Question about light during 1st fermentation...

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JamesBenjamin

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Ok, for my first batch I decided to start with hard cider (instead of beer) just to get used to some of the equipment/techniques before going all out. I've got my cider in the carboy (the big plastic jar?) with the airlock and it bubbled furiosly after about 3 days (recipe said 1-2 days), then that subsided. My recipe says the cider should go translucent after 10-14 days and it hasnt yet. (today is day 10).

now I have the cider in the basement, where it stays a steady 68-70 or so, but I do have those small basement windows with no curtains letting light in during the day (they're about 12 by 18 inches). Is this a huge problem? I'm assuming the light might just retard the yeast a bit so it might take longer, but last night I covered the container with a big cardboard box to block the light. So how do you think this will affect the fermentation process?
 

DeRoux's Broux

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not sure about ciders, but UV rays will "skunk" a beer. just wrap a towel or a t-shirt around your glass carboy. from what i have read in the past, to "skunk" a beer, it takes about 10-15 minutes of exposure to UV rays.
(btw, plastic bucket is your primary fermenter, glass carboy is your secondary)

good luck with the cider!
DeRoux's Broux
 

Dude

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I believe a cider will be fine, as long as....
...you didn't use hops in it!!!

Hop oils react with light and cause the skunky properties in beer.

Therefore, I believe a (hopless!) cider will be just fine.

Sam75 and I were just talking about this the other day--because the owner of our LHBS has big glass carboys off mead sitting under flourescent lights all day. I was curious, so I investigated....

I'll look for the source so we can all read it!
 

Janx

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Even in hopped beers, it's not a huge thing to worry about in small doses and short time frames. Best practice is to keep them in the dark, but you'd be hard pressed to taste a real difference in your normal beer. A lot of skunking in commercial beers takes place in the bottle due to long storage in poor conditions. With cider, I don't think it should make any difference at all for the reasons ORRELSE mentioned above.
 
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JamesBenjamin

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Wow, thanks for the input! I think if nothing else it might have slowed the process, but otherwise it seems fine. I've had basically a big cardboard box over it for a few days and it seems like the color is changing already! I'll just give it an extra week or so before I move to the 2nd fermentation and i'll probly be ok.

Thanks guys!

And I'm sure I'll be back with more questions later, haha.
 
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