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NectarOfTheGoddess
01-22-2016, 06:53 PM
On Jan. 12, I tried a cyser with some minor tweaks:
1 gal cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.3 lbs honey (I think wildflower, bought at an Amish farm in PA)
8 dates
1/4 cup buckwheat honey
1/4 tsp pectin
Wyeast 1388
that all came to an OG of 1.086, so I added more brown sugar until I got 1.096
Added Dap and Ferm-K, and then again on day 3 - didn't seem like it was foaming enough when whisked and SG = 1.094. I thought maybe the basement was too cold (maybe 50ish?, so I brought it into the kitchen.)

Added more nutrients on day 6, without taking a reading. Been whisking/shaking every day. And today it's 1.092.

What'd I do wrong? Is there a way to save it or should I start over?

pwizard
01-22-2016, 07:25 PM
What is your PH?

Mazer828
01-22-2016, 07:25 PM
I don't think nutrients are your problem. Temperature at the beginning surely was. Hold off on any more nutrient additions for now, and get your temp up into the high 70s. Give it a few days there to wake up. Let us know.

NectarOfTheGoddess
01-22-2016, 08:19 PM
So sorry; I have no idea of pH. (Should I? And if so, what's the best way to go about doing that?)

NectarOfTheGoddess
01-22-2016, 08:19 PM
I don't think nutrients are your problem. Temperature at the beginning surely was. Hold off on any more nutrient additions for now, and get your temp up into the high 70s. Give it a few days there to wake up. Let us know.

Will do; I have a vent I can keep it near. Fingers crossed!

pwizard
01-22-2016, 09:01 PM
Your LHBS should have some PH strips for testing. Rather than put the strips in the main batch, pour or siphon off a little bit and test that. A PH of < 4 is to acidic and can sometimes make your fermentation stall out. That's generally why you should never add anything acidic up front without a good reason (not just because a recipe calls for it).

If your PH is in an acceptable range and the ferment doesn't wake up, try re-pitching a different yeast.

bmwr75
01-22-2016, 09:28 PM
My guess is pH is too low and ferment temp too cold for sure. 1/6th teaspoon of potassium carbonate typical in this recipe to raise the pH.

NectarOfTheGoddess
01-26-2016, 10:48 PM
A quick update: After a few days of putting it in a warmer room and adding the pinch of K carbonate, I'm getting about a bubble every 30 secs. And then I bought pH strips AND a thermometer strip! PH is 4.2, which should be good, yes? And it's 73 degrees. But I measured SG again today and it's still only 1.082.

Just wait, I guess?

zpeckler
01-26-2016, 11:06 PM
Improvement. At least you're seeing some signs of yeast activity. That pH and temp should be fine with Wyeast 1388.

Any bad smells or flavors?

How much DAP and Fermaid-K have you added total?

I say just keep checking your specific gravity and make sure the ferment is still progressing steadily.

NectarOfTheGoddess
01-26-2016, 11:17 PM
Improvement. At least you're seeing some signs of yeast activity. That pH and temp should be fine with Wyeast 1388.

Any bad smells or flavors?

How much DAP and Fermaid-K have you added total?

I say just keep checking your specific gravity and make sure the ferment is still progressing steadily.

No, taste/smell is good; finally tastes like something other than sugared/honeyed cider!

1/4 tsp DAP/ 1/2 tsp Ferm K added three times (before I was monitoring the taste/SG, so I obviously did them before any kind of sugar breaks.)

I started a slow one, it seems. I'll wait and see what happens. It's so exciting. In a very painstakingly slow kinda way.

Mazer828
01-28-2016, 10:05 AM
You say you started with "cider." Not juice. What does it say on the back of the jar/bottle it came in? What else is in there? If it says potassium sorbate, that could be your problem. They like to use sorbate to keep ciders from going full vinegar.