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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: wdmd on October 06, 2013, 01:15:13 PM

Title: Strongbow clone?
Post by: wdmd on October 06, 2013, 01:15:13 PM
My wife really enjoys Strongbow cider, as it seems to have the right combination of tart, sweet, and apple flavor.  I have tried numerous times to come up with a cider that she will enjoy, but have fallen short each time.  Typically I have used juice and champagne yeast, but have tried various wine yeasts as well.  Each time it gets way too dry, and retains a little "yeasty" character.  Any suggestions of yeast choice or ways to keep it from getting too dry?  My goal is to not have to add apple juice at bottling time.  Thanks
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 06, 2013, 02:30:26 PM
I don't care for champagne yeast in cider, as I think it does retain a noticeable yeast character. Wyeast 4766 cider yeast is a clean strain that stays out of the way of the apple character IMO. The thing is that most strains that are suitable for cider will ferment out dry, ie., ~ 1.000 (or less) FG. I usually backsweeten a very small amount and use a small amount of malic acid for tartness, if needed. Unless she likes a very dry cider (and it sounds like she likes some sweetness) at least a small amount of backsweetening will help. 
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 06, 2013, 02:32:02 PM
Strongbow is crap cider made from concentrate, water, and lots of chemicals and preservatives.  You just can't make that low of quality cider at home.  All the ciders you made previously are REAL ciders that you should be proud of.  If your wife wants Strongbow she can buy it at the store or the local pub.  There is no sense in trying to produce that stuff at home.

Sorry for the rant.  But I am also very serious about cider.  The REAL stuff.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 06, 2013, 02:37:09 PM
Strongbow is crap cider made from concentrate, water, and lots of chemicals and preservatives.  You just can't make that low of quality cider at home.  All the ciders you made previously are REAL ciders that you should be proud of.  If your wife wants Strongbow she can buy it at the store or the local pub.  There is no sense in trying to produce that stuff at home.

Sorry for the rant.  But I am also very serious about cider.  The REAL stuff.
That too  :)   More a mass produced apple beverage than a real cider.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 06, 2013, 04:05:28 PM
Try WLP 002. It was judged the best recently. Look on White Labs under cider.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 06, 2013, 04:30:35 PM
I haven't tried WLP002.  US-05 ends up a little sweeter and tastes great.  But I'm more of a Cote des Blancs kind of guy myself.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 06, 2013, 04:40:48 PM
I haven't tried WLP002.  US-05 ends up a little sweeter and tastes great.  But I'm more of a Cote des Blancs kind of guy myself.

In 2 weeks the club does a pressing with a local orchard. Plan to try 002, 833, 860 and ferment the lager yeast cold.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 06, 2013, 04:50:47 PM
I haven't tried WLP002.  US-05 ends up a little sweeter and tastes great.  But I'm more of a Cote des Blancs kind of guy myself.

In 2 weeks the club does a pressing with a local orchard. Plan to try 002, 833, 860 and ferment the lager yeast cold.
I look forward to reading your impressions on the ciders.  My LHBS gets early and late pressings from a local orchard.  Just used 4766 this time. I might do a split batch on the late cider.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: samuel.workman on October 06, 2013, 06:06:26 PM
I make a good many ciders and have experimented with all sorts of yeasts. I'll second that 002 makes good cider. A beer strain that I really like in cider is a Kolsch yeast -- WLP029 or the Wyeast versions. While the flavor on these is distinctive (the typical vinous notes), they don't come out as "yeasty" as other beer yeasts in my experience (only my experience though).

Also, take a look at WLP720. I'm currently using it in some cysers. It is supposed to attenuate at less than 75%. Take a look at the alcohol tolerances of some of these yeasts in relation to their attenuation. One way to leave some sweetness is to build up the S.G. such that the yeast crap out with the alcohol, though be aware this strategy will leave you with a higher alcohol cider in general. Otherwise, you can stabilize and back sweeten.

Not to plug another forum, but you'd be hard-pressed to find more information than the thread on cider and yeast experiments over here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/ (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/)

Hope some of this helps.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: Jimmy K on October 09, 2013, 08:37:15 PM
What you need is residual sugar - more than any yeast will leave you. And you must have good acidity to balance the sweetness. This is really hard to do without killing the yeast and force carbonating. Do you have kegs?
 
And no offence to dmtaylor but there are many cider styles. Strongbow is no artisenal product for sure, but it has plenty of fans and common ciders can be made using authentically. Dry cider is not inherently better than sweet cider.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: gmac on October 09, 2013, 08:49:40 PM
Mtnrockhopper - are you doing a massive cider batch again this year?  What did you do last time, something like 45 gals?
I ask because I am going to do one big cider batch this year instead of multiple smaller ones and I'm curious how much yeast you used etc.  My plan is a 30 gal batch using WLP cider yeast (I ordered it but I forget the # now).  I may try a split with another yeast, not sure.

I'm not a huge fan of Strongbow so I'm afraid I'm not much help with the OP but I would think you could blend any cider to get "close".  Not tart enough maybe add some malic acid.  Not sweet enough, back sweeten etc.  Probably won't get it right on the nose with only cider and yeast but what character does she like?  I ferment mine completely dry and then back sweeten with apple juice concentrate and sugar after sulphiting etc and then kegging at high PSI.  But that's what I like, she may like something different.  I'd pick one cider and one yeast and then try to tune it in from there.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 09, 2013, 09:27:34 PM
no offence to dmtaylor but there are many cider styles. Strongbow is no artisenal product for sure, but it has plenty of fans and common ciders can be made using authentically. Dry cider is not inherently better than sweet cider.

Once upon a time, I consumed an awful lot of Boone's Farm and Zima, so I can relate.  It's not inherently good or bad.  It's just not REAL wine/beer/cider, etc.... I guess that's my real peeve with it all.  People want to make Zima at home?  Well, good luck with that....
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: klickitat jim on October 09, 2013, 09:33:00 PM
7UP and boones farm. Age in frosted mug for 30 seconds
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: Slowbrew on October 09, 2013, 09:33:20 PM
no offence to dmtaylor but there are many cider styles. Strongbow is no artisenal product for sure, but it has plenty of fans and common ciders can be made using authentically. Dry cider is not inherently better than sweet cider.

Once upon a time, I consumed an awful lot of Boone's Farm and Zima, so I can relate.  It's not inherently good or bad.  It's just not REAL wine/beer/cider, etc.... I guess that's my real peeve with it all.  People want to make Zima at home?  Well, good luck with that....

I've made a total of one batch of cider so I'm not much help there. 

You used to see a lot of questions on how to make Zima.  I saw one answer that made me LOL.

3/4 glass club soda
Add lemon juice and Alum to taste
Add Everclear until you don't care anymore.

 ;D

Paul
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: klickitat jim on October 09, 2013, 10:08:26 PM
Once upon a time a friend shared something he called Apple Pie. Tasted like, apple pie. But kicked like a mule. I never got the recipe but I think it had everclear in it.
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: redbeerman on October 10, 2013, 07:42:09 PM
Once upon a time a friend shared something he called Apple Pie. Tasted like, apple pie. But kicked like a mule. I never got the recipe but I think it had everclear in it.

I've had that made with shine before.  Quite tasty!
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: Jimmy K on October 11, 2013, 02:20:43 PM
Mtnrockhopper - are you doing a massive cider batch again this year?  What did you do last time, something like 45 gals?
I ask because I am going to do one big cider batch this year instead of multiple smaller ones and I'm curious how much yeast you used etc.  My plan is a 30 gal batch using WLP cider yeast (I ordered it but I forget the # now).  I may try a split with another yeast, not sure.
It was 60 gallons 2 years ago. Last year we made a couple smaller batches. Not sure if we're doing a huge batch again. I have to wait until December for it to be cold enough in my garage. We did make 10 gallons of asian pear cider, unfortunately it got an infection and has a bit of acetic acid.
 
I use dry yeast at 1 gram per gallon rehydrated (or a 5g packet per 5 gallons).
Title: Re: Strongbow clone?
Post by: kramerog on October 11, 2013, 03:24:24 PM
My wife really enjoys Strongbow cider, as it seems to have the right combination of tart, sweet, and apple flavor.  I have tried numerous times to come up with a cider that she will enjoy, but have fallen short each time.  Typically I have used juice and champagne yeast, but have tried various wine yeasts as well.  Each time it gets way too dry, and retains a little "yeasty" character.  Any suggestions of yeast choice or ways to keep it from getting too dry?  My goal is to not have to add apple juice at bottling time.  Thanks

Ferment and then put cider in fridge.  The cider will likely to continue to ferment slowly but it works for making a gallon of beer.  You may need to aerate the cider during fermentation to get rid of the hydrogen sulfide.