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To prevent stuck fermentation.

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ManSkills

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What is the best natural juice to add to cider that will prevent a stuck fermentation? I'm thinking some sort of white wine grape juice. I want to avoid a strong flavored juice or additive so I'm avoiding raisins or the like which will impact the apple flavor. I'm trying to avoid putting in basic yeast nutrient. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

CKuhns

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When fresh pressed cider is not available i use Frozen Apple Juice concentrate mixed to about 1.060 SG i dont add anything else other than Safeale S04 or 05 yeast and a whole ton of oxygen / air by shaking it like i own it and stir it 2Xs a day for the first 3 days, Have yet to have a stall ( maybe im just lucky) and almost always stops just short of dry.

Not sure there is any other juice that would protect you if its going to stall.
 
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ManSkills

ManSkills

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When fresh pressed cider is not available i use Frozen Apple Juice concentrate mixed to about 1.060 SG i dont add anything else other than Safeale S04 or 05 yeast and a whole ton of oxygen / air by shaking it like i own it and stir it 2Xs a day for the first 3 days, Have yet to have a stall ( maybe im just lucky) and almost always stops just short of dry.

Not sure there is any other juice that would protect you if its going to stall.
Thanks. I've had good luck too and no stalled fermentations. I wonder why so many people say a yeast nutrient is so necessary for cider. It calls into question all things when some advice is so wrong. I once had a stuck fermentation when I was fermenting a mead with honey and water only. Other than that, apple juice seems to work just fine for yeast.
 

CKuhns

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I wouldnt say yeast nutrients are wrong. I just dont find them necessary in ciders. I would agree with @Maylar if your concerned about a stall dont add any other juice to try to prevent it, add nutrients.
 

Nick Z

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Not using yeast nutrient doesn't necessarily mean a stuck fermentation. Have you had stuck fermentations before?

If you are concerned about putting artificial chemicals in the cider (like DAP) there is Fermaid O and a couple of other organic nutrients.
 
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ManSkills

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I may demonstrating my ignorance but I think in this area, the issue is widespread. I have added urea to stuck mead fermentation. But what the heck is urea? That sounds really bad. I have made many batches of cider before so I'm not really a noob. I had this idea that if there was some really nutritious juice that would keep a fermentation going to a higher alc. content that might be a good thing. People add juices to ciders, right?
 

dmtaylor

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I've never heard of a stuck fermentation in cider making. I've made dozens and never experienced this problem. Unless it's actually happening to somebody who uses good juice, I don't even believe it's something to worry about at all.
 

Nick Z

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I may demonstrating my ignorance but I think in this area, the issue is widespread. I have added urea to stuck mead fermentation. But what the heck is urea? That sounds really bad. I have made many batches of cider before so I'm not really a noob. I had this idea that if there was some really nutritious juice that would keep a fermentation going to a higher alc. content that might be a good thing. People add juices to ciders, right?
The long version:

Urea is a form of nitrogen. Much like plant fertilizer. Yeast use it when they ferment. If they don't have enough nitrogen there is a risk of rotten egg aroma (aka hydrogen sulfide).

The most common form of nitrogen added is diamonnium phosphate (aka DAP). It's a synthetic nitrogen source. Kind of like Miracle Go for yeast.

I have read a couple of studies and I heard a very interesting talk by a fermentation expert (from White Labs I think) about nitrogen. They indicated that apple juice has very little nitrogen in it. Filtered juice (i.e. clear) has even less nitrogen than unfiltered. Less even than wine grapes. Hence why nutrients are often added. Though adding too much can cause more problems than it solves and I still haven't dialed in the right amount of nutrients. Nutrients certainly speed up a fermentation. Which isn't always desirable.

Mead has even less nutrients in it than apple juice so nutrients are almost a must there.

The short version:

If you haven't had an issue with stuck cider fermentations before I don't see why you would start having such issues now. If what you have been doing works for you then keep doing it. If you do get a stuck fermentation you might want to dissolve a little DAP in water and add it to to the cider.

But if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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