Hi fellow homebrewers!
Got a problem for the collective. I am making a cyser, and the little
sucker won't get going on a ferment worth a darn. Here's the
5 gal pastuerized apple cider
1 lb brown sugar
2 lbs clover honey
10 cinnamon sticks
palmful ea of dried lemon and orange peel (abt. 1.5 tsp ea)
palmful ea of crushed cardamom, allspice
I brought 1 gal of the cider to 160d and added honey, brown sugar and
spices, stirring to mix well. I simmered at this temp for 15 minutes.
When simmering was done, I strained the mixture into a 5 gal carboy,
onto 3 of the remaining 4 gals of cider (which were at room temp),
reserving 1 gal for secondary. Rehydrated 1 pkg Pastuer champagne yeast.
When temp reached 77-80 deg, I pitched the yeast with yeast nutrient,
and shook the carboy for a few minutes. The SG at this time was 1.080. I
then airlocked it and wrapped it in a blanket to ferment. 4 days later,
no sign of fermentation except that I had positive pressure in the
airlock. One day later, no positive pressure! This was Sunday, and the
brewshop wasn't open til Tuesday, so, worried that I was making a lot of
vinegar, I rehydrated and pitched 2.5 tsp of bread yeast, shaking it up
well (I know, but I was desparate). On Tuesday, still no sign of
fermentation other than positive pressure. So, I went to the brewshop,
picked up a package of Wyeast dry mead yeast (I've had good luck and
great ferments with this stuff), smacked it and pitched it the next
evening (Wed). Well, I had a bubble here and there in the airlock, and
positive pressure, but no obvious fermentation. At this point, puzzled
and out of ideas, I went to the American Brewmaster and talked with
Mike. He felt that I had a *very* slow fermentation due to the fact that
I keep my house at 68-70d F, and on the floor, where the carboy is,
would be much cooler, say 63-65. He recommended setting it near a
heating vent to warm it up til fermentation kicked off vigorously, then
move it back to it's normal place under the bar. This I did on Friday.
Well, here it is Tuesday again, and it only bubbles when the heat is on!
I checked the SG and it's sitting at around 1.070 (kinda hard to see
thru the glass/cider haze in the carboy). So, I have had a *little*
fermenting, but not very much. BTW, I've done two batches of mead by
just pitching the Wyeast pack smacked, no starters, and have had happy
yeasties both times, bubbling merrily away at 1-2 bubbles/sec for days!
The mead batches sit just a few feet away, so I don't think ambient temp
is the issue. Both the meads did their primary ferment in a bucket, not
So, I have several suppositions:
1. Cider doesn't like to primary in carboys.
2. Yeasties are cold and won't do their thing.
3. I got bad yeast (not likely, this shop is pretty reliable)
4. I'm not meant to have hard cider.
So, fellow enthusiasts, I would greatly appreciate any ideas you might
have as to how to kick the ferment up a little higher. I don't want it
roiling, cause I know I'll get a better flavor with a slow ferment, but
this is ridiculous!
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
" No good deed ever goes unpunished" --Anonymous
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