stuck fermentation?

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anton005

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Long time homebrewer, first time making cider here. My dad called me up and asked if I would help him press his apples... No problem, came home with 5 gallons of fresh pressed cider in an assortment of jugs and old water bottles...

Dumped it all in my fermenter, added 2 lbs of corn sugar got it all mixed in. OG was about 1.054, not as high as I wanted, but went ahead with it anyway. I crushed and added 5 campden tablets, mixed it in as best as I could (that stuff really doesn't mix well) the next day I added 3 tsp pectic enzyme, the next day I added my yeast (s-04). Within a day or two there was activity. I checked my gravity after a week to see what was going on in there and it was only down to 1.042, I wasn't too worried as I've never made this before and thought cider may just ferment slower than beer... Well two weeks later and it hasn't budged.

So do I add more yeast? try a different yeast? any suggestions welcome :)

Anton
 

RedlegEd

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At what temperature are you fermenting? Before adding more/different yeast, perhaps you can rouse the yeast by gently swirling your carboy and bump up the fermentation temperature. S-04's optimum temperature range is 59° - 68°, so if it's a little too cool, it might have slowed to a crawl.
 
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anton005

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It's been around 70 for most of the time, most likely not ever below 67. When I've taken samples off the top, there is definitely yeast floating on top, looks and smells like it anyway.
 

stella_tigre

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You might try some nutrients. It greatly depends on the apples, but they can be pretty low on nutrients. Some say it's better not to add them, but others do add them, and it does keep the ferment going at a livelier pace.

The other thing to try is to de-gas the cider, similar to wine, because the CO2 can inhibit the yeast. Swirling the cider as said above might help do that.
 
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anton005

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I gave it a good swirl and things have picked up nicely. Actual bubbles passing through the airlock, it barely did that before. Looks good.

Thanks,
A.
 
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