessal

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Personally i would let it ferment dry and then back sweeten. It a little tricky trying to stop a ferment. U might run into prob like exploding bottles if its not done correctly
 

Wolfbayte

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A rule of thumb for yeast re cider is:
S-04 finishes sweeter
Champagne finishes dry
Cotes-de-blanc finishes in the middle

Nottingham and S-05 are known to finish drier than S-04.

Here's a link to Papper's pasteurizing thread: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy-stove-top-pasteurizing-pics-193295/

Backsweetening, like many things, is a question of personal taste. We use just under 1/2 cup of Splenda for 5 gals cider, but others swear by Stevia, and some use lactose. Being lactose intolerant, cheap, and having been given a big bag of Splenda, that's what we use. You can incrementally sweeten and taste a glass of finished cider to see the level of sweetness you prefer, and then do the math so see how much to add to a full batch at bottling.

Also, don't be afraid to pick up a 1 gal glass carboy filled with Apple Cider or Apple Juice from the supermarket. You can drink or ferment the juice, then keep the carboy to use for small batch brewing to see which way you prefer, then do a full batch of that. Don't forget to pick up the right size stopper and a new airlock for each.

We love the 1gal carboys, because we can do a small batch for special occasions/holidays (e.g., 1 with a cinammon stick, 1 with some cranberry juice, 1 with some cherry juice, etc.).

My cider w/store-bought juice, no added sugar, S-04, plus nutrient and pectic enzyme went Godzilla on me from day one. Even after 3 weeks, I could see a stream of bubbles rushing up the sides of the carboy. After 3 weeks it was down to 1.010, so we waited another week to bottle. It finished around 1.007.
 

hubs731

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Thank you for all the info. I just took a reading and got approx. 1.007. Taking a test sip, definitely tastes dry. I'm open to suggestions. I like a sweeter cider, not too sweet though. Do I rack today? If I rack to secondary, should I cold crash or let it sit in the secondary for a while? Do I sweeten before I bottle?

Sorry for all the questions, this is my second batch so I'm very new to this.
 

Wolfbayte

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Try the OG again. If it hasn't changed, then bottle. If you want to back sweetened with a non-fermentable sugar, use Splenda, Stevia, or lactose accordingly.

If you want to back sweetened with a fermentable sugar, follow the instructions on the pasteurization thread posted above.

Either way you made cider. Congratulations!
 

Fran365

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Personally i would let it ferment dry and then back sweeten. It a little tricky trying to stop a ferment. U might run into prob like exploding bottles if its not done correctly
Note about back sweetening: I ferment everything to <1, and back sweeten at serving with stevia drops, so far no complaints.
 
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