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Last night i had my first go at making 10 litres of home brew cider from the NZ Mad Millie's kit. It told me to store between 18 degrees and 28 degrees so I out it in my spare room. I woke up this morning and it had dropped to 12 degrees. Has this wrecked the fermentation progress, and will it still be ok??

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3 Answers 3

No. It can take longer to ferment, but in general the slower colder fermentation will result in a better tasting cider. I have used a few cider yeasts that ferment at a hotter temperature and they tend to give a bit of a sulphur taste. Now even if I use that particular yeast, one the fermentation has started to roll, I drop the temperature down to the lowest temperature that the yeast will work at.

Slow and cold = better flavor

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That's what I like to hear. Thanks very much, I'll keep the colder temperature in mind for sure. –  Stauny Jul 3 at 23:26

So assuming you just started this and this isn't in a carbonation/bottling part of the process...

No experience with your specific kit, but in general, a temperature drop like that won't ruin the fermentation. You just might need to kickstart it.

If your kit gives you a time frame in which the airlock should start bubbling, I'd wait 2 days past that. If you aren't getting fermentation bubbling by then, add a little more yeast and you should be back on track.

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Thanks you. The kit doesn't actually explain everything very well, including not even mentioning an air lock. Should it be airtight? –  Stauny Jul 3 at 23:24

Fermenting too low will typically not hurt except that the yeast may go dormant and be troublesome to rouse or you just may not get the flavor characteristics from the yeast (esters, et al more common in higher fermentation temperatures). In any case, it should not "ruin" it, but may not produce all the desired flavor profiles or may need to be brought up to the correct temps get fermentation to complete.

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Awesome that helps heaps. The kit doesn't actually explain everything very well, including not even mentioning an air lock. Should it be airtight? –  Stauny Jul 3 at 23:25
    
To put it in perspective, sometimes I ferment open (no lid). Ideally, it's a sterile environment, in practice, it's as sterile as it can be for the desired fermentation and your setup. No airlock is airtight, but it reduces the ability for air to come it while allowing air to escape. –  Wyrmwood Jul 3 at 23:39

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