Author Topic: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days  (Read 452 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

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WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« on: November 24, 2021, 12:15:10 pm »
I made some Wry Smile a month or so back and saved the yeast in the fridge. Decided to pitch about a 1/4 of it it into a gallon of apple juice/cider (the cloudy stuff, not concentrate). I didn't take an OG reading. Well, it sat there and bubbled Saturday and Sunday a little but not much else for activity. Monday morning there was still no change, so I decided to check the gravity. It was at 1.078. I was expecting it to be much lower going on day 3 (usally my ciders start at 1.085-1.090).  I decided to make a DME starter using about another 1/4 of the slurry and a tsp of yeast nutrient. The starter bubbled away, would foam when I shook it. Seemed fine? By Tuesday morning all the starter yeast was sitting at the bottom of the jug. I poured off most of the liquid and pitched it into the cider. It clearly increased activity for the day but now Wednesday morning, we're back to very little activity. I took another gravity reading and it's currentyly at 1.076-ish (kind of cloudy on the refractometer).

Any thoughts? I'm wondering if the 1450 is just really this slow or maybe I killed it with the higher gravity of the Wry Smile? Everything smells fine. Slurry, cider, etc. Nothing weird floating in anything. The 1450 just seems kaput. Should I pitch some different yeast? I have some packets of S04 and US-05 on hand in the freezer.

Offline denny

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 03:04:38 pm »
Nope.  I must pitched a 1450 slurry into y gal. of cider.  It went crazy and is fermenting normally.  And 1.078 fofor just apple juice?  Mine is usually in the mid 40s.  So, maybe a measurement error?
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Offline chinaski

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 05:04:03 pm »
Taste it.

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 12:44:47 pm »
And 1.078 fofor just apple juice?  Mine is usually in the mid 40s.  So, maybe a measurement error?

I usually boost the cider with some sugar. I think I added about 1.25 cups on this batch so that's why the gravity is in space. I just checked a sample of beer from my kegerator that was 1.003 (refractometer) according to my notes a month back. Still reads that so I think the refractometer is OK. I cross-check it with my hydrometer when making beer and they're usually within .002 of each other.

Cider gravity is still 1.078 this morning with a steady bubble in the airlock every 5 seconds. I swirled things around and had some aggressive airlock activity for 30 seconds or so and then it died down. I'm kind of leaning towards yeast must be terribly underpitched.  Just enough there to make some CO2, but the sugar conversion isn't detectable?  I was thinking about a warm water bath to help things along but my digital thermometer says the cider is at 71F right now. That's outside the high end temp range for 1450 already. How picky are those temp ranges?

Taste it.

It's actually quite good. Still sweet, apple/grape aroma and flavor. No dryness that I can tell. I'll bet this would be delicious cider if can get things straight here before bacteria takes over.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 12:55:38 pm »
In your first post you said you didn't take an OG reading.  How are you adjusting the refractometer reading?  Are using a guesstimate for the OG?

You cannot read gravity directly with a refractometer once alcohol is present.

Paul
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 01:33:44 pm »
In your first post you said you didn't take an OG reading.  How are you adjusting the refractometer reading?  Are using a guesstimate for the OG?

You cannot read gravity directly with a refractometer once alcohol is present.

Paul

Not worried about OG at this point and certainly not focused on FG. I'm just looking for a change from where it is currently. I took a reading a couple days into it and It hasn't changed since. As I understand, you can use a refractometer to read gravity but this has to be done in conjunction with an established correction factor for your refractometer. There's a process for it but it will take me years to get enough data.

Offline chinaski

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 10:46:12 pm »
And 1.078 fofor just apple juice?  Mine is usually in the mid 40s.  So, maybe a measurement error?

I usually boost the cider with some sugar. I think I added about 1.25 cups on this batch so that's why the gravity is in space. I just checked a sample of beer from my kegerator that was 1.003 (refractometer) according to my notes a month back. Still reads that so I think the refractometer is OK. I cross-check it with my hydrometer when making beer and they're usually within .002 of each other.

Cider gravity is still 1.078 this morning with a steady bubble in the airlock every 5 seconds. I swirled things around and had some aggressive airlock activity for 30 seconds or so and then it died down. I'm kind of leaning towards yeast must be terribly underpitched.  Just enough there to make some CO2, but the sugar conversion isn't detectable?  I was thinking about a warm water bath to help things along but my digital thermometer says the cider is at 71F right now. That's outside the high end temp range for 1450 already. How picky are those temp ranges?

Taste it.

It's actually quite good. Still sweet, apple/grape aroma and flavor. No dryness that I can tell. I'll bet this would be delicious cider if can get things straight here before bacteria takes over.

Sounds like time to pitch some fresher yeast.  If you keep your fermenter pretty full, it is unlikely to go acetic from bacteria as (from what I understand) acetobacter needs oxygen to turn alcohol to acetic acid.


Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2021, 01:09:19 pm »
Sounds like time to pitch some fresher yeast.  If you keep your fermenter pretty full, it is unlikely to go acetic from bacteria as (from what I understand) acetobacter needs oxygen to turn alcohol to acetic acid.

At 1.076 today so it's dropped .002 in three days.  Picked up a new pack yesterday. I'll transfer off the old yeast and pitch into another fermenter and see what happens.

So, assuming my refractometer is correct, what's going on here? Shouldn't the yeast propogate over time and fermentation steadily pick up or is that not really the case with higher gravity solutions?

PS: Thanks for the tip about the full fermenter. It's in a gallon cider jug with only about 4" of headspace.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 04:53:32 pm by Joe_Beer »

Offline denny

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2021, 03:33:47 pm »
Sounds like time to pitch some fresher yeast.  If you keep your fermenter pretty full, it is unlikely to go acetic from bacteria as (from what I understand) acetobacter needs oxygen to turn alcohol to acetic acid.

At 1.076 today so it's dropped .002 in three days.  Picked up a new pack yesterday. I'll transfer off the old yeast and pitch into another fermenter and see what happens.

So, assuming my refractometer is correct, what's going on here? Shouldn't the yeast propogate over time and fermentation steadily pick up or is that not really the case with higher gravity solutions?

If you're using a refractometer and not applying a correction for alcohol, that could explain at least part of it.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2021, 05:34:25 pm »
If you're using a refractometer and not applying a correction for alcohol, that could explain at least part of it.

I use the BF calculator (https://www.brewersfriend.com/refractometer-calculator/) and plug in 1.04 for a correction factor. I know that's just a ballpark number though.

Looking at my notes from my Wry Smile brew last month, OG was 1.074 on the refractometer 1.073 on the hydrometer. I had another brew later in the month that had an OG 1.060/1.063. My eyes have trouble getting within a couple lines on those anyway so those numbers may be off a bit.  Doesn't seem like too wild of a variance though.

I activated a pack of 1450 this morning and let it bloat up for about 4 hours before transferring the cider to a new jug and pitching it. Hopefully this remedies it.

Offline denny

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2021, 06:18:57 pm »
If you're using a refractometer and not applying a correction for alcohol, that could explain at least part of it.

I use the BF calculator (https://www.brewersfriend.com/refractometer-calculator/) and plug in 1.04 for a correction factor. I know that's just a ballpark number though.

Looking at my notes from my Wry Smile brew last month, OG was 1.074 on the refractometer 1.073 on the hydrometer. I had another brew later in the month that had an OG 1.060/1.063. My eyes have trouble getting within a couple lines on those anyway so those numbers may be off a bit.  Doesn't seem like too wild of a variance though.

I activated a pack of 1450 this morning and let it bloat up for about 4 hours before transferring the cider to a new jug and pitching it. Hopefully this remedies it.

I believe that's a color correction factor.  You need to correct for alcohol.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2021, 02:44:11 pm »
I believe that's a color correction factor.  You need to correct for alcohol.

Ahhh.. Ok. I think I'm all mixed up here. I thought the wort correction factor WAS for alcohol correction, but after more some careful (this article mentions color as well) reading It sounds like the WCF is really about an adjustment to the refractometer for the different type of sugar in wort (maltose), rather than sucrose which refractometers are designed for. And this can only be measured before fermentation.

So can a refractometer be used to measure gravity once alcohol is present? Like I mentioned, I thought this was the whole point of calculating the WCF so I need to un-learn some things here.



Offline denny

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2021, 03:50:26 pm »
I believe that's a color correction factor.  You need to correct for alcohol.

Ahhh.. Ok. I think I'm all mixed up here. I thought the wort correction factor WAS for alcohol correction, but after more some careful (this article mentions color as well) reading It sounds like the WCF is really about an adjustment to the refractometer for the different type of sugar in wort (maltose), rather than sucrose which refractometers are designed for. And this can only be measured before fermentation.

So can a refractometer be used to measure gravity once alcohol is present? Like I mentioned, I thought this was the whole point of calculating the WCF so I need to un-learn some things here.

Yes, but you need to apply the correction factor.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline rburrelli

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2021, 05:11:46 pm »
I believe that's a color correction factor.  You need to correct for alcohol.

Ahhh.. Ok. I think I'm all mixed up here. I thought the wort correction factor WAS for alcohol correction, but after more some careful (this article mentions color as well) reading It sounds like the WCF is really about an adjustment to the refractometer for the different type of sugar in wort (maltose), rather than sucrose which refractometers are designed for. And this can only be measured before fermentation.

So can a refractometer be used to measure gravity once alcohol is present? Like I mentioned, I thought this was the whole point of calculating the WCF so I need to un-learn some things here.
There are refractometer adjustment calculators out there that will tell you what the reading converts to without alcohol present. Many brewing softwares have them as well.
All you need to know is starting Brix or SG, correction factor and current reading.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: WY 1450 hasn't changed cider gravity in days
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2021, 10:07:24 pm »
I believe that's a color correction factor.  You need to correct for alcohol.

Ahhh.. Ok. I think I'm all mixed up here. I thought the wort correction factor WAS for alcohol correction, but after more some careful (this article mentions color as well) reading It sounds like the WCF is really about an adjustment to the refractometer for the different type of sugar in wort (maltose), rather than sucrose which refractometers are designed for. And this can only be measured before fermentation.

So can a refractometer be used to measure gravity once alcohol is present? Like I mentioned, I thought this was the whole point of calculating the WCF so I need to un-learn some things here.
There are refractometer adjustment calculators out there that will tell you what the reading converts to without alcohol present. Many brewing softwares have them as well.
All you need to know is starting Brix or SG, correction factor and current reading.

This is why I asked a couple days ago when I pointed out you said in your first post that you don't know the OG (actually Original Brix).  Without it you can't make any accurate calculations. 

You will likely need to use a hydrometer at this point to see where you are at from a gravity perspective.

Paul
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