My first cider attempt. It's day three and see no activity in the airlock. So this is what I did. I juiced 20kg of apples and got just over 3 gallons of juice. I took a gravity reading of 1.050 at this point.

I wanted to stick to a more organic method so I pasteurised the juice at 180/185°C for 45 minutes, at this point I added 13.5oz of brown sugar as I wanted to raise the specific gravity to 1.060. Then I transferred it into the primary fermenter. (5 gallon capacity)

After letting it cool to 80°C, I added the yeast starter (Lalvin EC-1118, prepared 30 minutes prior as per the instructions on the packet.) I sealed the lid, with airlock in a closest, which has a temperature ranging 15/20°C. Day three, no activity in the airlock.

Does anyone know what might be going on?

Any advice is welcome!

Thanks in advance.


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    Raise temperature closer to 20°C because 15°C is often too cold for the yeast...
    – Philippe
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 19:47
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    Thanks Philippe. It's insulated from the floor now wrapped it in a fleece. Since introducing a new yeast stater it's looking good, and has been steadily fermenting for 48 hours. Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


Dead Yeast check expectation date. When you did your "30 min starter" was there foaming? If not it's likely the yeast was dead. "80°C" will kill yeast. If you added your yeast to 176°F cider, it's dead. Repitch your cider. Providing that was a typo, here's some other possibilities.

Bad Fermentor Seal if there is a bad seal, the air lock won't function properly. This won't change fermentation though.

Maybe Nothing Wrong cider can ferment quickly and generally only leaves small signs it happened. If the bell in the air lock is lifted, chances are good it fermented. An other sign, is a lot more yeasts on the bottom than you pitched. Pull a sample for a taste test, or SG reading.

  • Hi Evil,The yeast was made as per the packet instructions in water at 40oc . It's was active and foaming. Then as per the instructions on: homemadehardcider.com I added the starter to the musk in the primary when the temperature had dropped to 80oc. So it's your opinion that this temperature has killed the yeast? Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 13:52
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    @CiderMonkey if it was pitched into cider that was 80° Celsius, it killed it. Add new yeast, you should be ok, if infection hasn't taken hold. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 13:53
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    Your link references "80 degrees" that would be in fahrenhieght Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 13:57
  • Thanks for the eagle eyes Evil. I've been in the UK too long, imperial versus metric. I should drink less when I brew. Luckily I have a few packets of yeast spare. Thanks again. Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 14:16
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    @CiderMonkey it's a common mistake, we all make them. It's part of perfecting the craft. Happy brewing! Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 14:18

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