How many packs of yeast for high-gravity cider?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Kyle05STi

I like cider
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
31
Reaction score
6
Location
Cleveland
Hi HBT!

I started two new fermentations on 3/5/2017, a 1-gallon apple/pear cider (75%/25%, respectively), and a 6-gallon high-gravity cider. My question pertains to the latter.

I started the perry (can I call it perry when it's only 25% pear juice?) first and rehydrated a 5g pack of Red Star Premier Blanc Champagne Yeast in 1/4 cup of boiled/purified water. I meant to retain some of the rehydrated yeast and add a second pack of yeast for the larger batch, but in my excitement, I added the entire rehydrated single pack to the 1-gallon batch. Not an issue, except I only had one pack of yeast left.

The must for the high-gravity batch was already in the bucket - the O.G. measured 1.072 after adding 4lbs of brown sugar to 6 gallons of apple juice, so I rehydrated the remaining single 5g pack of Champagne Yeast, added 2.5 tsp of yeast nutrient (DAP) and ran with it. Both batches were bubbling away within 24 hours.

After reading more about high-gravity fermentation on this forum and other places, I'm concerned about the amount of yeast in the high-gravity batch being too little. I don't want the fermentation to stall, but I also don't want to open the bucket and risk contamination if it's going to be fine. 1 pack of yeast is recommended for 1-5 gallons, so it's already over at 6 gallons. From my reading, I've learned that higher-gravity fermentations also require more yeast from the start.

Should I pick up more yeast on my way home, rehydrate and add it to the currently active fermentation? Wait to see what happens/if it stalls? Or does the strong fermentation currently going on mean there is little risk, even though the initial yeast count was low?

Any insight or recommendations would be appreciated! :mug:

-Kyle
 

CKuhns

Everything learned in Kindergarten still applies!
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Messages
1,188
Reaction score
578
Location
MN & WI
1.072 is a bit high (but not terrible) for Ale yeasts. For Red Star Premier Blanc Champagne Yeast it is well within the range and will work just fine.

If they are fermenting "bubbling away" you are likely fine, let them go.

If in-fact it does stall (very unlikely with this yeast) then consider checking the pH, doing a yeast starter for 2 - 3 days, raise the temperature a few degrees and re-pitch.
 
Last edited:

MindenMan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
2,771
Reaction score
472
Location
Carson City
I agree ^^^ you should not have any stall issues with the active fermentation you have; that yeast will burn through higher gravity must than you currently have. Keep us posted, will you?
 
OP
K

Kyle05STi

I like cider
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
31
Reaction score
6
Location
Cleveland
I agree ^^^ you should not have any stall issues with the active fermentation you have; that yeast will burn through higher gravity must than you currently have. Keep us posted, will you?
Excellent, thanks for the reassurance!

And sure thing! Would it be frowned upon to start a "journal" so to speak? I don't see anything like that in the last few pages of this subforum...

On the automotive forums I'm active on, I have a Build Thread that documents events, activities, and changes over the years. Sometimes posts happen every day and other times it may sit for months. Just depends on what's going on. I know some places don't like to have "old" threads bumped.

For now:


From left to right:
First batch ever - started 11/18/2016 using 5 gallons of fresh-pressed cider from a local orchard. Moved to secondary 1/1/2017, racked to another carboy and Campden tablets added on 2/26/2017. Leaving it for another 60 days or so, then bottling/bottle conditioning for 2-3 months - if I can resist the temptation.

Batch #3 - The 1-gallon apple/pear cider mentioned above. Started 3/5/2017.

Batch #4 - The 6-gallon high-gravity cider mentioned above. I'll let this one go in primary for 6-8 weeks, then move to secondary for 8-10 months.

Batch #2 - 5-gallons of organic apple juice, started 1/2/2017, racked to secondary on 2/26/2017. Letting it sit for 60 days or so, tasting, potentially bottling.

I'm starting to look into kegging. I cleaned enough bottles to bottle the first batch a few weeks ago thinking I was going to bottle it instead of racking to another carboy. Not looking forward to the bottle cleaning experience every time.

-Kyle
 

MindenMan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
2,771
Reaction score
472
Location
Carson City
Glad to see all of your projects above :) Bottle cleaning doesn't have to be a chore, rinse the bottles out with just water when they are emptied and use the dishwasher on a steam or sanitary wash the night before and leave them in there until you need them. I can't count the number of batches I have done this way and have had no problems of any kind with my beers.
 

MarkKF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
2,251
Reaction score
391
Location
Meriden
I notice you wire tie your stoppers. Did you have a problem with some popping out or just being cautious?
 
OP
K

Kyle05STi

I like cider
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
31
Reaction score
6
Location
Cleveland
Glad to see all of your projects above :) Bottle cleaning doesn't have to be a chore, rinse the bottles out with just water when they are emptied and use the dishwasher on a steam or sanitary wash the night before and leave them in there until you need them. I can't count the number of batches I have done this way and have had no problems of any kind with my beers.
No dishwasher :/

I do rinse the bottles I plan to reuse well as soon as they're emptied, but still feel the need to wash, then drip dry, then sanitize before bottling.

I notice you wire tie your stoppers. Did you have a problem with some popping out or just being cautious?
I do/did. I think it's just due to the shape and the stoppers being wet with Star-San solution when installed. After a few days I can remove them and the bungs stay put.
 

purplehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
399
Reaction score
27
Keeping notes on your process is most helpful when trying to recreate or tweak a brew (ingredients, temps, yeast etc).

The worst is making an awesome beer/cider only to not remember how you did it.
 
Top