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Cider issues

Oddball

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Hey guys,

I decided to try to make a hard cider. I bought 2 gallons of unpasteurized cider and put it in my fermentation bucket. I added 2 crushed campden tablets to it and then pitched a pack of Nottingham yeast. Its been 3 nights and i haven't seen any bubbling yet. Did i use the campden tablets correctly or did i miss something else? Thanks
 

Oddball

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Are you saying i should have added sugar? I thought the sugar in the cider would be enough?
 

Scott Ickes

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How soon after you put the campden tablets in did you pitch the yeast?  If you pitch too soon, your Campden tablets will still be actively killing off bacteria and yeast.  If you pitch too soon, your yeast addition will be killed off too!

"quoted" from a hard cider site.

Using Campden Tablets and a Wine or Cider Yeast: This is the most foolproof and most certain of the methods. Five years ago, I would have warned you that the taste will be "one-dimensional" because the yeasts are not "apple-philic," but today there are several cider yeasts which have been released by the liquid yeast companies - these are your best bet if you do want to try this method. Add 1 to 1.5 crushed Campden tablets per gallon of cider, wait 24 to 36 hours and then add your desired wine yeast. You have killed the wildlife in the natural cider, and then added your own single-strain alcohol-fermenting yeast. This ensures a clean, crisp fermentation with no spoilage, but you will not have the complex multi-yeast taste of the natural yeast. But it is a fairly "sure thing."

Here is the link to that site.

https://www.mainbrew.com/fermenting_hard_cider-ExtraPages.html

If you pitched your yeast too early, just pitch some more yeast and it will take off!!
 

Maine Homebrewer

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Check the gravity. I bet the cider alone doesn't have much potential alcohol. If you want a kick you need to add some sugar. As far as the sulphites go, general practice is to wait a day or two after adding them to pitch the yeast.
 

Oddball

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Thanks for the replies! I'll get some more yeast i think and give it another shot
 

brewfun

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Scott Ickes said:
If you pitch too soon, your Campden tablets will still be actively killing off bacteria and yeast. 
[snip]
If you pitched your yeast too early, just pitch some more yeast and it will take off!!

Yup!!

+1 Karma to Scott!

The advice and quote are spot on.
 

Oddball

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So i tried repitching a new packet of yeast, and still nothing....i read that the campden reacts with chlorine i think it was? if i have no water in the cider would it not react but instead just sit and kill all yeast i pitch in?
 

TAHammerton

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You are better off using pasteurized apple juice and skipping the campden tablets. But don't skip the sanitation entirely as there are some real nasties that can live in raw apple juice.

Did you take gravity measurements?  If you used pure apple juice it should be something like 1.050 O.G. and ferment down to around 1.000. It is quite possible the fermentation happened while you were not looking.
 

Oddball

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Ya i took OG and FG measurements. and they were the same at 1.041. I'm not sure whether to try and pitch again, or perhaps boil it for a few minutes to maybe get whatever the campden tablet puts in out of the wort, then try and pitch again?
 

TAHammerton

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I would give it one last try, but be sure to oxygenate well and add some yeast nutrient - apple juice itself is lacking in some of the stuff the yeast needs.
 

Oddball

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Update on the cider:

I repitched rehydrated nottingham yeast with some yeast nutrient this time and that seemed to do the trick! The Yeast brought the cider down to a 0.999 FG. It's pretty sour so i have to find a way of slightly sweetening it without creating bottle bombs. Any suggestions?
 

Maine Homebrewer

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The next time I make it I plan to sweeten it to taste after adding potassium sorbate, then carbonating in a keg.

I have read of people sweetening it to taste, bottling it, and then pasteurizing the bottles once it is carbonated.

That looked like more of a project than I wanted to deal with.
 
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