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Cider fermenting

 
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Old-Chads-Orchard



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 378
Location: Malpas, Cheshire
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 18 7:42 pm    Post subject: Cider fermenting  Reply with quote    

Right, I have had very mixed results with my cider so far, tried natural yeast, liquid cider yeast and liquid champagne yeast, so far champagne yeast has worked best (although the apple juice was pasteurised with the champagne yeast attempt). Despite best efforts with hygene I always seems to get an infection in the fermenter (I use sanitiser AND a steam cleaner).

Issue has come to a head this year as it is the first time I have any amount of cider apples, previous years and have done 25 litre bins, this year I am hoping to do a couple of 200l barrels, maybe more.

My current thinking is to pasteurise the juice and add liquid cider yeast, what are peoples thoughts?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34297
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 18 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i use raw juice and wine turbo yeast for batch one, then i use the fermenting batch ( assuming it is doing well ) as a starter for a subsequent one
i often include windfalls, the odd wasp, mud etc so there is a fair biological gap between my way and a more stainless steel, "bleach" and white wellies approach.

the mix of yeast strains seems to work well and even with only very basic hygiene ( as few slugs as poss is polite ) i dont get infections

imho a lot of issues can be avoided by getting a flying start to a ferment. if there are enough active yeasts and the temp is right the fungi and bacteria are overwhelmed by yeasts before they can build up numbers.
a slow start gives a window of opportunity for fungi and bacteria.

ps by adopting the sequential starter method you will breed/select a yeast community that is best suited to your conditions. yeast are strange wee life forms they mostly bud giving clones ( with a very low number of mutations ) but they can also "shuffle " genetics between two " adults" and bud from the mix which can create considerable genetic diversity to select from, ie breeding an old chad's orchard strain is fairly easy.
yeast wrangling is great fun

all that said re yeasts temp is a major factor, the yeasts need must match the temp range you ferment at but the actual temp makes a difference to what organisms thrive. in general yeast work best between 20 and 30 c and the sort of bugs and fungi that cause problems prefer a bit cooler.
how warm is your brew shed? is the temp constant? can the temp of each batch be altered by moving them to a new place for each stage of the process?

Old-Chads-Orchard



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 378
Location: Malpas, Cheshire
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 18 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Interesting, May get a batch running now with the windfalls from the cider apple trees to provide a starter. What %age starter do you put in your juice?

Temperature in the shed is constant, was around 10-12C last winter when using a cider yeast (was in spec temp wise for that yeast)

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34297
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 18 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

when it is fizzing but i brew warmer than you, my kitchen is variable around the high teens as an average.

if you start with a few litres of juice and a packet of yeast indoors at say 20 c 3 days will be pretty active

taking a bit of a batch and feeding/warming for 24 hrs can boost a starter a lot

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34297
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 18 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re the feeding /warming thing:

give the yeast some food ( juice )
ferment a while
feed it again
repeat until you have quite a bit

25c is is about right for maximising generations per hour ( if you get it perfect you double your numbers every 20 mins or so ) and yeast that are suited to making a nice product at 12 c will be fine "hot clocked " to double speed for a couple of days to boost numbers and volume.
for 25 litres i like a litre or so of very active starter so you need to be working towards a couple of bucketfuls for a 200lt batch ready to go in on pressing days.

some of the best ciders i have had have been natural yeast fermented and the very best have been made in the same wooden kit for centuries with little more than a hose down now and again.

maybe try a few litres from each pressing without the wine yeast and see how they do?

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