Low FG with ale yeast

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I just bottled a cider that I had fermented using 5 gallons of fresh
cider, brown sugar, and 2 packs of Coopers Ale Yeast.  The OG was
1.066, and after 10 days in the primary, it tasted real good with a
gravity of 1.011.  I racked to the secondary, and let it ferment for 14
more days.  The FG came out to 0.094.  I had used ale yeast, instead of
champagne yeast specifically so I didn't get such a low FG.  I was
hoping for a smoother and sweeter cider, as opposed to an alcoholic,
dry cider.  What went wrong?  I didn't even think you could get that
low of an FG with ale yeast.  Did I use too much yeast?  I bottled with
priming sugar, and I'm hoping the carbonation plus sugar will help make
it a little sweeter and less strong tasting.  At this point, the
alcohol just overwhelms the apple flavor :(.  Was there something I
could have done going from primary to secondary to prevent further
fermentation, while still having enough live yeast for bottle
conditioning?  Thanks.

John


Re: Low FG with ale yeast



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You simply can't expect yeast to stop working just because ya want
sweet cider ......

What you can do is this:

1) When fermentation is done, add sugar to taste, add a yeast
inhibitor and force-carbonate. This is pretty effective

2) If you want to carbonate naturally, you cannot add preservatives,
but you can sweeten with lactose, which will not ferment.

It is surprising that ale yeast fermented out so dry, I use champagne
yeast for that, nonethe less, either of the above methods should help.
If you simply add extra sugar at carbonation, you will just get
over-carbonated cider which is likely to foam out of the bottle.

hth

steveb

Re: Low FG with ale yeast


Whoa, typo in my original post.  F.G. was 0.994, not 0.094.  I making
cider, not grain.. lol.

Steve, when you say "force-carbonate", I assume you mean a keg system
with CO2?

John


Re: Low FG with ale yeast



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Yes ....it would be a good solution. You can kill the fermentation
dead, and sweeten to taste.

steveb

Re: Low FG with ale yeast


John M wrote:
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That gives you about 9.3 ABV, not too high for an ale yeast.
I agree with steveb on things you can do to solve the prob.
I haven't tried to sweeten up any of the ciders that I have made yet,
but as soon as I get a keg setup, I'm going to go with the "force
carbonate" plan.
Cheers,

--
Michael Herrenbruck
DragonTail Ale
Drunken Bee Mead

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