I just sourced 5 gallons of apple cider from our local farmers market and I'm planning on my first cider this weekend. I've done some skimming the site and tried to find some videos for help but I still have a bunch of questions. Any help is appreciated!
1) The cider has been UV pasturized, should I still be adding campden tablets to the cider?
2) Are yeast nutrients necessary? If so, what should I be adding?
3) Should I be adding pectic enzyme?
4) If the OG of the cider by itself is too low, is there a preferred sugar to add? Does it need to be heated/boiled or just mixed in?
5) Based off of the latest Zymurgy, I'm going to use WLP002 English Ale. Do I need to make a starter for this, or will one vial be enough for 5 gallons?
Thanks for your help in advance!
1. Yes, crush the tablets, add to cider, and wait 24 hrs before adding yeast.
2. Yes, I add yeast nutrient at ~ 3 X the amount you'd use for beer. YMMV.
3. Yep, it will clear your cider effectively.
4. You can always fortify with sugar , but there is a tradeoff. I never add sugar automatically. I make cider not for strength, but to enjoy the apple character. 5% abv ciders are ready to drink much quicker than an apple wine (which needs to age for nearly a year +). You can add cane ,brown, or a combo of both. If you fortify with sugar, it needs to age for ~ 6 months to a year +(IMO). When I make a fortified cider, I heat/dissolve, cool, stir in.
5. I have always fermented cider dry, then slightly backsweetened to taste, but IMO unless you are fortifying with sugar to make a strong cider/apple wine, a fresh smack pack/vial will work fine, as most suitable strains attenuate very well. You should not need to make a starter for a moderately normal OG cider.
FWIW , my most recent cider (OG 1.045) used 1 pack of WY4766 (~1 week old) and ended at .998 FG. These strains are extremely attenuative.