pitching yeast into low ABV cider

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mrt_kxv

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Hi all,

So my mom tried to make cider from our apples a couple of years ago with natural yeast, but it never made it higher that 2-3% ABV.

It still is kinda tasty, very aromatic with no off/yeasty flavours, but it is to sweet to be actually drinkable.

My idea is to pitch some Mangrove Jacks M02 into this 3 gallon batch & then bottle carbonate it, and my question is - will it work?
 

bernardsmith

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Probably...With two caveats - A) the wild yeast that your mother used may be a killer strain and so inhibit any action from the commercial yeast. I hate myself for suggesting this but a better choice may be a yeast such as EC 1118. That is a killer strain and will drive off any competitors.
B).. A cider with an ABV of 2-3% after a couple of years may be spoiled. That amount of alcohol is not likely to inhibit the growth of spoilage organisms or mold. Have you tasted the cider recently and it is still OK?
 

madscientist451

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Do you have a hydrometer? Before doing anything, you need to get a gravity reading to see what you have to work with.
 
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mrt_kxv

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Just poured myself some, tastes amazing, just too sweet

smells like baked apples, tastes kinda liquorish, but very apple-y

Why do you hate yourself for suggesting this exact yeast?
 

bernardsmith

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IMO, Champagne yeasts (EC-1118 and the like) are too vigorous a fermenter for cider (and most wines). They are also killer yeasts - so their fermentation action creates an environment that at best inhibits the action of competing yeasts, and often destroys them but sometimes competing yeasts result in flavors that add complexity to the cider. Also, there are better suited yeasts for making cider (I like 71B for example as it has "an affinity" for malic acid - and so when you make cider with 71B the cider tastes more smooth and polished than it might with other yeasts). EC-1118 is often a yeast of choice for many folk on this forum... but as with beer, different yeasts highlight different qualities in the fermentables. EC-1118 is a sledge-hammer. But one thing that EC-1118 is good for is if you need to add a yeast to an environment that already has some alcohol in it (your cider , for example) and where the environment to which you are pitching this yeast is fairly acidic (you would expect the pH to drop as fermentation occurs) and many yeasts experience stresses when they are asked to come out of their torpor in such media... and those stresses can produce off flavors and the like
 
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