Apfelwein Bubbling!

This is just a quick update on the Apfelwein which I am attempting to make. The Apfelwein is currently bubbling happily in the fermentor, which is a good sign. However, it...

This is just a quick update on the Apfelwein which I am attempting to make. The Apfelwein is currently bubbling happily in the fermentor, which is a good sign. However, it gave me quite a shock yesterday because the must initially had no reaction from adding the yeast. Normally for beer brewing, in just a few hours (the most is like 5 hours) the yeast will start to produce krusen and you can see foam exploding on the wort. But in this case, it was dead quiet for the entire day. Nothing at all. In the evening when I checked the must, I was really surprised. I was then tempted to go and add more yeast into the must as I thought that something was wrong. But luckily, I decided not to. I knew that the Cote des Blancs yeast was a slow fermenter and it probably would take longer for it to get ready to ferment. I was right. Just that I didn’t know it would take so damn long for it to be ready.

This morning when I woke up, I saw small bubbles forming on the must. Unlike the krusen you see when you brew beer, they are just like oily slick bubbles being produced and some of them are floating on the surface of the must. And by afternoon time, it was bubbling strongly. Thank the gods!  You should see the smile I have on my face when I came back to see the airlock bubbling happily away. The only thing I found funny is the smell. I can’t detect any alcohol coming from the airlock, only the sweetness of the apple juice. I had expected some alcoholic aroma but none is detected even when I put my nose close to the airlock.

Maybe it is because the majority of the must still consist of apple juice? And when the carbon dioxide is being forced out, the apple juice smell escapes along with it? And it just a few weeks time, I will be smelling alcohol only? Well, I think that would be the most likely case. The good thing is that I didn’t smell any sulfur, which a lot of brewers complained about. I really don’t think that my neighbours would care to smell sulfur whenever they open their windows for some fresh air. Anyway, it will probably take a few more weeks for the Apfelwein to complete it’s fermentation and for me to start bottling the wine. I will update you guys when I am done. Take care!

27/8/2008 Update: Bubbling very furiously now. The bubbles the yeast creates are pretty massive now. Looks like everything is fine. Vigourous fermentation is good. I have also kept the temperature about 20°C which should be healthy for the yeast.