Monday, 3 November 2008

Slow Starter

There's always one isn't there! The Welland Valley Special is playing hard to get, dawdling behind the other happily fizzing fermenters and refusing to become cider. This will not do!

We pitched the yeast into this final batch of cider a week ago, and since then I've taken regular peeks under the lid in anticipation of the fermentation bursting into life. The initial signs of yeast activity seemed good, the tell-tale ring of tiny bubbles appeared within a couple of days, but since then it's all gone quiet. The nose is a good instrument to bring into play at this stage, any signs of yeastiness, or the sharp pain of a nose full of CO2 would give the game away. Even the unmistakably foul aroma of H2S (common in the early stages of fermentation) wouldn't neccesarily be unwelcome, but this particular tub has remained resolutely appley with no sign that it wants to turn cidery in any great hurry.

I confirmed the initial prognosis by checking the gravity with a hydrometer. It hasn't shifted from the initial 1047 of the freshly pressed juice. Oh well, no harm has come to it yet so I've pitched in a second dose of yeast and this will hopefully kick-start the fermentation. Back to peeking under the lid then...

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