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Wyeast 4184 for Cider?

Anyone know how long Wyeast 4184 (Wine/Mead/Cider) will take to start noticeable fermentation and also how long it usually takes to complete primary fermentation?

I did a yeast starter and then pitched before bothering to look up info. On the various forums, it looks like this thing can take months to ferment out–but I can’t tell if that is only for meads or also for cider. In my other batch, I pitched Brupaks Ale yeast and its humming along fine–expect it to be done with primary in a week or so.


It’s been like 10 years since I tried 4184 for cider, but in my recollection… it finished bone dry, surprising for a “sweet” mead yeast, and I’m thinking it took like 3 or 4 weeks, which is pretty typical for a cider. Cider does not ferment as fast as ale. If you want to speed up the process, then don’t rack the cider at all for a month, swirl the fermenter every day to keep the yeast in suspension, and keep it warm in the low 70s. You might not make an awesome cider that way, but you will make a faster cider.

Noticeable fermentation should begin within about 48 hours. If it doesn’t, look a little closer. It won’t form a big krausen on top like an ale. It just turns cloudy and fizzes slowly.

Thanks Dave,

I’d prefer a good cider so I’ll practice patience. Interestingly, after I pitched yesterday, I shook the carboy to mix and aerate. I ended up with a foam on top of the wort–something I’ve not seen before and it has not settled–but it’s definitely not krausen. I noticed when I swirled the starter yesterday, it bubbled up almost like CO2. I think it must be something in the nutrient that was included in the Wyeast pack.

Thanks again for your help.

That bubbling is CO2 in solution. The swirling/shaking is knocking it out of the liquid. If you have CO2 in solution, you have/had fermenation.

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