yeast question

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Dec 15, 2008
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This is the first time I've tried to make any kind of alcohol but I bought 3 packs of dry wine/champagne yeast (lelvin ec1118) I mixed 3 cups of sugar with 3 gallons of apple cider, I put the yeast in a measuring cup with some cider that was pre heated to 102 to 109 degrees in the microwave (yeast added after it was heated and let sit for 15 min. just as directions told me to. the mix foamed up good in the cup and really foamed up in the 5 gallon bottle the first night but the foam soon disapeared and only small foam patches are still there. The bottle is setting in the livingroom at about 65 degrees. My question is does the foam up only happen during rehydration, is my yeast still alive and about how long do I let it set to reach 18% alc. level? also any hints to make this batch of hard cider better would be apreciated, as well as any surprises and lag times that I should be aware of, thank you.:eek:
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Although 65F is an OK temp for EC-1118, it is on the cool side and may have contributed to the slow down. Also, no mention of yeast nutrient.

Are you following a recipe? or making it up as you go?

Finally, visible signs of fermentation are notoriously useless. EC-1118 is a low foaming yeast and may not produce a lot of foam (although it should produce some). You need a hydrometer and should take specific gravity readings to understand if fermentation is actually occurring.

From the ingredients you stated... your cider will have a started gravity of about 1.07, which will top out at about 7% alcohol before the yeast runs out of food.

3 packets of yeast into 3 gallons of 1.07 must is a TON of yeast. With that much yeast in that must probably set them off on a crazy feeding frenzy and your cider is probably close to done fermenting. Take a gravity reading. I'll bet you're close to 1.000 already. Wait until it drops below 1.000 and you'll be about done.

You may not like it much at first, but set some aside for a few months and it'll probably age into a tasty cider.

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