Fermentation stopped, tips?

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waveslider

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Hi Forum, I am new here.
I have 2 batches of cider that are racked in glass carboys with the level about an inch below the bubbler. They've been in there more than a month and no more bubbles or air coming out the lock. I checked specific gravity and it is still up about 1.020, originally was 1.047. SG has not budged for quite a while and primary fermentation was in August.
The carboys were down in the basement and its pretty cool down there, about 50F so I brought them upstairs and put a heat pad under them. Doesn't appear to be doing much after a week or so.
Any suggestions on where to go from here?
Thanks!!
Waveslider
 
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waveslider

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Hi- I used a refractometer... I didn't know it didn't work if there is alcohol present! So is it only used for measuring the original gravity?
I used cider house yeast
 
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waveslider

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Well the example they gave is basically where I am at, the specific gravity dropped about .026 over the fermentation period. I was hoping to get it down to 1.00 - but I am understanding from what you are saying that the wort correction factor may mean that the FG is not 1.02, maybe it is lower?
I do not have unfermented wort to find a correction factor
 

DBhomebrew

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1.04 is a good default for beer wort. The wort correction factor adjusts for the longer chain sugars found in beer wort. Refractometers are designed to measure sucrose solutions, not maltose.

Alcohol causes the device to incorrectly high. The calculator uses the OG and current gravity to figure out how far the current gravity is skewed.

Yes. If you are using a refractometer and the calculator is new to you, your supposed FG is almost definitely a good deal lower.
 
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waveslider

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That's great news! I am bottling tonight then - and not only that I still have a lot to learn about measurement it looks like.
Thank you board for your wisdom
 

jrgtr42

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That's great news! I am bottling tonight then - and not only that I still have a lot to learn about measurement it looks like.
Thank you board for your wisdom
Did you take muliple readings getting that 1.020? |Just making sure that you're stable...
I don't have myrfractometer handy, so I don't know offhand what that measurement translates to in brix - the calculator wants brix for FG. Though going by my brew notebook I have here, I'm looking at a brew |I did that was 1.046 SG, ended at 1.021 on the refractometer that corrected to 1.003FG. So you're likely right around there.
 
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waveslider

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The only way to know it's at its terminal gravity is by finding two identical readings a few days apart. Bottling too soon can create literal bombs. Also, your beverage might taste better with an extra few days or weeks in the fermenter. But, bottle bombs. No joke.
Do you mean I should take it out of the carboy and back into the fermenter? I am sure there is no more fermentation going on... it's been in the glass carboy since August. The primary fermentation was vigorous and good, I am not seeing any signs of infection.
Honestly this is the first year I have used a refractometer and I thought it would be similar to using a hydrometer(mine broke so replaced with refractometer), I didn't realize that there were additional calculations. So the 1.020 reading concerned me that fermentation had stalled, but it could very well be that it is complete.
In the past I have done long slow fermentations over winter to mellow the tartness (I use transparent apples, early harvest, super tart but delicious).
 

DBhomebrew

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Do you mean I should take it out of the carboy and back into the fermenter? I am sure there is no more fermentation going on... it's been in the glass carboy since August. The primary fermentation was vigorous and good, I am not seeing any signs of infection.
Honestly this is the first year I have used a refractometer and I thought it would be similar to using a hydrometer(mine broke so replaced with refractometer), I didn't realize that there were additional calculations. So the 1.020 reading concerned me that fermentation had stalled, but it could very well be that it is complete.
In the past I have done long slow fermentations over winter to mellow the tartness (I use transparent apples, early harvest, super tart but delicious).
Carry on. :mug:
 

jerrylotto

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If you have sugars that the cider house yeast can't process, then a different yeast could get you better attenuation. I keep a few packs of the Lalvin QA23 Chardonnay yeast on hand for just that purpose. It chews up lots of things missed by other yeasts and does a great job cleaning up with very low oxygen or nutrient requirements.
 
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