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Cider - Secondary Ferment Not Working?

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barney

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Hi there. I bottled a Black Rock Apple Cider on 24/11 into 740mL PET, with the "large" measure of dextrose into each bottle. I can tell from squeezing the bottles how much gas in there, and at this stage, it doesn't seem like much at all. ie. the bottles are quite "squishy". However, there have been a couple of bottles that have hardened up quite nicely, which I put into the frisge overnight, and the gas content was OK on drinking.

What is wrong? Am I impatient? The guy at the LHBS told me that cider uses a wine yeast which is slower-acting than regular beer yeast, and therefore the secondary ferment would take longer. I am happy to wait, but if this is the case, why are some bottles hard and others squishy?

I used no-rinse steriliser if that's of any consequence.
 

sluggerdog

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At a guess I'd say just wait a little longer, I found some take a little longer then others.

What was the taste like? Was thinking of doing a Black Rock Apple Cider very soon.

Cheers
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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if you can get the William Tell cider kit I suggest using that in preference to the Black Rock


Jovial Monk
 

Backlane Brewery

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Having made a few batches of Black Rock, I haven't noticed this. Maybe a PET, priming or capping issue?
Doc is right, the William Tell is as good as if not better. Would suggest you sling the sachet of aspartame that comes with it though. If you want sweet cider add lactose.
The best ciders we have made have come from straight juice & yeast.
 

barney

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sluggerdog said:
At a guess I'd say just wait a little longer, I found some take a little longer then others.

What was the taste like? Was thinking of doing a Black Rock Apple Cider very soon.

Cheers
The taste was quite good, if a little thin. The reason I am brewing cider is for the gf, who has coeliac disease, and therefore can't drink beer (due to the malt and barley). Is the William Tell kit gluten free (the Black Rock kit contains apples, nothing else. other cider kits I've seen have malt, which is a no-go)?
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I assume the WT Cider is just apple juice, malt would be very out of place in a straight cider.

JM
 

barney

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Jovial_Monk said:
I assume the WT Cider is just apple juice, malt would be very out of place in a straight cider.

JM
You would think that. The brand of cider kit that you can buy in supermarkets (they also make ginger beer kits) contains malt, as does the ginger beer.

Any other thoughts on why the secondary ferment is not working? I have put a couple of bottles in the room under the stairs where the hot water system lives. Maybe the slightly warmer temperature will kickstart things.
 

Guest Lurker

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If you definitely added priming sugar, and the caps are definitely sealing, then its very hard for the bottles not to gas up, only takes a few viable yeast cells to get it happening.

So it should get there in the end, and steps to make it happen are:
1) Shake each bottle in case the yeast has flocced off to the bottom, and isnt doing its job. I had one batch of stout completely flat, Dave from Goliaths said shake it, 3 weeks later - gassed.
2) Put the bottles somewhere a bit warmer.
3) Wait longer.
 

Bobby

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i takes a while longer for the cider to carbonate. 3 month minimum....
that in my experience anyway, with the blackrock kit.
 

kungy

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The only time i've had dicey carbonation is with black rock cider, it took a year for good carbonation. Personally all my ciders which have been blackrock and brewiser have turned out like champagne, and not my style. Is the William tell cider like sweet store bought stuff.

The blackrock cider is not a wine yeast i think, is says cider yeast. Thinking about this is may be a reason as to why the carbonation was so slow???

Will
 

barney

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OK, cheers for the advice. I guess I will just wait it out. They are *slowly* getting firmer...
 

pr1me

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Blackrock kits are ok, but not even close to a decent method of cider making.

Best results are from pure store bought juice and yeast. Yep you can use a wine yeast, i recommend sweet mead yeast for a sweet cider, or you can do what I do and use ale yeasts, which work just fine. Alternatively you can use orchard juice, and use nothing at all, and let the wild yeasts do the work, which also works fine.

as to bottling cider in plastic, big no no, as PET allows oxygen to pass through the bottle and turn your cider in crud over long term storage. I use glass now exclusively for cider.

If you are going to bulk prime or bottle prime, my recommendation is use normal sugar instead of dextrose. It gives a more even result.

Also as to lengths of time for cider ferments, i find 2 week primary, rack, 2 week secondary, and an optional 2 week tertiary/rack to allow it to settle and clear works best. Some of my ciders though, are into their 2nd month of secondary, hell even my ales secondary that long. Once in the bottle, leave it for a month, then enjoy.
 

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