Fermentation help/Advise

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RustyRhino

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Hi,
I brewed some IPA from a kit and it was a success’s so since I have 2 well established apple trees in my garden and love cider I’d give it ago.
I have only done a 10L batch.
I used campden and left for just over 24hrs.
And then I added some brown sugar, Yeast nutrient stirred well and then pitched the yeast. (Harris Cider yeast) all at once?..

That was 3days ago. And I have no bubbles… I’m pretty sure it’s well sealed. And it’s at a steady 20.5C using an in tank heater.

I’m just curious of what anyone suggests I do?
Will it still be good/okay?..
Should I re-pitch some more yeast?
I was thinking to take a hydrometer reading to see if it’s dropped? I thought that may tell me if it’s fermenting and I do just have an airlock.
Or is there any ideas you would do?
Or is it waste? I probably have enough apples to do another batch if needs be.

Thanks so much for any help.
 

Chalkyt

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Wait, wait, wait.
I don't know the yeast you are using but it isn't uncommon for it to take a few days to a week before there are any signs of fermentation. Typically you will end up with quite a bit of foam if you have pressed your own apples as the juice will contain lots of bits that get taken to the surface by CO2 bubbles. If you shine a flashlight through the cider you may see some bubbles rising even though they aren't obvious with the naked eye.
 
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RustyRhino

RustyRhino

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Thank you very much for your reply. When I made my first ale it started bubbling a few hours after I pitched the yeast. I think I was expecting the same. And as I’m new to it all worrying and being impatient.. I will try a bright torch tomorrow when I wake as I’m in bed at the moment see what I can see.
Thank you
 

bernardsmith

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Did you take a gravity reading before you pitched the yeast? Any movement on the gravity. THAT rather than bubbles will suggest whether the yeast is active. How much sugar did you add? Too high a starting gravity can cause what is called osmotic shock: the yeast cannot transport sugar through cell walls if the concentration of sugar is simply too high for the yeast to do so. And did you rehydrate the yeast before you pitched it? Do you know whether the yeast you pitched is viable and healthy?
 
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RustyRhino

RustyRhino

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Did you take a gravity reading before you pitched the yeast? Any movement on the gravity. THAT rather than bubbles will suggest whether the yeast is active. How much sugar did you add? Too high a starting gravity can cause what is called osmotic shock: the yeast cannot transport sugar through cell walls if the concentration of sugar is simply too high for the yeast to do so. And did you rehydrate the yeast before you pitched it? Do you know whether the yeast you pitched is viable and healthy?
Tha k you for that info!! I think that is definitely what has gone wrong! I read somewhere it said add 1lb of brown sugar for every gallon. So I added 2lb of brown sugar. My gravity reading was 1.080! Which I know is high. But I though let’s just see what happens… So possibly the sugar level is too high..

I literally sprinkled the yeast over the top and stirred it in which is what the packet said. It was a sealed pack so I’d like to think the yeast was okay.

So if it is a high sugar content. How will I know if it’s still good to go? Or is it waster after this time?
Could I add water to lower the sugar level? If you think it would still be okay? Then re pitch new yeast?

Thank you very much
 

bernardsmith

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A gravity of 1.080 is not overly high. That reading has a potential ABV of about 10.5 %. If the yeast was in a sealed pack and the date code did not suggest the yeast was beyond a viable date and the yeast was stored in your refrigerator then it should be OK.
If you have a failed fermentation, my suggestion is not ever to repitch the yeast but to upend the process and create a starter with a new batch of yeast - say 1 cup of water with say, a tablespoon of juice. When you see the starter become active you take that same volume from the stalled batch and add it to the starter, doubling its volume. When you see the doubled volume bubbling away, you take that same volume from the stalled batch and add that to the starter and you keep on repeating this process until you have transferred all the stalled batch into the starter, doubling the volume of the starter each time... That process neutralizes any systemic problems that might be in the stalled batch... BUT I would wait a few days to see if the problem is an excessive lag time for the yeast. The yeast won't begin fermenting until they have focused on producing a large enough viable colony.
 
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RustyRhino

RustyRhino

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A gravity of 1.080 is not overly high. That reading has a potential ABV of about 10.5 %. If the yeast was in a sealed pack and the date code did not suggest the yeast was beyond a viable date and the yeast was stored in your refrigerator then it should be OK.
If you have a failed fermentation, my suggestion is not ever to repitch the yeast but to upend the process and create a starter with a new batch of yeast - say 1 cup of water with say, a tablespoon of juice. When you see the starter become active you take that same volume from the stalled batch and add it to the starter, doubling its volume. When you see the doubled volume bubbling away, you take that same volume from the stalled batch and add that to the starter and you keep on repeating this process until you have transferred all the stalled batch into the starter, doubling the volume of the starter each time... That process neutralizes any systemic problems that might be in the stalled batch... BUT I would wait a few days to see if the problem is an excessive lag time for the yeast. The yeast won't begin fermenting until they have focused on producing a large enough viable colony.

My yeast I brought online and I it turned up the day I needed it so I literally opened the package. Opened the yeast and sprinkled it in. So I have never stored it. I’d like to hope the place selling it stores it correctly but you never know..

I will do what you have mentioned. And wait a little longer then make a starter etc if need be.
Being my first batch from my apples I’m so eager for it to work!

Thank you very much I’ve learnt so much already.
 
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RustyRhino

RustyRhino

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A gravity of 1.080 is not overly high. That reading has a potential ABV of about 10.5 %. If the yeast was in a sealed pack and the date code did not suggest the yeast was beyond a viable date and the yeast was stored in your refrigerator then it should be OK.
If you have a failed fermentation, my suggestion is not ever to repitch the yeast but to upend the process and create a starter with a new batch of yeast - say 1 cup of water with say, a tablespoon of juice. When you see the starter become active you take that same volume from the stalled batch and add it to the starter, doubling its volume. When you see the doubled volume bubbling away, you take that same volume from the stalled batch and add that to the starter and you keep on repeating this process until you have transferred all the stalled batch into the starter, doubling the volume of the starter each time... That process neutralizes any systemic problems that might be in the stalled batch... BUT I would wait a few days to see if the problem is an excessive lag time for the yeast. The yeast won't begin fermenting until they have focused on producing a large enough viable colony.
Hi,
I thought I would reply to you with an update.
I Re-hydrated some yeast in some room temperature water. Left it for 15mins and added it to the wort!
Again nothing. So I got impatient and tasted some. It tasted very nice so I’m assuming it hasn’t gone off… So I made a starter. In a 2L bottle 50/50 with water and wort. It was bubbling like mad after 12hours so I added it to the wort. And 24hrs on and the whole lot is actually fermenting and bubbling loads.

I’m hoping this has solved my problem.. And I haven’t ruined it for when it’s finished.

Again thank you for your help.
 
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RustyRhino

RustyRhino

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How did things turn out?
Hi 😃

It Fermented for around 12days..
I took the lid off my fermentation bucked and it smelt rather strong! Not off. Just a big hit off cider ish alcohol type smell.
I done a hydrometer reading and come in at bang on 1.000 I also had a little taste and I was surprised it was fairly good.
I only had a little sip but I was shocked I felt I could drink it no problem.
I wanted it carbonated.
So I bottled it in 500ml bottles and added sugar (2 carbonation drops)
Capped them and now they are sitting at room temperature waiting again… So I’m very excited to see the actual outcome!
Time to get something else in the fermentation bucket now I guess….

Thank you for asking 😊
 

BlackDogBrew

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Great to hear! Glad that things worked out.
As a note, if you continue to bottle, just understand if you ever backsweeten the cider you will need to be careful of bottle bombs.
Best is to follow the techniques that are well documented in this forum regarding backsweetening and pasteurization.

Have fun and let us know how they taste!
 
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RustyRhino

RustyRhino

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Great to hear! Glad that things worked out.
As a note, if you continue to bottle, just understand if you ever backsweeten the cider you will need to be careful of bottle bombs.
Best is to follow the techniques that are well documented in this forum regarding backsweetening and pasteurization.

Have fun and let us know how they taste!
Ah thank you. I was tempted to backsweeten. But I wasn’t to put off from the first taste so thought I’ll go with it…
Bottle bombs will not go down well with the wife haha!

Thanks again
 
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