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1st ever hard cider problems - cider experts help!

jbeer32

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I have been home brewing for a couple of years now.  About a week ago I received 5 gallons of freshly pressed pesticide free apple juice from my brother.  The first thing I did was place the 5 gallons into a sanitized bucket.  I then took out a small sample and dissolved 5 crushed campden tablets in it and stirred it in with the rest of the batch, placed a lid on the bucket with an airlock and waited 50 hours.  Next, I checked the OG, aerated very well with a paddle on a drill, added some yeast nutrient and pitched the yeast.  The yeast was a Wyeast smack pack and I pitched it when the pack became so swollen that it was almost hard to the touch.  Tonight (10/31) at 7 pm it will have been 6 whole days since I pitched the yeast and I still have no signs of fermentation.  It is currently in my basement which is at 63 degrees which is within the ideal range for my yeast (60-72.)  I checked the gravity last night and it has not changed.  Everything I have read tells me fermentation should start within a couple of days but I do not consider 6 to be a couple and I am worried having never done cider before.  Can a cider expert here give me some advice/insight!  Much appreciated!
 

HewsBrews

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I'm interested to know if you have been able to save this batch.  I had a similar thing happen with a batch of plums I received.  I washed and crushed the fruit in a brew bucket with water and some sugar.  Then I killed off any bacteria with potassium metabisulphite, waited a few days and pitched the yeast.  4 days went by with no action.  It was suggested to me that I used too much PM and that I should try pitching more yeast.  So, after another pitch and 2 more days it finally started.  So if you are kind of nearing the end of your attempt, worst case, try putting some EC-1118 on your cider and prepare to back sweeten it.
 

jbeer32

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Hews,

I hope I can save this batch.  On 11/03, I pitched a new yeast starter after reaerating the crap out of the batch again and here it is 4 days later and no signs of fermentation yet in that the gravity has not moved.  It is currently sitting in a 65 degree room.  After emailing northern brewer he told me that everything that I have read on the internet about adding campden tablets is not true.  He said that on bigger than 3 gallon batches, only 2/3 of a tablet is needed which would mean that I initially added too much with my 1 tablet per gallon.  I have already added 1 wyeast smack pack and a full starter as well.  How much yeast can I possibly add before it is too much?  If it is the sulfite that is inhibiting the fermentation, how to get it moving on?  Thanks.
 
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