PDA

View Full Version : Fall's Bounty Cyser stuck



EF86
02-08-2005, 04:20 PM
Hi!

First post here. I have a batch of Fall's Bounty Cyser (from The Compleat Meadmaker book) that I started way back in September, and it appears to be stuck. Well, it's been stuck for awhile, I've been ignoring the problem for quite some time. I've tried to get it going a few times but it's not cooperating with me. Initially, I pitched close to 1 L of D-47 from an active apple juice starter.

In October I repitched 10g of D-47 and I recall it fermenting very slowly, around 1-2 bubbles per minute. Gravity was at 1.090.

Sometime between then and now, I brought the carboy upstairs from the cooler basement (just a couple of degrees F)thinking the temp was a bit low. Fermentation started again but it was still quite slow. I also racked it to a secondary.

Recently I checked in on this and found the gravity at 1.080. It tased very sweet with no alcohol easily detected. Quite nice, but not what I'm looking for.

Any ideas on how to get this churning again or is getting too old? I'm thinking about bringing it upstairs to warm it up a few degrees, get some oxygen in there and pitch a new yeast strain from a healthy starter.

Thanks,
Pat

jab
02-08-2005, 04:28 PM
Hey! Welcome to the board.

I have the book but not with me so I don't have the details on the recipe. Did you follow the recipe exactly or did you modify it any?

What was the temperature? Both befre and after the move?

I was going to ask if you made sure your apple juice didn't have any preservatives in it but you stated the started was active.

If you have a way to check the pH that would be good. Other than that you can try to pitch some 1116 or one of the other aggressive yeasts and see what it can do. 1.090 to 1.080 definately isn't what you want.

Oskaar
02-08-2005, 04:41 PM
Hey EF,

I've made several batches of the Falls Bounty, and several variations of it.

As Jab mentioned,

What was your exact recipe?
What was the ambient temp when you pitched?
How did you sanitize?
Is your airlock seated with a good seal?
What is the pH?
Is there a yeast cake at the bottom?
Is the fruit floating or at the bottom?
How did they get eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can?

Let us know and we'll do what we can to help.

Cheers,

Oskaar

EF86
02-08-2005, 05:09 PM
Hi,

Thanks for the input. Here's some more information. I'm at work so I'm relying on my memory here.

I followed the recipe from the book with no variations.

Last fall the ambient temp in the basement, where I started fermentation, was likely around 68 degrees F. I've brewed several batches of mead and beer in the basement with success but now start fermentation upstairs which tends to be a couple of degrees warmer.

I sanitize all equipment with StarSan. I'm pretty good about keeping things clean.

The airlock has had a good seal and the cyser has been in glass carboys since it's birth.

pH - I'm wondering if this is the problem. I just bought some pH strips (scaled for wine) yesterday and tested it. Having no experience with pH strips, I could've read it wrong but it appeared to be off the scale on the low end. I don't recall the exact number but I'll look tonight and post the info. I have some Calcium Carb. that I picked up as well. I think that's what it's called.

Yeast Cake - There was sediment when it was in the first carboy and there is around 1/2-3/4 inch of sediment in this carboy.

Fruit - a few dates/raisins fell but most stayed floating. I racked after awhile so the fruit is gone.

I bought the juice from a local orchard and assumed it to be pastuerized but with no preservatives. When I bought it, I asked about preservatives but they didn't know the answer. The starter took off wildly so I assumed it was preserv. free.

Thanks for the help.

-Pat

jab
02-08-2005, 05:22 PM
Looking forward to the new info. As for the juice if the starter took off there were likely no preservatives in it. I would be mildly concerned that a local orchard can't tell you if they use preservatives or not. Likely the person behind the counter didn't know themselves.

It would be worth your time and effort if you have a local orchard like that to get to know them. I mean beyond the guy/gal at the checkout counter. They can be an invaluable resource and tend to love hearing what people are doing with their products. I know many times those relationships can be beneficial to the pocketbook too! Though it may cost you a bottle or two of finished product.

Oskaar
02-08-2005, 07:29 PM
That's some good info on buttering up the orchard owners jab! I wish I were closer to more of the growers around So Cal.

Looks to me like you have done everything right, you may just have a slow batch of D-47 that's taking it's sweet time. I'd go ahead and rack it again in a week, and once you have it under the airlock, give it some swirling to see if you build up any CO2 that causes the airlock to bubble a bit more. It may just be a slow fermentation which is not really desireable.

I think Jab may have the right idea about pitching the K1V-1116. If you do that you'll want to be sure and monitor where you are gravity wise as it ferments. The K1V will take you down to very dry in a hurry. I have a batch of the Falls Bounty that is sitting at 0.992. Granted, I did use K1V in the original batch, and fed it some fresh apple juice on the way, but it definately will take you to dry if you let it. You can always stop it along the way with some K Sorbate wherever you prefer the taste to be.

Cheers,

Oskaar

EF86
07-08-2005, 11:47 AM
Hi,

Just an update on my stuck Cyser. I bottled it a few weeks ago and it's fantastic! Thanks for the help. I adjusted the pH, used K1V and that got things going. I stopped fermentation with pot. sorbate, racked again and eventually bottled. It's a great balance of sweetness, twang with a spicy finish. I'm anxious to try this again in the fall. I have 6 other 5 Gallon batches of various mead and wine going right now so I have plenty to do till then.

Thanks,
Patrick

byathread
07-08-2005, 12:53 PM
Patrick,
Glad all turned out well. I can hardly wait to crack into my spiced cyser!
And keep us posted on your other brewing experiments.

Cheers,
Kirk

jab
07-10-2005, 01:16 AM
Hey, glad to hear it worked out in the end.