Author Topic: hard apple cider ideas  (Read 5787 times)

Offline csu007

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hard apple cider ideas
« on: August 20, 2012, 09:28:10 PM »
so some family friends wanted me to make some hard cider (after they tried my beer), they will be supplying the apple juice fresh from a couple backyard trees (not sure on the variety yet), anybody have a good/simple recipe(s)? I was thinking just the juice and champagne yeast, maybe some spices but not sure.
“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 10:04:29 PM »
I like Nottingham instead of champagne yeast, but it can be as simple as juice and yeast.  Champagne yeast will really dry your cider out.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 11:16:20 PM »
I agree...no 'recipe' needed.  Just juice and yeast.  Really good cider is comprised of just those two elements. 

The 'backyard' apple varieties are probably a plus, especially if they are older varieties (Winesaps make particularly excellent cider).  The best cider is made with a combination of sweet and tart apples...and really, an emphasis on the latter makes the best.

Of course, 'best' is a subjective thing.  Traditional ciders are not particularly sweet.  That said, it seems that modern tastes do not skew towards the traditional, at least judging from the many commercial ciders popping up these days, many of  which seem to be back-sweetened and sulfited..
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Offline csu007

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 11:27:32 PM »
I like Nottingham instead of champagne yeast, but it can be as simple as juice and yeast.  Champagne yeast will really dry your cider out.

i have heard that some people use anything from champagne, wine, cider yeast, to plain beer yeast. i guess i will have to research it a bit and determine what yeast will suit the taste of everybody
“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 05:10:31 AM »
I like Nottingham instead of champagne yeast, but it can be as simple as juice and yeast.  Champagne yeast will really dry your cider out.

i have heard that some people use anything from champagne, wine, cider yeast, to plain beer yeast. i guess i will have to research it a bit and determine what yeast will suit the taste of everybody

You can just let the cider set and it will ferment with the wild yeast that is on the apples. This can result in very good ciders, or not so good. It is a crap shoot. You might try one gallon this way and compare to cider made with commercial yeast.

The quality of the cider starts with the apples. As stated, the right varieties used make a good cider. It takes a blend to make a good one unless you have one of the classics like Kingston Black, which makes a fine cider by itself.

Here is more information than you asked for. Read the old school cider digest if you have time.
http://www.talisman.com/cider/#FAQ
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 07:49:23 AM »
I read almost this entire thread when I first looked to make cider: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/

There is an amazing depth of information there.

I found that beer yeast (I think I used Notty, maybe Windsor, maybe one of each) produced a cider I liked better than the ciders from wine yeasts.

Ultimately, though, I found that I'd rather drink beer than cider so I stopped making it.

It is truly as easy as juice and yeast, though it can get as complex as you like if you want to sulfite, back-sweeten, press your own apples, etc.
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Offline gmac

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 08:10:05 AM »
I've had great luck with lager yeast fermented cool and with Kolsch yeast. Never used wine or cider yeast but I've scored in the 40s with American lager yeast.
Juice, yeast and then sulphite and back sweeten just a touch.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 10:01:51 AM »
A guy I know who makes excellent cider says backsweeten to the 1.004 to 1.006 range IIRC.
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Offline gmac

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 10:19:00 AM »
What I've been doing to back sweeten is to take 1 can of apple juice concentrate, bring it to a boil and add 1/2 a cup of white sugar then add all that to previously sulphited cider.  Gives a nice level of sweetness and intensifies the apple flavour a little.  Usually ends up around 1.004.  I've used tannin and I've forgotten to use tannin and both have been fine.  My ciders have all ended up really dry so the back sweetening has been necessary.

Offline rjharper

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 06:44:38 AM »
I used champagne yeast in my ciders, and do not back sweeten.  They usually end up around 0.995, which is where I, and apparently most of my friends, like it to be.

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2012, 07:08:05 PM »
Cotes de Blanc is my go to yeast for cider.  I let it go dry.  As for blend, if you do not have access to the acid, tart tannic, sweet blend then you can always add acid blend and tannin to your cider.  Backsweeten if you like, but to around 1.006 as stated above.  I personally like a dry, winelike cider.  You can add raisins, figs, spices ,brown sugar if you like.  Oh, keep about a gal or 2 add honey to make a cyser.  You can thank me later.
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Offline csu007

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2012, 05:45:44 PM »
So today we picked and juiced about 10gal worth juice (way too many from the 2 trees for just juice so we made jelly, butter, dehydrated, and apple pie were the other uses)

the varieties were Golden Delicious and Macintosh, our friend pick up the yeast which as Safale US-05.
i was wondering if anyone has a calculator that would give me an estimate on the OG and FG. we did measure the OG at 1.044. no other sugar was added. I'm curious as to what the FG should be around so i can have rough i idea of when it's ready?

“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012, 06:42:01 PM »
It will ferment down close to 1 - like between .997 - 1.003. All of the sugars in apples are fully fermentable, unlike in malt.  1.044 OG will result in ~6% ABV.
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Offline csu007

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2012, 08:20:48 PM »
thanks
“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: hard apple cider ideas
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 06:36:07 AM »
It will ferment down close to 1 - like between .997 - 1.003. All of the sugars in apples are fully fermentable, unlike in malt.  1.044 OG will result in ~6% ABV.

Unlike mead, apple juice has nutrients, so the yeast have no problems fermenting out to <1.000.
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