Author Topic: cider starter  (Read 1099 times)

cornershot

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cider starter
« on: September 06, 2013, 08:41:43 PM »
Does a starter for a yeast used to ferment cider, specifically wlp775 English cider yeast, need to be made with malt? Or can I make the starter with simple sugar and yeast nutrient since the apple juice is just simple sugar?

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 10:13:56 PM »
I made a starter using a pint of the same juice. Worked out well, but I don't have anything to compare to.

Offline AmandaK

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 07:04:25 AM »
I made a starter using a pint of the same juice. Worked out well, but I don't have anything to compare to.

I do the same with yeast nutrients, but I've never done it any other way.
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Offline denny

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2013, 09:22:13 AM »
What's the OG of your cider?  Unless you add a lot of sugar to it, you probably won't need a starter at all.
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cornershot

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013, 10:18:10 AM »
I haven't picked the apples yet. But I except it to be around 1.050. First time using liquid yeast for cider. The vial was given to me for free, but expires in 3 weeks. I also have a starter of wlp041 Pacific ale yeast ready to go. Any thoughts on that yeast for cider?

Offline denny

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2013, 10:26:36 AM »
I haven't picked the apples yet. But I except it to be around 1.050. First time using liquid yeast for cider. The vial was given to me for free, but expires in 3 weeks. I also have a starter of wlp041 Pacific ale yeast ready to go. Any thoughts on that yeast for cider?

My experience is that for cider, yeast doesn't matter much.  I've used wine yeast, champagne yeast, neutral ale yeast and Belgian ale yeast.  In the end, they all pretty much produced the same result.  When I press my apples, the juice usually comes out between 1.045-55.  I don't recall ever making a starter and have never had problems from not making one.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 04:23:17 PM »
I think because cider (mead and wine too) are all simple sugars, there is much less stress on yeast. I've heard wine makers say they "grow yeast" for the first several days of fermentation. The Moonlight Meadery guy at NHC said the same. And I've never heard of a cidermaker making a starter (unless they were trying to apply brewing knowledge to cidermaking).

But if I did make one, I'd use apple juice from the store and nutrients. And if the vial is old, I might do it - not to grow cells, but just to build up their health.
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cornershot

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 04:29:29 PM »
I haven't picked the apples yet. But I except it to be around 1.050. First time using liquid yeast for cider. The vial was given to me for free, but expires in 3 weeks. I also have a starter of wlp041 Pacific ale yeast ready to go. Any thoughts on that yeast for cider?

My experience is that for cider, yeast doesn't matter much.  I've used wine yeast, champagne yeast, neutral ale yeast and Belgian ale yeast.  In the end, they all pretty much produced the same result.  When I press my apples, the juice usually comes out between 1.045-55.  I don't recall ever making a starter and have never had problems from not making one.

I've only used champagne yeast in the past. But the cider yeast comparison funded by the AHA research and education fund inspired me to try something different.
Whether or not a starter is needed: I don't know if yeast behaves differently in cider and beer, but a 3 month old vial makes me think "starter" even if it's just to get it active. And I thought a White labs vial was good for 5 gallons of 1.040.
Anyway, got 2 bushels of apples. Gonna press tomorrow.

cornershot

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Re: cider starter
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 04:37:28 PM »
I think because cider (mead and wine too) are all simple sugars, there is much less stress on yeast. I've heard wine makers say they "grow yeast" for the first several days of fermentation. The Moonlight Meadery guy at NHC said the same. And I've never heard of a cidermaker making a starter (unless they were trying to apply brewing knowledge to cidermaking).

But if I did make one, I'd use apple juice from the store and nutrients. And if the vial is old, I might do it - not to grow cells, but just to build up their health.

So having just simple sugar to ferment is like a vacation for the yeast and the complex sugars of wort are more like work? And a big beer is like overtime?