Should it look like this? And can I open it to check?

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

JamesWoolford

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Set my first batch off 5 gallon simple apple juice no preservatives, yeast and yeast nutrients, some cinemon to flavour it..

It's reaching 20c the stopper is bubbling now and then releasing gas, I've put vodka in the stopper as many do, but some of the foam/cider is going up into it, even coming out of it, makes me think it's foaming up too much?

It's sat on a heat pad due to it being cold in the north east UK still and it's in a garage.

Would it be an issue opening it up to check on it? Should I leave it sealed and not touch it? Should I stir it in more? When I made wine previously your ment to move it as little as possible.. same concept here?

It's only day 4 since it went in
 

Attachments

pkobly

New Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
1
Sometimes apple goes like crazy.

Would be advisable to get a fermenter with some more headspace for primary for future batches (or brew 19L batches instead of 23L). Pectolase/pectinase added pre-ferment should help keep down the foaming (and improve clarity down the road).

I wouldn't bother to open the fermenter, but it shouldn't cause problems if you do. I would take off the airlock, clean and sanitize it, maybe clean and sanitize the top of the lid while you're at it. I tend to prefer to use sanitizer solution (sodium / potassium metabi/Campden or Starsan) in the airlock rather than vodka. Campden / Starsan won't kill yeast if it spills or gets sucked back. Vodka might.

Also, your temp strip reads 16 now. Are you saying it varies between 16 and 20? That's a lot of variability. Even more important than the actual temperature is temp consistency. If you're using a strong wine yeast like EC-1118 or something, you want to really try to hold it within 1-2 degrees of variation - preferably around 19/20.
 
OP
JamesWoolford

JamesWoolford

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Sometimes apple goes like crazy.

Would be advisable to get a fermenter with some more headspace for primary for future batches (or brew 19L batches instead of 23L). Pectolase/pectinase added pre-ferment should help keep down the foaming (and improve clarity down the road).

I wouldn't bother to open the fermenter, but it shouldn't cause problems if you do. I would take off the airlock, clean and sanitize it, maybe clean and sanitize the top of the lid while you're at it. I tend to prefer to use sanitizer solution (sodium / potassium metabi/Campden or Starsan) in the airlock rather than vodka. Campden / Starsan won't kill yeast if it spills or gets sucked back. Vodka might.

Also, your temp strip reads 16 now. Are you saying it varies between 16 and 20? That's a lot of variability. Even more important than the actual temperature is temp consistency. If you're using a strong wine yeast like EC-1118 or something, you want to really try to hold it within 1-2 degrees of variation - preferably around 19/20.
thanks for this, ill clean that right away, im using a proper cider yeast, regarding heat, its slowly going up, taking a while for the pad to reach high/full temp it says it should be to 20
 
OP
JamesWoolford

JamesWoolford

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Ok all cleaned took lid off to check, when I pitched my yeast I sprinkled it on top of the airated foam and left it, should I have stirred it then? As I left to absorb?

I took a gravity reading whilst there (completely cleaned everything) and the gravity still hasn't went up or down it tasted a bit different to apple juice it's doing "something".. not sure if it's right though having no experience.

How long do you recommend I leave it in there? Untill it cleared fully?

Thanks
 

Rick Stephens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
127
Reaction score
59
Location
Idaho
Mostly you should not worry about primary fermentation behaviors that you are seeing. If your yeast is one that tends to create a lot of foam, called 'krausen' BTW, then you would benefit from more headspace or a tube leading off from the top vent into a jar to capture the spill. I usually just leave enough space to account for it.... which usually works, although everyone will occasionally have a mess to clean up.

I have started/done primary fermentation a few times in buckets when I had a lot of apples going through the press. However, I never ever do secondary in buckets because the huge surface area makes oxygen contamination nearly inevitable. This just means I keep buying more glass carboys for when I have multiples of batches in secondary. Some of the better quality ciders take months to properly age in secondary and that is always best done with the tiny headspace and surface area allowed by a standard carboy design.

You asked how long do you 'leave it in there'. That is dependent on what your next step is going to be. Are you going to rack it off and then secondary for a while? Or bottle it? Or keg it? Or drink it one afternoon.... One answer that mostly fits all of the above and a bunch of other possible things you can do with it is that you leave it alone in the bucket doing primary fermentation until it is done and back to a gravity that is consistent with almost no sugar left to be consumed by the yeast. And the specific gravity that indicates primary is finished can usually be assumed to be around 1.000 but it really depends on what yeast you used.

As for did sprinkling the dry yeast be the right method, I tend to read the instructions that are on yeast packages and follow those procedures. Most answers to your question would be also dependent on which yeast you used. Generally speaking, if you just sprinkled the yeast on top and it started fermenting then it was fine doing it whatever way you dd it.
 
OP
JamesWoolford

JamesWoolford

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Mostly you should not worry about primary fermentation behaviors that you are seeing. If your yeast is one that tends to create a lot of foam, called 'krausen' BTW, then you would benefit from more headspace or a tube leading off from the top vent into a jar to capture the spill. I usually just leave enough space to account for it.... which usually works, although everyone will occasionally have a mess to clean up.

I have started/done primary fermentation a few times in buckets when I had a lot of apples going through the press. However, I never ever do secondary in buckets because the huge surface area makes oxygen contamination nearly inevitable. This just means I keep buying more glass carboys for when I have multiples of batches in secondary. Some of the better quality ciders take months to properly age in secondary and that is always best done with the tiny headspace and surface area allowed by a standard carboy design.

You asked how long do you 'leave it in there'. That is dependent on what your next step is going to be. Are you going to rack it off and then secondary for a while? Or bottle it? Or keg it? Or drink it one afternoon.... One answer that mostly fits all of the above and a bunch of other possible things you can do with it is that you leave it alone in the bucket doing primary fermentation until it is done and back to a gravity that is consistent with almost no sugar left to be consumed by the yeast. And the specific gravity that indicates primary is finished can usually be assumed to be around 1.000 but it really depends on what yeast you used.

As for did sprinkling the dry yeast be the right method, I tend to read the instructions that are on yeast packages and follow those procedures. Most answers to your question would be also dependent on which yeast you used. Generally speaking, if you just sprinkled the yeast on top and it started fermenting then it was fine doing it whatever way you dd it.
Thanks for this..

Noted next time leave more room.. in regards to moving it on etc I've never thought that far ahead.. I have 11 bottles so Sypher it into, these came with the beginners package.

When you say secondary could I Sypher it from main into these and let them sit? They're just generic plastic, twist lid/cap bottles, nothings specific.

I was planning on simply having it now and then, wasn't a "I want to drink it all in a weekend" sort of thing, but if leaving it weeks longer makes it stronger or "better" I'll happily leave in primary.

The yeast says "Bayanus strain, especially made for crisp cider and Perry"

If that helps.
 

Rick Stephens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
127
Reaction score
59
Location
Idaho
First let it finish primary... that means nearly all the airlock activity is gone and gravity is down to around a 1.000. Then decide from the taste what you need.

If you decide it needs a secondary then it needs to be properly stored with limited airspace and a good airlock. My advice is not in a bucket. You can age in the bottle, so bottle away and give it a shot if the tastes are appropriate. As you try different things you will develop a repertoire of techniques that work for you. Keep it simple, taste what you have as it nears final gravity and ask questions as you go.

I'd also recommend picking up a book or two, and reading whatever works you can find online. The varieties of methods is as nearly unlimited as the resulting qualities of ciders.
 
OP
JamesWoolford

JamesWoolford

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
First let it finish primary... that means nearly all the airlock activity is gone and gravity is down to around a 1.000. Then decide from the taste what you need.

If you decide it needs a secondary then it needs to be properly stored with limited airspace and a good airlock. My advice is not in a bucket. You can age in the bottle, so bottle away and give it a shot if the tastes are appropriate. As you try different things you will develop a repertoire of techniques that work for you. Keep it simple, taste what you have as it nears final gravity and ask questions as you go.

I'd also recommend picking up a book or two, and reading whatever works you can find online. The varieties of methods is as nearly unlimited as the resulting qualities of ciders.
Awesome thank you for this.

So I'll check the gravity in another few days see what were at with it, if it's as stated above I'll move it out into separate bottled for drinking! The best part!
 

Beermeister32

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
568
Location
Southern California
On future batches, I’d suggest not adding cinnamon to the main batch. If it doesn’t taste right because of the cinnamon, you still have 5 gallons to drink.

Might be better to do a 1-gallon pilot batch to work out any spice additions you are contemplating. Either that or take a cinnamon stick and steep it in a pint of cider to test if this is what you like.
 
OP
JamesWoolford

JamesWoolford

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
On future batches, I’d suggest not adding cinnamon to the main batch. If it doesn’t taste right because of the cinnamon, you still have 5 gallons to drink.

Might be better to do a 1-gallon pilot batch to work out any spice additions you are contemplating. Either that or take a cinnamon stick and steep it in a pint of cider to test if this is what you like.
I was thinking that, in hindsight would have been the way haha i did however have a taste when i took a gravity reading and it tasted nice - only very slight cinnamon taste
 

cortex

New Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
UK
Looking at it I'd maybe take it off the heatpad if you have somewhere indoors to put it or turn the pad down if you're still having issues, depending on your yeast you should be able to get away with slightly lower temperatures than 20c and it should be less violent/active fermentation
 

DuncB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
675
Reaction score
290
Location
Paremata New Zealand
My first all apple cider ( crushed and pressed ) I just put in the carboys with an airlock and left it in the garage. So that process started after apple harvest.
Looked at the carboys every month to check the airlocks had liquid but otherwise left it for months. Cold winter in kent that year with snow and sub zero in the garage ( old barn in fact on the side of disused oast house ) .
Early summer I just bottled it and it was great. Had to give a lot away as I made 250 litres but it continued to improve in the bottle.
 

Beermeister32

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
568
Location
Southern California
I run 90 days minimum aging on ciders. After that they seem to level out. I still have a couple boxes of 2018 in bottles (I drink cider very infrequently, usually beer. My wife has one once in a while when she’s low on box wine!) The 2018 is still great.
 
Top