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Hey,

I just started my first ever batch of cider today. I have some experience with sourdough starter for making bread, and my lesson is to never leave it out of the fridge for too long or it will go rancid. How is it not the same with apple juice? If you just left an open carton of AJ outside the fridge for three bloody weeks and came back to it, imagine what it would taste like! Gross!

I just don't seem to understand how adding yeast to the process can help any of the juice going spoiled in the first place.

Maybe you can answer this question.

Thanks,

B.
 

GratefulBear

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Whatever little guys win, win. :) If you have healthy yeast in its preferred environment (temperature) and there's nothing abnormal about your juice, the yeast will act faster than the bacteria and multiply faster, starving the bacteria of the nutrients and sugars they normally would use to reproduce. That being said, proper cleaning and sanitizing techniques are very important to guarantee the correct little guys win the battle.
 
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Thanks for the reply. But I don't know if your help will do any good - I just checked my cider and no bubbling. It's been more than 12 hours since inoculation.

7.5 litres of straight apple juice from the shelf of my local supermarket (In fact I mixed clear juice with pressed juice from the top shelf). I checked the labels and they were all 100% juice + VitC.

Also, I used potassium metabisulfite to clean and sanitize the vessel and other equipment. The bung is on very tight and the airlock too. So there cannot be any leaks.

I added no sugar to the juice. Just yeast, and then the equivalent of what I added were some nutrients for the yeast (in Polish, "pożywka").

Any ideas why this happened?

Any help will be appreciated, I really don't want to throw away all the juice.
 

GratefulBear

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I wouldn't worry at 12 hours. Things happen slowly with cider, especially at cooler temps. If the yeast are moving slowly due to cooler temps, then the bacteria are moving slowly too. I've had fermentation fail to start before but I'd give it a couple days before worrying too much
 

GratefulBear

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I will add, I've never heard of people using potassium metabisulfite to sanitize. Did you leave much in the container? Most people use Starsan or its competitor (I forget the name)
 
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I left nothing. Rinsed the whole thing with boiling water. Maybe I got the translation wrong, in Polish it's "Pirosiarczyn Potasu" with a chemical symbol of K₂S₂O₅. The lady at the store told me it's for sanitising, and indeed it says so on the label.

I've heard people waiting for 72 hrs until the first signs of fermentation. I'll wait too :)
 

GratefulBear

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I left nothing. Rinsed the whole thing with boiling water. Maybe I got the translation wrong, in Polish it's "Pirosiarczyn Potasu" with a chemical symbol of K₂S₂O₅. The lady at the store told me it's for sanitising, and indeed it says so on the label.

I've heard people waiting for 72 hrs until the first signs of fermentation. I'll wait too :)

Ya, patience really pays off with cider. Procrastination usually does too. :) Some of my best cider has been the cider I left in primary for "too long" etc
 
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The day before yesterday finally some bubbles appeared. Now it's all foamy and active, patience paid off.

However, I do seem to have a leak somewhere since there are no bubbles in the airlock.

Also started a new batch, with cinnamon, anise, cloves, ginger, vanilla, and orange peel. About 4.5l of juice, and 2g of yeast & nutrients. My question is how long to ferment? Does adding spices change anything?

Thanks,

B.
 

GratefulBear

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The day before yesterday finally some bubbles appeared. Now it's all foamy and active, patience paid off.

However, I do seem to have a leak somewhere since there are no bubbles in the airlock.

Also started a new batch, with cinnamon, anise, cloves, ginger, vanilla, and orange peel. About 4.5l of juice, and 2g of yeast & nutrients. My question is how long to ferment? Does adding spices change anything?

Thanks,

B.
I've never heard of spices changing anything.. I suppose it's possible some have antiseptic properties and could slow yeast down but that's more of a question at a professional cidery than something I would worry about. You could make sure the stopper is seated completely. If it's leaking it's probably between the stopper and the rim. You could try some keg lube next time for a better seal. I wouldn't worry about it too much during primary if it's actively bubbling. It's really only going to bring in air from outside the container if there's negative pressure for some reason (I think that could happen during cold crash), or maybe some could drift in if you left it in primary for a while after fermentation stops. Some people still ferment cider with an open top or a cheesecloth over the top during primary.
 
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I checked the rubber bung and airlock. They seem to be airtight. IMO the CO2 is escaping from between the glass neck and plastic screw top. I tried tightening it as much as I could, but that didn't help. When will I know fermentation has stopped?

Also, today I got a delivery of Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast, and also read up on cider making basics. I am planing on making a third cider with this new yeast and I wanted to cold crash it, but no there is no space in my fridge. What would you recommend doing if it's 30C outisde in the day? (I do have a stone walled cellar which is pretty cool all the time, would that work out?)

Thanks,

B.
 

GratefulBear

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View attachment 778599 I checked the rubber bung and airlock. They seem to be airtight. IMO the CO2 is escaping from between the glass neck and plastic screw top. I tried tightening it as much as I could, but that didn't help. When will I know fermentation has stopped?

Also, today I got a delivery of Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast, and also read up on cider making basics. I am planing on making a third cider with this new yeast and I wanted to cold crash it, but no there is no space in my fridge. What would you recommend doing if it's 30C outisde in the day? (I do have a stone walled cellar which is pretty cool all the time, would that work out?)

Thanks,

B.
How long are you waiting to make sure there's no bubbles coming out the airlock? Sometimes they're spaced out quite a bit. Could always try running duct tape around the lid but that'll leave residue and not an ideal long term solution. You can use an ice bath for cold crash if cellar isn't cold enough.
 
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There are no bubbles at all. Keep checking every 15 minutes whenever I'm in the kitchen. I never saw a single bubble in the air lock.
 

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Hi B-
Regarding the container that you showed in the #12 post, does it have a rubber/vinyl gasket between the vinyl top and the glass? If not, you need one there. Air will get in/out of that otherwise. This is likely why you aren't getting bubbles in your airlock. Is is probably easier for the gas to escape between the glass/vinyl top than to push through the liquid in the airlock so it goes the easier route. You can make one with gasket material or be creative and reuse some plastic/rubber and make an O-Ring that size.

Cold crashing really means COLD. You need to find someplace that you can put it in where the temp is only +1C to +5C for 24-72 hours. I don't think you want to keep putting ice in a bath every so often when it is 30C outside.
 
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Hi!

I checked underneath the vinyl top, and there is a foam kind of material that seems to be a 'gasket' - but nothing from rubber.

I'll poke around my workshop tomorrow maybe I'll find something with which to make an o-ring that size.

When cold crashing can I put one batch of cider into separate small jars (like 1l jars) and stuff those in the fridge?

Thank you
 

BlackDogBrew

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The foam may just be simple gasket to keep normal atmospheric pressure changes at bay. It *may* be causing the leak and/or it may not be able to handle the pressure that the CO2 is producing.

You could put smaller jars in the fridge to cold crash, but I would advise against that. Every time you transfer to a new vessel you have the potential for contamination and will be introducing air and that can cause oxygenation. This can lead to contamination of your batch and, at minimum, off flavors that likely you won't enjoy tasting.
 
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