Author Topic: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?  (Read 2333 times)

Offline withak

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Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« on: September 24, 2010, 09:29:29 AM »
My friend and I pressed some apples to make a hard cider back in August.  When we racked that cider we didn't want to waste the yeast, so I went out and bought some juice.  Unfortunately all I could find had potassium sorbate, but I figured I'd give it a shot for a few bucks and see if the yeast could overcome.

It seemed to start fermentation for a few days, but then went dead for 2 weeks.  Last week it started back up and it seems like I've got a very slow fermentation going now (about 4 bubbles through the airlock per minute).

Now that apple season is fully underway I'd like to get some more juice without sorbate or press some apples and pour it over the old yeast.  Can I rack off this current sorbate cider and pour some new juice on top of the old yeast now, or will I be disrupting my fermentation too much?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 10:43:09 AM »
Where did the gravity start?  Where is it now?  It might not have taken more than a few days to ferment, so it could be done.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 10:57:14 AM »
I'm inclined to agree with Tom. Maybe it's "outgassing". Do a gravity check.

If you want to reuse the yeast it ought to be fine since AJ tends to be about 1.050-55.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline withak

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 06:50:27 PM »
Just did a gravity reading, we're at 1.050.  Started at around 1.070

I think I'm just going to let it do it's thing and take another reading in a week.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 09:11:46 PM »
Consider getting some more yeast and putting it in some more apple juice to get going - something with no preservatives.  Once it gets going well, add it to the batch.  That should help it get going.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 11:14:38 AM »
Just did a gravity reading, we're at 1.050.  Started at around 1.070

I think I'm just going to let it do it's thing and take another reading in a week.

Wow. I always thought that pitching enough yeast would cancel out the PS. It's slowed down the fermentation considerably even though it was on the yeast cake. Try rousing it.

Good thing that there is fermentation. It will take longer obviously so RDWHAHB. This is a good lesson to observe, and I won't be fooling with any juice preserved that way.

Good luck.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Be Sure To Vote Jonathan Fuller for Governing Committee!

Offline withak

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 07:40:14 AM »
Two weeks later the gravity reading was 1.048.  So it's moving ridiculously slow or I had a measurement error when I read it at 1.050.

Stole a small sample.  It tastes good, sweet and bubbly with a very mild kick.

I'll let it keep going and do some more readings.

Offline withak

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Re: Slow Cider Ferment - Rack or Wait?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2011, 01:31:03 PM »
This eventually did get stuck at 1.038

I got a yeast starter going with new juice, but I think the original may have oxidized.