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I bought a "Magnum Apple Cider Kit" 1.7Kg kit. Added 1 Kg of corn sugar + 300 gr brown sugar and oak chips. For the first 3 days it has been fermenting like crazy. Today (4th day) the fermentation seems to have stopped! Now I dont have a hydrometre but I opened the ferm. bin and there were no bubbles (like flat, nothing at all), the Temp. of the most is 20.5 C (so its ok), I had a sample and it tasted sweet. This is my first time ever and I have to say that over 4 days I opened it (the ferm. bin) 5 times!! I am sorry! I wanted to see what was going on in there!

Frist day I had a 5 cm krausen. Sencond day only nice white froth on top the most and I could hear a really strong fermentation going on. Third day I didnt open it, but the airlock was bubbling like crazy. Today (4th day) nothing.... no bubbles at all! Is it normal? The kit said the fermentation should take 7-8 days at temp. 20-28, but its only 4 days!

Any help? Idea?

Thank you!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Airlocks aren't really a great indicator as far as determining when fermentation is finished, so don't rely entirely on that. Also, Sometimes you may not see much krausen during fermentation, other times it will explode!

Your delicious beverage could still be fermenting at a slow rate -- so slow that you might not notice it.

This is where a hydrometer comes in handy, because you can take daily readings when it looks like fermentation is done in order to verify it. If you take a reading for a couple days and the gravity remains the same, your yeast has done it's job and fermentation is done.

I'd recommend getting yourself a hydrometer so you can check to be sure that it is done.

With that said, it could be entirely possible that fermentation is already complete. Sometimes the yeast will work faster than others, and that's why it isn't entirely reliable to judge fermentation by using a calendar. I've had a hard lemonade that has been slowly fermenting for 2 months now. I've used this yeast for other batches and it's finished the job in as little as a week before.

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Thank you very much for yur help. I got a hydrometer and FG is 1000/1002 so I know now its done! Just utterly flabbergasted by its fermentation speed! Thanks again! And thanks to Ryan Shdo and Graham too. Cheers! – io io Jan 5 '13 at 11:17

Agreed take a hydrometer reading that will tell you exactly where you are in the fermentation process.

Even if you didn't take an original gravity reading, straight apple cider should be around 1.050 - 1.060 (added sugar would increase this of coarse) so if you are less then this you have fermented some. the temp plays a big role (check the yeast manufacturers suggestion) a lower temp usually means slower ferment, and a fluctuation in temperature could effect the fermentation as well, yeast could do anything from completely hibernate (fluctuating into lower temp (again check manufacturer suggestions)), all the way to producing off flavors and quitting at high temps (high temps being 80-90 and above, depending on type of yeast...) highly unlikely though. I'm with jsmith though, it's probably done or close to being done, AGAIN check the gravity and if it isnt there yet try warming it up and shake the carboy.

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4 days at 68-69F sounds perfectly natural for beer fermentations, if your cider was around 5-7% ABV I see no reason to assume its not mostly or all done fermenting. Unless you allowed the cider to drop several degrees yesterday (thus stalling out the yeast), I would assume that they have done their job.

Get a hydrometer and check it, but you're probably OK.

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If the yeast is stalled, what then? – Mild Fuzz Nov 27 '13 at 9:19
Warm it up, swirl the carboy to get the yeast back up into suspension. If that didn't work, re-pitch more yeast. – Graham Nov 27 '13 at 13:59

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