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I have 2 x 23L carbouy's full of freshly pressed juice, ready for fermentation.

I began the process by killing off all the wild yeast strains in the apples by adding 1 1/4 teaspoons of sodium metabisulphide to each carbouy and let it sit for 48 hours before pitching the yeast.

After the 48 hours, I added my yeast (which I started the day before with Juice + Yeast until it started boiling then refrigerated to ensure I get a good fermentation)

The next day I removed the yeast from the fridge for 2 hours - saw the yeast bubbling and dumped it into my juice (with 1 cup of liquefied brown sugar to each carbouy for good measure).

However, after a week now, I still have yet to see the fermentation process begin.

The carbouys are in a dark wine cellar (80% humidity/ 16-18 degree celcius).

Does anyone know what might be going on?

It could be any of the following:

  1. The sodiummetabisulphide is still in the must and not allowing the yeast to begin - do I add more yeast? do I add a yeast booster?
  2. The temperature is too low - what temperature should it be at?

Any advice is welcome!

Thanks in advance.

Peter

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    Did you take an initial gravity reading? Have you taken one recently? That's the only way to know for sure. – Denny Conn Oct 5 '15 at 17:56
  • Yes the gravity was at 49 - does that make sense? – P Baxter Oct 5 '15 at 17:58
  • If it starter at 49, that's about right. If it's 49 now, that's too high. Your temp looks fine. – Denny Conn Oct 6 '15 at 15:45
  • @PBaxter 49 of what? 1.049 ≠ 49 Blg ≠ 49 Brix - but all these values would make some kind of sense. – Mołot Oct 6 '15 at 15:46
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    OK I got it figured out - the sodium metabisulphide was still present and was killing the yeast I pitched. I added some yeast nutrient and another pitch and it's boiling away now - thanks for your help everyone! In future, I suggest NOT killing all the wild yeast in the must and pitching your yeast straight to the must. – P Baxter Oct 8 '15 at 15:55
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A week is a long time, fermentation should occurs in the first 3 days in general. A starting gravity of 1.049 seems good, I got 1.050 for my last batch.

  1. I would check the yeast package for the ideal temperature and bring it to the highest point (16C is probably too cold). For instance, WhiteLabs WLP775 Cider Yeast recommends a temperature between 20C and 24C (68F to 75F).
  2. If controling the temperature is not enough, I would repitch some yeast, follow the instructions on how to hydrate the yeast and add some yeast nutriments.

I also have 2x 23L carboys of apple juice in my cellar, they did start to ferment after 2 days (but I put some heating the second day to help, to bring temperature close to 22C).

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