Background: We are day 22 into our very first batch of brewing hard cider to make apple jack. Have tons of wild apples on our property and we took most of our apples from a single tree that needed severe pruning, with a few from a different 'variety' from a tree next to it. To start, we just pressed enough juice for 1 gallon of juice. Following an online guide to cider-making, we used Safale-04. Based on the amounts on the packet, I divided it up and used about 3/4 teaspoons of the yeast. I used 1/2 cup sugar. SG before adding sugar was 1.066. SG after adding sugar was 1.074. The temperature in the room varies, but since starting has been ranging between 62F and 70F.... slightly on the higher end of the scale for that yeast.
- The guide that I was using said primary fermentation would take 1-2 weeks, and to wait until 2 days after there are no more bubbles coming up through the air lock. It's been 22 days, and a bubble comes up and out every 7-8 seconds. Is this normal? How long can I REALLY expect this to take for primary fermentation? We can be patient, just want to know what to expect.
- We pressed the apples using an inexpensive manual 'screw-type' press and the 'filter bag' that came with it. It seems a lot of sediment came through the bag, even from the beginning. I wasn't too surprised, but I thought the sediment would settle to the bottom. It doesn't seem to be doing that. Again, is that normal? Once it's done with the primary fermentation, should we filter it again, without pressing the 'marc' (I know, that's probably a term used more with herbal preparations, but it seemed appropriate).