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Iceman6409

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Hello all. First cider being made. 5 gallons unpasturized apple cider and 5 crushed campden tablets. This it 24 hours later. Normal? Lost? Something else?

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schwiz

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Looks like the yeast are munching away regardless of the campden whats it taste like?
 

MarkKF

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Any added yeast? Cuz that looks like mine 36 hrs after pitching.
 

T_Baggins

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yes I would say wild yeast took over! What else is in there? have you added any sugars or any other chems at all?
 
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Iceman6409

Iceman6409

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Nothing else is in there except campden tablets. Forgive me for not know but what does it mean when you say wild yeast are taking over?
 

burninator

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Nothing else is in there except campden tablets. Forgive me for not know but what does it mean when you say wild yeast are taking over?
If you bought that juice unpasteurized, there was already yeast in it from the apple skins. The campden tablets are intended to kill it, but you may have something particularly robust eating away at your sugars. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It just makes the process less predictable.
 
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Iceman6409

Iceman6409

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Ok. So tonight when I get home it will be 48 hours since I mixed the cider and campden. Should I rack to a carboy and throw my yeast in? Should I wait longer? Have I lost this batch?
 

bernardsmith

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why rack to a carboy to pitch your yeast. During the first few days after you pitch yeast they need oxygen (not a huge amount - don't pump in O2! but they do need some and aerating before you pitch will provide only enough O2 for a few hours). Using an open bucket - covered loosely to keep out dirt and pets and the like - is a great way to start any fermentation (apart, perhaps from beer) because you can stir and agitate the liquor (with a sanitized rod or spoon) at the beginning of each day and at the end.

But that said, If you measured the specific gravity when you added the Campden tabs and you measure it now and see a drop then you MIGHT want to stay with the yeasts that have already made their home in your must. Introducing a different colony will make the result even less predictable (IMO) than burninator suggests. Wild yeasts in the must that have gone so quickly to work may make for a wonderful cider. At the very least your cider will sing a very local tune. Good luck!
 

Yooper

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Fermentation looks well underway. I thought I read in another thread that this cider was already over a week old, and starting to ferment before you even added the campden? If so, the yeast added now will be of little use although it might help it finish up.
 
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Iceman6409

Iceman6409

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The cider was purchase a week ago last Saturday and sat in my fridge until the following Sunday night. They were in the one gallon plastic milk jugs. Three of them had a lot of pressure in them. You could easily see the jugs expanding to the point where I couldn't fit my fingers through the handle to lift the jug. Then a small pin hole popped on those three on their side. Some cider leaked out but I saved most of it. That was what say in the fridge for a week. Then this Sunday night was when I emptied them into a plastic bucket and stirred in 5 crushed campden tablets. I put a towel over the top and let sit undisturbed u til last night when I took the picture and posted here. Since then I have done nothing at all in any way.

So if I am understanding correctly a few of you are suggesting that I NOT add the yeast at this point and that natural yeasts are already doing their job and fermenting. Am I correct? Should I ever add yeast or leave it as is? Some are saying not to rack to a carboy now. True?

And as always I apologize for not knowing what I am talking about. This is my first cider although I have done many beers. I thank you all for your patience but I definitely thank you all for sharing your knowledge and trying to help a newbie. You guys and gals are the best.
 

burninator

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So if I am understanding correctly a few of you are suggesting that I NOT add the yeast at this point and that natural yeasts are already doing their job and fermenting. Am I correct? Should I ever add yeast or leave it as is? Some are saying not to rack to a carboy now. True?.
Exactly the way I would go. By racking, you run the risk of some bacterial infection, and it won't make fermentation stop. Because the yeast is active, it's suspended in the cider, not settled at the bottom, so you'd just be transferring it with the cider.

You already have an active, wild yeast in your cider, and it may turn out to be fantastic. At any rate, it's taken over, and adding a commercial yeast probably won't help.

The caveat to this is that if fermentation finishes, and your final gravity is higher than you'd like (cider still too sweet), you might consider a commercial yeast to finish the process, but I'd only do that after this wild yeast has finished its job, if necessary.
 

dienst

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Sounds like they were fermenting when you bought them (due to pressure in the bottle). It's not going to kill the cider, but it may not taste the way you imagined it. Our unpasturized cider is usually good for about 10 days before it begins to ferment in the refrigerator.
 
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Iceman6409

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Should I keep the towel on or try and put a lid with an air lock on it at this point? And roughly how long would I let it ferment
 

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You can probably slap an airlock on that puppy and let it ride. There's not much point in doing anything else now. The wild yeast in there probably outnumber any yeast you will pitch. Send us tasting notes and fg when you're done


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hunter_le five

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+1 to let it ride and report back. I'm interested to hear how it turns out with the wild yeasts doing the fermenting


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T_Baggins

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When i pitch my yeast, I snap my lid on my bucket tight, but leave my airlock empty. For the first two days or so, I push down on the center of the lid to push any Co2 out, and when I release it, it sucks fresh air back in. Then I just give the bucket a little shake and or swirl. After 24-36 hrs I lift a lid and check for that nice thick foamy layer. When I see that, I snap the lid tight and fill the airlock. I might give the bucket another shake the next day after that, but no more. I leave in the bucket for 7-10 days then rack to a carboy...I still get good strong fermentation in the carboy for the first racking, but I feel it is important to get it off the lees (the sludge in the bottom) as soon as possible. I like to rack again at 21 days. and rack a 3rd time after that. I like to bulk age in the carboy for a few months before bottling, just to give it a little more time to clear and let any more solids settle before bottling.
 

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Iceman6409: I've got 8 gals of cider right now. 5 gals was done with WLP775. I treated it like my beers. Agitated the cider a bit, used Fermax and then pitched the yeast. Tightened the lid and attached the airlock (I always fill mine with cheap vodka). Let it go in the primary for two weeks, didn't even touch it. OG was 1.05, after two weeks fermentation had slowed and Gravity was at 1.00. Racked into my secondary at that point with no headspace (important). I'm going to let this go in the secondary for months if needed to mellow out and let the lees fall. I say let that sit as is in the primary until it's nice and ready to move. Just my two cents :)


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Iceman6409

Iceman6409

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Ok took a reading today and it showed 1.030. Still foaming and fizzing away. Out a tight lid with an air lock in it. Bubbling away nicely. Took a taste test. Sweet. Reminded me of apple juice
 

jefflane510

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You can probably slap an airlock on that puppy and let it ride. There's not much point in doing anything else now. The wild yeast in there probably outnumber any yeast you will pitch. Send us tasting notes and fg when you're done
+2 on this recommendation. I've had some very good wild-yeast ciders and some that resemble a sharp balsamic salad dressing. I'd love to hear what you've got when it's done.

From the pressure in the bottles, it sounds like you bought unpasteurized cider that was not pressed the day you bought it. It probably was well on its way to fermenting by the time you forked over your hard-earned dough. Shame on the orchard for that one! Even if you had no intention of fermenting, you'd not have been buying good cider. It's like buying wilted spinach or mealy apples at the grocery store. That sucks.

I'd recommend racking to a carboy only after the primary is done. Cold crash it or give it plenty of time, or both.
 
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