Help!!! Fermentation not starting

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cburke

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Ground and pressed two bushels of apples for about 5.5 gallons of juice on Saturday. Added campden tablets that night. 24 hours later (Sunday night) re-hydrated a packet of SO4 yeast and added it to the cider. Temp is around 62-64 degrees. 3 days later very little, if anything, has happened. If I stand and watch, no bubbles in air lock, a few bubbles if I open the lid.

Any thoughts of what I could do? I did not add yeast nutrient, was thinking I should try that first? Warm the juice (I have a brew belt that I could use)? Add campden tablets to kill all yeast and start again? Generally I have kept cider warmer and have not had had issues with issues with fermentation starting, but after reading other comments I figured I would keep juice at cooler basement room temperature.

Thank you in advance!!!
 

mredge73

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Get a hydrometer; it may be done. I brewed beer this Saturday and used S04 at 68F; it is already done fermenting.
Air lock activity is not a measure of performance; you may have a leak.
S04 should plow through sugar at 62-64. Apples have plenty of nutrient. Don't add anymore campden.

The best way to judge the progress of your fermentation is with a hydrometer, if you get the same reading 2-3 days in a row the yeast is done.
I would advise you to relax and wait a little longer before taking any action, the lag phase may have been extended because of the sulfites that you added.
What temp did you pitch? When hydrating what temp was the water? How many campden tablets did you use? What does it taste like?
 

billyb56

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Do you know the pH? Got to be careful how many campden tablets you use. I'd try to get the juice to 70 degrees. I used that yeast and had no luck getting it going when temp was 65. I'd add yeast nutrient, that does help. Mix well to get oxygen in there. Good idea to test gravity to make sure it didn't already ferment before you try any of this.
 

thespiff

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1 tablet per gallon is the standard recommendation for campden. I have used 3 per gallon based on something crazy I read online and had a rough time getting my fermentation to start. You might want to pitch another packet of yeast at this point, it can't hurt, and US05 is cheap. But it also can't hurt to check your gravity with a hydrometer first.
 

porterpounder

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Second on the gravity reading. You may not have an air-tight container, so the airlock won't tell you much and cider doesn't usually krausen like beer does, so it may look like nothing happened, but it may indeed be happening.
 

bucketnative

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Apples have plenty of nutrient. Don't add anymore campden.

Actually apples have very little free-amino-nitrate nutrients for yeast to use. Apple must has plenty of sugar, but not the nutrients. This can cause a very slow fermentation if no yeast nutrients are added. This is not a bad thing; many people make wonderful cider using no nutrients. It does, however, require patience. Cider is not beer, and slow fermentations are usually preferred for high quality cider.

I think you should follow the advice of waiting. I typically leave my cider in the primary fermenter for a month, then rack to secondary for aging and clarification.
 
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cburke

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OK - so I checked with a hydrometer. Minimal change, if any - from 1.060 to 1.058. So, it does not seem as if anything has started. In regards to the campden tablets, I added 5 crushed, just less than 1 per gallon (started with 5.75 gallons) 24 hours before pithcing yeast. Yeast was rehydrated in 80 degree water just like the directions from safeale says to do. Pitched into juice that was about 62 degrees. Juice has stayed about that temp.

From all the replies, my first thought is to add nutrient. If that does not work, then warming a bit. If that fails, then add more yeast. Any more thoughts?

Thank you again for the help!!!
 

Maylar

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Warm it up. You really want it at about 70F when you pitch the yeast. You can lower temp once fermentation starts. And I hope you followed instructions and made sure the rehydrated yeast was within a few degrees of the cider, else they'll be thermal shocked.

I would warm it up and rehydrate another pack using go-ferm. Pitch that at 70F and you should have signs of fermentation in 12 hrs. Then add nutrients and drop your temp back to 62 for the duration.
 
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