Author Topic: Cider wont start fermenting - help troubleshooting?  (Read 373 times)

Offline bcsteinw

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Cider wont start fermenting - help troubleshooting?
« on: October 14, 2018, 03:48:06 AM »
Hi all - long time lurker, first time posting. That said, if this is in the wrong place, please let me know how to fix that.

So - here's the set up - I started a cider brew on Wednesday evening 10/10:

I Used 5 gallons of minimally pasteurized apple juice from Costco. Only ingredient on the official ingredient list was 'apple juice' and a portion of the label listed no preservatives added.

-Added 1 gallon of the apple juice to the primary container. (6.5G Big mouth bubbler)
-Dissolved 2.5 tsp pectic enzyme and 5tsp yeast nutrient in a 1/2 c water, stirred until dissolved, and added to the primary fermenter. Amounts of the enzyme and nutrient were according to package ingredients.
-Added the remaining 4 gallons of juice, I poured from between chest and shoulder height - to mix in the pectic/nutrient mixture and agitate and aerate the juice-it was foamy with a good amount of bubbles on the surface of the juice... about 1 inch off the surface of the juice but fell back quickly into the juice.
-I took temp and hydrometer readings. 55 degrees F, 1.040 SG. I pitched yeast at above readings, sprinkled right onto surface of the juice - Safale S-04.

24H since start - 1.040 SG reading (same as start) / 65 Degrees F (ambient temp)

36H since start - 1.040 SG reading (same as start) /69 Degrees F (ambient temp) - pitched another package of Safale S-04. sprinkled onto surface. Stirred mildly with big spoon, hoping to aerate.

60H since start (this morning) - 1.040 SG (maybe even a hair higher - reading error?) / 68 Degrees F (ambient temp). Grabbed my power drill and wine degasser and splashed the crap out of the juice for 2 min. again, hoping O2 will solve the issue.

As of this evening, still no notable activity in the airlock - a few minor fluctuations but i assume that's on temperature fluctuations and thermal expansion/contractions.

a few additional notes - i skipped use of any campden tabs or stabalizers, as i used pasteurized juice. I've not seen any issues with airtight seals on this vessel in the past - but i cant discount it, but the hydrometer readings are informative... somethings not right.

I've done a few kit wines and beers, but this is my first brew outside of kitted items. let me know if i'm doing things in the wrong order.

And so, i appeal to the great internet hivebrain. Any thoughts on how I can fix this and get it fermenting? how long can I let this thing sit, considering spoilage?

Thanks in advance

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Cider wont start fermenting - help troubleshooting?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 11:01:32 AM »
You did everything right.  One thing I wonder is that since S-04 is an ale yeast, it might still be in its replication phase while getting accustomed to fermenting something not malt-based. At any rate I fully expect it will start to ferment very soon in the next 36 hours and if not, the yeast might just be bad for some unknown reason and if so then just buy some wine yeast (like Cote des Blancs), pitch that in, and everything will turn out just fine.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 11:03:08 AM by dmtaylor »

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