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A little help with a batch of cider.

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stlaleman:
I fail to see why so many people add concentrate to their cider. Upping the apple flavor transforms cider to alcol pop. Read the introduction to ciders in the guidelines, cider should taste no more like apples than wine taste like grapes. This is why Boones Farm Apple Wine is a classic representation. If you like the big apple flavor, make it that way, just don't call it cider. I admit I'm a purist BUT I'm seeing comments on my scoresheets about not having enough "apple flavor".
OK, off my soapbox.

udubdawg:

--- Quote from: stlaleman on December 01, 2012, 07:37:15 AM ---I fail to see why so many people add concentrate to their cider. Upping the apple flavor transforms cider to alcol pop. Read the introduction to ciders in the guidelines, cider should taste no more like apples than wine taste like grapes. This is why Boones Farm Apple Wine is a classic representation. If you like the big apple flavor, make it that way, just don't call it cider. I admit I'm a purist BUT I'm seeing comments on my scoresheets about not having enough "apple flavor".
OK, off my soapbox.

--- End quote ---

I agree somewhat, but think that the statement that upping the apple flavor transforms the cider to alco pop is an exaggeration.  Sometimes there is little to no apple character and wanting a little more isn't necessarily going to push it out of style.

The section you reference says "Ciders and perries do not necessarily present overtly fruity aromas or flavors" - doesn't need a certain character doesn't necessarily mean it can't have it...

individually:
27A:  "Sweet or low-alcohol ciders may have apple aroma and flavor."
27B:  "No overt apple character"
27C:  "Fruity character/aroma.  This may come from slow or arrested fermentation (in the French technique of défécation) or approximated by back sweetening with juice.  "
27D & E:  "There is a pear character, but not obviously fruity."
28A:  "A dry flavorful cider with robust apple character"
28B:  "It is a fault if the adjuncts completely dominate" - this is an issue some judges have with my mango/peach cider.
28C:  "Comparable to a Common Cider. "

looks like plenty of variation between substyles on apple character.
On a side note, I recently added some apple juice concentrate for the first time.  Motts plus some fancy-pants tart apple juice, plus the concentrate for a bit higher gravity, and pitched WY3726 Farmhouse on it just to test an unfamiliar yeast.  Two weeks later, very tasty, nice tart notes from juice/yeast, acidity/slight tannin seemed great, brilliantly clear, decided to rush into competition.  Deciding between Common and French, but didn't have time to carbonate, so back-sweetened just slightly, entered it as 27A, still, semi-sweet.  Gold medal, 3 weeks after pitching.  *shrug*  It's not a tool I'll use often, but I might try it again sometime.

cheers--
--Michael

udubdawg:

--- Quote from: dzlater on December 01, 2012, 05:52:49 AM --- Yes, it would have made more sense to add the concentrate at the start.
I didn't have a real plan for this, I pretty much just added it on a whim. Thinking it would reduce the head space and might flavor it up a bit.
 I took a look at it a couple days ago and found the airlock was empty, not sure if it sucked back into the carboy, or I just didn't fill it. I gave the carboy a blast of CO2.
 Should I put this in a keg to age / carb. now, or just leave it the carboy for another month ?

--- End quote ---

you did fill the airlock after you added the blast of CO2, right?   ;D
how does it taste?  Any oxidation since you last tasted it?  How's the clarity?  Is the oak still in it? (don't see any mention of removal in the OP)  What are your goals for this?  Since it seems like this is just a test batch of something new to you, I don't see any harm on moving to the next step and packaging as soon as you're happy with it.  I'm certain you've picked up some easy lessons that will improve your next batch.

cheers--
--Michael

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