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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!

I don't have a hydrometre but I opened the fermenting bin and there were no bubbles (like flat, nothing at all), the temperature of the most is 20.5°C (so it's 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 fermenting bin) 5 times. I wanted to see what was going on in there!

  • First day I had a 5 cm krausen.
  • Second day only nice white froth on top the most and I could hear a really strong fermentation going on.
  • Third day I didn't 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°C, but it's only 4 days!

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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.

  • 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
  • I began fermenting a cider on a Sunday afternoon and the hydrometer reading was 1.05 SG, within 2 to 3 hours it was already fizzing just like a freshly opened bottle of coke. By Wednesday morning all the fizzing had stopped. This was a surprised because I was expecting it to last at least a week going by all the tutorials I read. But I took a hydrometer reading and it measured 0.98 SG, so I guess it's done!? But it doesn't look like much has changed, what processes happen next? – gawpertron Aug 23 '17 at 8:08
  • @gawpertron - keg or bottle it, with priming sugar and try to leave it alone. – bigbadmouse Oct 24 at 7:22
  • @bigbadmouse Probably slightly too late to take a hydrometer reading given it was 2 years ago. But if anyone is interested, fermenting in August means temperatures of at least 20 C in my kitchen so it all happens too fast. I got myself an old fridge and turned it into a fermentation fridge so that I can control the temperature to stay around 14 C to 15 C. It now takes over a week to zero out and I seem to get a better result this way too.This year I did very little other than add some extra sugar and yeast without sulphates, it's the best result yet out of my crabby crab apples. – gawpertron Oct 25 at 8:23
  • yes @gawpertron , but these answers also inform later readers and this question comes up a lot. – bigbadmouse Oct 25 at 9:19
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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.

  • If the yeast is stalled, what then? – Mild Fuzz Nov 27 '13 at 9:19
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    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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