Author Topic: Problems getting cider to ferment  (Read 330 times)

Offline iso-alphaBrew

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Problems getting cider to ferment
« on: January 11, 2019, 05:12:00 PM »
Hey all,

First time-time (but will be long-time) poster. I've been brewing all-grain beer for just over a year now and I've loved every minute of it. A few months ago in the fall I decided to try my first attempt at making a hard cider. I looked up that you DON'T want cider that has preservatives. So, what did I do? I went to a local (one hour away) apple farm and picked up some freshly made cider with no preservatives. I then proceeded to pick up a pack of Safcider, pitched it in my 1-gallon carboy with the cider and *viola* a week and a half later fermentation was complete (no issues).

I wanted to make some more cider, but this time I was going to add some spice (cinnamon sticks) to the fermentation. Since apples are out of season here where I live, I couldn't go to the apple farm. However, my local Whole Foods sells preservative free cider (at least that's what it says on the label and ingredients) so I picked up a gallon of that. I used the same Safcider, pitched the yeast and absolutely no fermentation occurred. I thought maybe I didn't sanitize the carboy properly, the yeast was poor, or for whatever reason, it was just bad luck. So I went and bought another gallon of the same cider, used Brewer's Best cider yeast this time (and I even rehydrated the dry yeast this go around), and still no fermentation.

Can anyone explain what my issue might be? THe only thing i can think of is this cider i'm buying is different than what the label reads as "preservative free."

Thanks in advance!

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 05:17:11 PM »
What does the label list as ingredients?
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Offline iso-alphaBrew

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 05:31:58 PM »
What does the label list as ingredients?

All it says is "100% apple cider"

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 07:29:52 PM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline iso-alphaBrew

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 11:18:16 PM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 01:16:47 AM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

So you don't know, because you haven't checked specific gravity.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline iso-alphaBrew

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 07:54:55 PM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

So you don't know, because you haven't checked specific gravity.

I haven’t checked, no. OG was 1.047. I’ll take a gravity reading  when i get off work tonight
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 08:01:39 PM by iso-alphaBrew »

Offline iso-alphaBrew

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 06:51:04 AM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

So you don't know, because you haven't checked specific gravity.

I haven’t checked, no. OG was 1.047. I’ll take a gravity reading  when i get off work tonight

So update: I forgot to reply here last week, but I took a gravity reading and it was surprisingly lower than what I expected. It was showing a 1.015.

I was just surprised to see literally no activity. Everything I’ve fermented (beer and the one cider I fermented 3 months ago) always showed activity. Guess I’ll make sure to check the gravity reading before calling it quits.

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Problems getting cider to ferment
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 12:59:08 PM »
How sure are you that it's not fermenting?  Have you checked specific gravity?  Fermentation can happen without any visible activity.  There is typically a little foam on a cider, but not always very obvious.

No activity in the airlock and no kräusen

So you don't know, because you haven't checked specific gravity.

I haven’t checked, no. OG was 1.047. I’ll take a gravity reading  when i get off work tonight

So update: I forgot to reply here last week, but I took a gravity reading and it was surprisingly lower than what I expected. It was showing a 1.015.

I was just surprised to see literally no activity. Everything I’ve fermented (beer and the one cider I fermented 3 months ago) always showed activity. Guess I’ll make sure to check the gravity reading before calling it quits.

Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.