Possible dead yeast problem

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Nikitos

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Hello everyone.
So am new to the whole brewing thing. And I live in a place where i don't have access to much equipment or engridients.
To cut a long story short.
I started my fist ever batch of apple cider. Fresh squeezed apple juice and a bit of sugar.
I started with 1.085 sg so now a month later in my second fermentation am stuck at 1.020.
It's been stuck there for a week.
So I presume that the alcohol content is too high for my yeast. (I used regular dry yeast).
Which means if I bottle it now I will likely not gonna get a fermentation in the bottle when adding more sugar.
My question is is all hope lost. Or if I dilute the batch with water before bottling it could still be saved.
 

MHB

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That’s an interesting question, you have around 8.67% ABV. The best answer is going to come down to what you mean by "regular" dry yeast.

For some yeasts, that is enough alcohol to stop fermentation, many common yeasts would go a bit higher. Mind you a cider finishing at 1.020 is a bit odd, might have more to do with nutrients rather than yeast.
If you could give some more details (batch size, yeast type, amount of sugar...) in fact most anything you can think of might help.
Apple juice is typically around 10% Sugar or 1.040 SG, so I would suspect quite a bit of sugar for your batch size.

Oh and calibrate your hydrometer, just a 1.000 reading in pure water at 20oC (look at the hydrometer some are calibrated at 15oC (yanks)) make sure yours is right for the temp it’s designed to work at.

Let us know some more info and we may be able to come up with a fix.
Mark
 

Nikitos

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That’s an interesting question, you have around 8.67% ABV. The best answer is going to come down to what you mean by "regular" dry yeast.

For some yeasts, that is enough alcohol to stop fermentation, many common yeasts would go a bit higher. Mind you a cider finishing at 1.020 is a bit odd, might have more to do with nutrients rather than yeast.
If you could give some more details (batch size, yeast type, amount of sugar...) in fact most anything you can think of might help.
Apple juice is typically around 10% Sugar or 1.040 SG, so I would suspect quite a bit of sugar for your batch size.

Oh and calibrate your hydrometer, just a 1.000 reading in pure water at 20oC (look at the hydrometer some are calibrated at 15oC (yanks)) make sure yours is right for the temp it’s designed to work at.

Let us know some more info and we may be able to come up with a fix.
Mark
Hi
I started with 5L of juice added about 400gm of sugar to that. My desired alcohol level was 10%
I use regular dry yeast from the store since its the only one I could get my hands on.
Also couldn't get a hydrometer over here so am using a fractomiter instead.
So if you say its a matter of nutrition. What can I add to the brew that is not chehemical.
As in morning easy to find ?
 

MHB

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If you mean "Refractometer" they can’t be used after fermentation starts unless you apply some maths or use a calculator.
Most refractometers have two scales often SG and Brix. You need to work in one or the other, let’s use Brix or as brewers call it Plato (oP)
Roughly SG = (4*oP)/1000+1 so your of 1.085 or 21.25oP, your current reading is 1.020 (5oP) (20/4=5) that’s made up of residual sugars, water and Alcohol (mostly).
If you take the two Brix/Plato numbers and open a brewing calculator - here are a couple
Brewers Friend - Link at top of this page
Northern Brewer - I find this one easier
You will get the answer you are looking for; its well over 10% ABV and I think I'd take a punt and bottle it.
Mark

Make sure you calibrate your refractometer to, just pure water will do.
Calibrate every time you use a refrac!
If you arent sure, tack a photo of it and post it.
M
 

Nikitos

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If you mean "Refractometer" they can’t be used after fermentation starts unless you apply some maths or use a calculator.
Most refractometers have two scales often SG and Brix. You need to work in one or the other, let’s use Brix or as brewers call it Plato (oP)
Roughly SG = (4*oP)/1000+1 so your of 1.085 or 21.25oP, your current reading is 1.020 (5oP) (20/4=5) that’s made up of residual sugars, water and Alcohol (mostly).
If you take the two Brix/Plato numbers and open a brewing calculator - here are a couple
Brewers Friend - Link at top of this page
Northern Brewer - I find this one easier
You will get the answer you are looking for; its well over 10% ABV and I think I'd take a punt and bottle it.
Mark

Make sure you calibrate your refractometer to, just pure water will do.
Calibrate every time you use a refrac!
If you arent sure, tack a photo of it and post it.
M
 

Nikitos

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I use an online calculator to convert brix to Sg. And are right am stuck at 5 right now..
Am aiming for sparkling cider. An worried if I bottle it ad it is the yeast won't eat the sugar.
I mean it looks safe to bottle as thr SG hasn't moved in over a week.
 

MHB

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Add 400-500 ml of sterile water (boiled not boilinging) and bottle it.
It isnt stuck, it's finished fermenting and the SG isnt1.020. After the ferment starts you cant use the simple conversion as Refractometers measure how far a sample bends light. when its just sugar(s) in water we can. Once it becomes a three part problem (Water, Sugar and Alcohol) that goes out the window as we need to know how far the alcohol is bending the light.
In your case the SG is actually just under 1.000, should give the yeast a little room to move and as your alcohol content is over 11.3% will keep you around the 10% mark you were looking for.
Mark
 

Nikitos

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This is what I get. And if am not mistaken it mean am good to bottle am I right.
 

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Kdn

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You could throw a bit of champagne yeast in there, if there is any sugar left in there, you can be sure champagne yeast will suck it right out for you. if you are looking for a high ABV cider I made one recently, I did use champagne yeast although next time I think I would just use an ale yeast. My finished at 10.5% ABV prior to bottling/carbing

10 litres apple pure juice, 1 litre blackcurrant syrup (get one with no preservatives), 750ml pure lime juice, 1kg dextrose. Started 1.080 finished 0.998.
 

An Ankoù

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Interesting thread. My advice would be: taste it. If it tastes sweet, even slightly sweet, then there's some sugar left. If it's bone dry then bottle it up since the yeast is still good, it's just run out of sugar to ferment.
Regular yeast from the store? Do you mean yeast for making bread? I don't think that has a high alcohol tolerance.
I make cider from crushed and pressed apples. My experience is that the fermented cider is sharp and takes the skin off your teeth at first, but that mellows down to a very pleasant drink after 4 to 6 months in the bottle. I use whatever apples I can find: dessert apples, roadside apples etc. I never add sugar and the FG ends up at or below 1000, giving me around 6% abv. I always use a cider yeast or champagne yeast. I think they are the same yeasr- Sacch. Bayanus.
 

Nikitos

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Interesting thread. My advice would be: taste it. If it tastes sweet, even slightly sweet, then there's some sugar left. If it's bone dry then bottle it up since the yeast is still good, it's just run out of sugar to ferment.
Regular yeast from the store? Do you mean yeast for making bread? I don't think that has a high alcohol tolerance.
I make cider from crushed and pressed apples. My experience is that the fermented cider is sharp and takes the skin off your teeth at first, but that mellows down to a very pleasant drink after 4 to 6 months in the bottle. I use whatever apples I can find: dessert apples, roadside apples etc. I never add sugar and the FG ends up at or below 1000, giving me around 6% abv. I always use a cider yeast or champagne yeast. I think they are the same yeasr- Sacch. Bayanus.
Am experimenting now with a small batch without yeast. Just apples.
And allready I can see digfernace in color and taste.
I started it at 19 Brix. And now it's at 5.5 according to the calculator that's below 1 Sg. So I guess it's time to bottle .
Where I live I can't get my hands on beer or wine yeast. So I need to manage with whatever I can find.
I just bottled the first batch (the one I was asking about) and hoping my bottles won't explode.
I tried a glass of it it was strong but very pleasant when mixed with sprite.
 

AHB_Admin

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Am experimenting now with a small batch without yeast. Just apples.
And allready I can see digfernace in color and taste.
I started it at 19 Brix. And now it's at 5.5 according to the calculator that's below 1 Sg. So I guess it's time to bottle .
Where I live I can't get my hands on beer or wine yeast. So I need to manage with whatever I can find.
I just bottled the first batch (the one I was asking about) and hoping my bottles won't explode.
I tried a glass of it it was strong but very pleasant when mixed with sprite.
Excited to know how it turns out. Please update us, will you?
 

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