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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: pweis909 on November 05, 2009, 04:12:13 PM

Title: Rescue My Cider
Post by: pweis909 on November 05, 2009, 04:12:13 PM
3 weeks ago, I made three gallons of cider using fresh pressed apple juice, and fermented with Lalvin EC1118.  The juice gravity was about 1.042.  It's fermented to 1.000.  Nothing to the taste but tartness, and pretty watery.  It is still sitting on the yeast.  I have another (unfermented) gallon of fresh juice and am thinking of using it in a rescue operation.  

One possibility is adding the juice and stablizing.  I'm not sure 1 gallon of juice will be sufficient to overcome the tartness and this will dilute the alcohol some.

A second possibility is to make a small amount of sweet mead and blend to make a ceyser, possibly adding the juice too.


How have others have made unapproachably tart and dry ciders more approachable?
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: deepsouth on November 05, 2009, 05:27:15 PM
you can backsweet them, although i'm not exactly sure how to do that as i prefer mine tart and dry.  i also understand that if you let it age a bit (six months or longer), the apple starts to come back into the cider.  me, i can't let a batch sit undrank that long, yet....
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: denny on November 05, 2009, 06:41:43 PM
3 weeks is an awfully short time for a cider IMO.  I usually give mine at least a few months in primary and several more in secondary, which really helps to mellow them.
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: Brew.Drink.Repeat. on November 06, 2009, 02:38:59 AM
3 weeks is an awfully short time for a cider IMO.  I usually give mine at least a few months in primary and several more in secondary, which really helps to mellow them.

I'm glad you mentioned this, since I'm making my first cider right now. I was going to post to ask how long is a good length of time for primary... so a few months on the yeast is not a bad idea? RIght now it's been there for a little over three weeks, and the yeast (Montrachet) is still throwing off some serious sulphur aromatics. I was going to rack it next weekend, but I guess I should let it sit for a bit?
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: deepsouth on November 06, 2009, 03:51:03 AM
3 weeks is an awfully short time for a cider IMO.  I usually give mine at least a few months in primary and several more in secondary, which really helps to mellow them.

I'm glad you mentioned this, since I'm making my first cider right now. I was going to post to ask how long is a good length of time for primary... so a few months on the yeast is not a bad idea? RIght now it's been there for a little over three weeks, and the yeast (Montrachet) is still throwing off some serious sulphur aromatics. I was going to rack it next weekend, but I guess I should let it sit for a bit?


the longer you can stand to let it sit, the better it will be in my experience.
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: enso on November 06, 2009, 01:56:57 PM
Peter,

Cider making is all in the blending.  You can blend pre or post fermentation.  What was the juice comprised of that you started with?  Do you know the apple varieties?  It could be that the juice was lacking in aromatic type apples (thus the blandness) and had too many acidic (tart) type apples.

You want a blend of sweet, aromatic (small amount) tart and tannic apples to make a good rounded cider.

Three weeks is not enough time for this to be done.  Since it appears you do not want it any drier, rack the batch into a clean carboy.  Make sure to top it up with some fresh (sulfited) juice all the way up the neck.  Oxidation is the enemy.  Let it sit for a few months.  Meanwhile, you can make another batch of cider this time focusing on sweet and aromatic apples.  You can then take small amounts of your ciders when they are "done" and blend to taste.  Then scale up.

You can of course stabilize it as you suggested and back sweeten.  Just be sure it is absolutely stopped if you are bottling!

Cider naturally will ferment to dryness.  There are ways to make a naturally sweet cider, i.e. not back sweetened.  Look up the process of keeving as one example.  Likewise you can do as you would in making a sweet mead and just keep feeding it fresh juice until the yeast cannot tolerate the alcohol!
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: beerocd on November 06, 2009, 02:51:52 PM
Likewise you can do as you would in making a sweet mead and just keep feeding it fresh juice until the yeast cannot tolerate the alcohol!

Brilliant! First time I've heard this suggestion. It's always been kill the yeast and backsweeten.

-OCD
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: enso on November 06, 2009, 07:07:35 PM
Likewise you can do as you would in making a sweet mead and just keep feeding it fresh juice until the yeast cannot tolerate the alcohol!

Brilliant! First time I've heard this suggestion. It's always been kill the yeast and backsweeten.

-OCD

Probably because technically speaking it would no longer be cider by the time that happens.  You would then have an apple wine.   ;)
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: beerocd on November 06, 2009, 08:00:26 PM
Probably because technically speaking it would no longer be cider by the time that happens.  You would then have an apple wine.   ;)

What's the crossover point from cider to wine? If you say alcohol, you can keep feeding apple juice until the yeast max out and then start coming back down via juice additions. Not sure what that would do to flavor or stability of the drink - but now I'm just curious.

-OCD

Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: Brew.Drink.Repeat. on November 08, 2009, 06:22:43 PM
the longer you can stand to let it sit, the better it will be in my experience.

I definitely plan to leave it in secondary for about a year... 8-9 months at least. But how long is too long in primary? I come from the "no secondary" school of beer brewing for most styles, but I rarely leave anything in the fermenter for more than 4 or 5 weeks.
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: KING__SIZE on November 11, 2009, 02:26:39 AM
I have a different problem, a really bland cider. I added jaggery to it, you know raw sugar, man did it go off like a rocket. My only regret (other than the gallon of lost beverage) was that I didn't set up a video camera. It was SPECTACULAR!

I have a weird question - and my apologies to the OP - what if I went the other way instead of knocking out the yeast and back sweetening it what if I partially froze it? The decanted liquid would be brown sugar sweet, and strong - perfect for blending with IPA's, coffee, hot apple cider, a sort of low alcohol rum to experiment with? Thoughts?

FYI brewed in July 09
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: beerocd on November 12, 2009, 04:22:22 AM
I have a weird question - and my apologies to the OP - what if I went the other way instead of knocking out the yeast and back sweetening it what if I partially froze it? The decanted liquid would be brown sugar sweet, and strong - perfect for blending with IPA's, coffee, hot apple cider, a sort of low alcohol rum to experiment with? Thoughts?

Apple Jack. IMO, good in small doses. Sticky Sweet, I can't stand too much of it.

-OCD
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: akr71 on November 12, 2009, 06:16:56 PM
you can backsweet them, although i'm not exactly sure how to do that as i prefer mine tart and dry.  i also understand that if you let it age a bit (six months or longer), the apple starts to come back into the cider.  me, i can't let a batch sit undrank that long, yet....

+1 the cider I made last fall is just coming into its own.  I want my cider dry & tart.

Since it was my first cider, I tried a little experiment at bottling - a third was primed with corn sugar, a third not primed at all, and a third primed with apple juice (no preservatives, non-pasteurized).  The stuff primed with juice is by far my favorite and almost gone - probably a good thing, since I took a guess at how much juice to add (maybe a bit more than pint, a little less than a quart) and is maybe too carbonated.  The unprimed stuff is my second fav and would have a nice low natural carbonation if I hadn't nearly tripped and slammed the bucket on the floor, knocking most of the co2 out of solution.  The stuff primed with corn sugar is mearly OK.
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: wilypig on November 20, 2009, 02:45:57 PM
You may need to do a Malo-lactic fermentation to tone down the tartness. Adding some tannin will give a bit of structure. All of my ciders take at least 6 months to 'finish', even if the initial fermentation is complete within the first few weeks. Do a little research on the process, there is wealth of info on the web. Good luck.
Title: Re: Rescue My Cider
Post by: scottyb on November 26, 2009, 11:57:07 AM
try your cider this time NEXT YEAR.     It will be way better.