First timer with small orchard seeking advice on cider

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Rick1964

New Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
10
Hello, I have recently moved to a house with a small orchard of very old apple trees, about 7 still standing. So my son (17) wants to make cider. We bought a small press and pressed our first gallon into a demijohn. We took a hydrometer reading then added a campden tablet and 36 hours later added about 1.5g of champagne yeast. I have 2 questions.
1. I don’t understand the various numbers on the Wilco hydrometer to read what what our starting gravity was but I have marked them on tbe attached photo. I am guessing it is 1.120? Is this correct.
2. It has been 4 days since we added the yeast. I can’t say I’m seeing much if any activity. Is this normal? Should I wait a while longer?
Kind regards
Rick Deeks
 

Attachments

Hopsteep

Flat out like a lizard drinking
Supporting Member
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
1,188
Location
Essex
Hello, I have recently moved to a house with a small orchard of very old apple trees, about 7 still standing. So my son (17) wants to make cider. We bought a small press and pressed our first gallon into a demijohn. We took a hydrometer reading then added a campden tablet and 36 hours later added about 1.5g of champagne yeast. I have 2 questions.
1. I don’t understand the various numbers on the Wilco hydrometer to read what what our starting gravity was but I have marked them on tbe attached photo. I am guessing it is 1.120? Is this correct.
2. It has been 4 days since we added the yeast. I can’t say I’m seeing much if any activity. Is this normal? Should I wait a while longer?
Kind regards
Rick Deeks
Amazing, I wish I had an orchard! I did manage to get the boss to agree to 25 grapevines though 🍷

Its hard to see but I think your gravity is about 1.054 ish

1.5g isn’t much yeast so it wouldn’t hurt to add more. Perhaps take another hydrometer reading to see if it’s been fermenting first though.

hope this helps 🍺
 
Last edited:

Stevieboy

Regular.
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
457
Reaction score
295
Location
Wimborne, Dorset
1120 would give you a 14% cider, so that's not right! I concur with Hopsteep above. With regards to the yeast - just wait a while, nature will find a way of getting that ferment going. Maybe post a pic of your demijohn?
 

Cwrw666

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
3,104
Reaction score
1,809
Location
North Pembs.
Just checked on my hydrometer - the reading is actually 1042
With cider yeast you'd end up with an FG of about 1002 which would give you about 5.2% ABV.
But I suspect champagne yeast would go lower, so higher ABV.
 

Moonraker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
195
Reaction score
124
Location
Wiltshire
Hi Rick, welcome to the forum, and homebrewing! 4 days does seem like rather a long time, I tipped a whole sachet (5g) of cider yeast into this DJ of pear juice (O.G 1060) at 08:30 this morning and 9 hours later it is frothing nicely and I'm getting a bubble in the air lock at the rate of roughly 1 per second (forgive the question but you did put water in the air lock? can't tell from the pic...)

IMG_4628.JPG
 

Moonraker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
195
Reaction score
124
Location
Wiltshire
Forgot to say that I have added more yeast in the past when a brew didn't seem to be getting it's act together; drew a bit off into a glass, added the yeast and waited until there were signs of life before tipping it back into the DJ. But that may just be my impatience.... :cool:
 

Rick1964

New Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
10
Amazing, I wish I had an orchard! I did manage to get the boss to agree to 25 grapevines though 🍷

Its hard to see but I think your gravity is about 1.054 ish

1.5g isn’t much yeast so it wouldn’t hurt to add more. Perhaps take another hydrometer reading to see if it’s been fermenting first though.

hope this helps 🍺
thanks for your interpretation of my hydrometer reading
Hi Rick, welcome to the forum, and homebrewing! 4 days does seem like rather a long time, I tipped a whole sachet (5g) of cider yeast into this DJ of pear juice (O.G 1060) at 08:30 this morning and 9 hours later it is frothing nicely and I'm getting a bubble in the air lock at the rate of roughly 1 per second (forgive the question but you did put water in the air lock? can't tell from the pic...)

View attachment 54578
Hello and thanks for the reply . Yes there is water in the airlock. The yeast I used was Cooper and Sons champagne yeast. I think I’ll see if the hydrometer sinks lower tomorrow than the original starting gravity and put some more yeast in if it hasn’t . I though the whole 5g sachet might be too much. Anyway still plenty more apples on the tree and 3 more empty demijohns so I can still experiment .
 

Rick1964

New Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
10
Forgot to say that I have added more yeast in the past when a brew didn't seem to be getting it's act together; drew a bit off into a glass, added the yeast and waited until there were signs of life before tipping it back into the DJ. But that may just be my impatience.... :cool:
We are impatient as well. :)
 

DavieC

Landlord.
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
617
Reaction score
371
Hi Rick, try a demijohn natural, just press the apples and stick the airlock in the DJ.
You might get excellent results with the natural yeasts on the apples.
 

trummy

Regular.
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
319
Reaction score
168
Location
East Midlands
Its 1042 I have the same hydrometer - all the colours are a nuisance. Its the line under the numericals that denotes each 10 units. What is more the reading is usually wrong 'start beer' is between 1030-1040. 95% of the beer kits I do usually start 1046 to 1055
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
304
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Best to pick the apples as they are about to fall or have hit the floor. They will then have the most sugar in them.
I never bothered with yeast, just washed them in big bucket with hose to get any mud off, pulped them and then crushed them.
Put the juice in demijohn ( I used plastic water fountain bottles ) with an airlock and keep the airlock filled. No campden no added yeast and think about bottling it in the spring.
 

Timhg65

New Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
This book will help, "craft cider making" by Andrew Lea. Mr Lea worked at the now closed Long Ashton cider research center. It really is the only book you need.
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
534
Reaction score
304
Location
Paremata New Zealand
@Timhg65 that is a good book. I was also given Real Cidermaking by Michael Pooley and John Lomax as a Christmas present several years ago. Just opened it I think for the first time so can't comment on it's value. Although it's in mint condition!!
 

leecee

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
2
I've been making cider for several years using a wide selectin on apples from the local area. The SG always seems to come in around 1050 and FG a little over 1000. I use champagne or cider yeast but don't bother with campden or anything else. Try experimenting with some demis by adding ginger, blackcurrant cordial, etc. to see what you get!
 

dmtaylor

Active Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
26
Reaction score
29
Location
Two Rivers, WI, USA
My prediction:

After about 3-4 weeks, SG will go from 1.042 to 0.993, for ~6.4% ABV.

All you need is the patience to wait that long. And maybe some unfermentable sugar for backsweetening at the end. I like lactose and xylitol.

Enjoy.
 

johncrobinson

Landlord.
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
921
Location
Highlands
With such a small dose of dried yeast its not supprising its taking some time to get going.

Yeast is a living culture not a chemical, Its very hard to overdose,But very easy to underdose.
 

Latest posts

Top