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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Default Cider Fermentation potential problem

    So I am fermenting 1 gallon of Fresh apple cider. I kept everything very sanitary, and chose to run a hose from my airlock into a bowl of water (because early on sometime the fermentation gets really active and bubbles into the air lock) I have had no problems for about two weeks, and this morning as the process is coming to a conclusion, I realize that there is a good deal of strange mold spores in the water bowl that my hose is going into acting as an air lock. I cleaned the airl lock and put it in normal, the way you buy it with the three parts. It smells fine, and there is no visible mold in the cider itslelf.

    Did I lose this batch or can I let it keep going?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    If it smells good, it is likely ok. The fungal and/or bacterial growth in the bowl of water could be from contaminants in the air, water, or the bowl itself. It's also possible a small amount of blow-by came through your hose from the fermenting must and was captured by the bowl, just as planned. In lieu of a hose-to-bowl system, I recommend you get a blow-by cap for your carboy. It is a cap that allows the blow-by to exit through one hole to a receptacle, and the 3 piece airlock through a second hole. I would also recommend you use a larger fermenting vessel to allow for plenty of headspace.

    Or you could use the winemakers' method of primary fermentation, an open bucket, covered by cheese cloth. then use a carboy for the secondary. You'll avoid blow-by problems that way.

    I almost never ferment batches smaller than 3 gallons. Rare exceptions are an experimental batch if I'm trying different seasonings or yeast.
    Last edited by Hops Brewster; 10-26-2015 at 12:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Hopkinton, Massachusetts
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    179

    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    If you put vodka in your air lock you won't get mold.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    If it smells good, it is likely ok. The fungal and/or bacterial growth in the bowl of water could be from contaminants in the air, water, or the bowl itself. It's also possible a small amount of blow-by came through your hose from the fermenting must and was captured by the bowl, just as planned. In lieu of a hose-to-bowl system, I recommend you get a blow-by cap for your carboy. It is a cap that allows the blow-by to exit through one hole to a receptacle, and the 3 piece airlock through a second hole. I would also recommend you use a larger fermenting vessel to allow for plenty of headspace.

    Or you could use the winemakers' method of primary fermentation, an open bucket, covered by cheese cloth. then use a carboy for the secondary. You'll avoid blow-by problems that way.

    I almost never ferment batches smaller than 3 gallons. Rare exceptions are an experimental batch if I'm trying different seasonings or yeast.
    Yeah this is actually an experiment. I've never brewed before and I didn't want to waste 5 gallons of cider if I hate the taste lol. The fermentation nownis nearly complete. Should I drink it when it is done, or should I let it sit for 9 months (a friend recommended this)

    I wish I would have had the vodka in the airl lock knowledge before. I also considered doing the bucket cheesecloth thing but how is that possibly sanitary?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Feoragdare View Post
    Yeah this is actually an experiment. I've never brewed before and I didn't want to waste 5 gallons of cider if I hate the taste lol. The fermentation nownis nearly complete. Should I drink it when it is done, or should I let it sit for 9 months (a friend recommended this)

    I wish I would have had the vodka in the airl lock knowledge before. I also considered doing the bucket cheesecloth thing but how is that possibly sanitary?
    Of course you are going to sanitize your vessel. You also sanitize the must with Campden tablets (potassium metabisulfite) before adding the yeast, that is, IF you are using raw apples or juice. If you are using pasteurized juice, then it is unnecessary.. Then the yeast will be able to do it's job and this way you get plenty of oxygen to the must. You also will have no worries about blow-by.

    but if you do choose to use a closed vessel for your primary fermentation (carboy or jug), be sure to use a container large enough for all the foam on top to expand without blowing out the top. Or use a blow-by cap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    After about 10 days you should rack to a glass carboy. This will leave a lot of setiment behind. You don't need to wait 9 months, giving it about 3 will help mellow out any harsh edges and bring out more apple flavour. If you plan to bottle carbonate it, use dextrose(corn sugar), you get nice fine bubbles.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Carbondale, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    What do you do too rack? Actually bottle it?

  8. #8
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    I wouldn't bottle it until it has fully fermented and is clear
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Feoragdare View Post
    What do you do too rack? Actually bottle it?
    Racking is siphoning the mead, beer or wine from the first vessel to the second for it's secondary fermentation. It takes the new booze off the lees (settled out solids like fruit pulp and dead yeast) and gives the secondary a cleaner place to work. This is where you will leave it to finish fermenting until dry. Then you back-sweeten and bottle, and age it.

    But since you are only making a 1 gal batch, you might not want to bottle it at all. Just rack it a second time and age it in a gallon jug. If it turns out to be good stuff, one lonely gallon (actually, it will end up being less than a gallon) could very well disappear in a single weekend !

    I strongly suggest you get a book on home wine and/or mead making. There are also lots of very good websites that can answer these questions.

    I vote this thread be moved to Homebrewing forum

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Everything you need to know is right here:

    http://www.howtomakehardcider.com/
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    I make a naturally sweet and sparkling cider using a technique called keeving.

    For cider, I would say that this is the best book available :
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Cider-Make.../dp/1603584730
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    Racking is siphoning the mead, beer or wine from the first vessel to the second for it's secondary fermentation.
    However, best I can gather from all my contacts, fewer user secondary fermentation. More do just a single.
    Regards, Barry

  13. #13
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    However, best I can gather from all my contacts, fewer user secondary fermentation. More do just a single.
    As much as its called secondary fermentation - it is generally just a continuation of the primary fermentation in a different container. It is more critical if you are using an open primary. After the initial vigorous fermentation is complete, you lose the protective blanket of CO2 and you need to get it into a glass container with airlock before you get too much oxidation.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Carbondale, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Cider Fermentation potential problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    Racking is siphoning the mead, beer or wine from the first vessel to the second for it's secondary fermentation. It takes the new booze off the lees (settled out solids like fruit pulp and dead yeast) and gives the secondary a cleaner place to work. This is where you will leave it to finish fermenting until dry. Then you back-sweeten and bottle, and age it.

    But since you are only making a 1 gal batch, you might not want to bottle it at all. Just rack it a second time and age it in a gallon jug. If it turns out to be good stuff, one lonely gallon (actually, it will end up being less than a gallon) could very well disappear in a single weekend !

    I strongly suggest you get a book on home wine and/or mead making. There are also lots of very good websites that can answer these questions.

    I vote this thread be moved to Homebrewing forum
    Thank you so much!

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