Author Topic: Cider ressurection?  (Read 1921 times)

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7240
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Cider ressurection?
« on: March 23, 2010, 11:36:35 AM »
I whipped up 20 gallons last year. Used the cold-pasteurized stuff. Not ideal for "cider" but it has made decent enough in the past.

Flash-forward eight months

Popped one in the kegerator last week. Mmmmm. Perfect clarity. But otherwise not all that special. :( Lackluster come to mind.

So I poured two cans of frozen concentrate (apple) and mixed it up some. Much better!

Ideas for the second keg?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2311
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 01:29:04 PM »
Off the wall idea, but here it goes.

One of my favorite accidental cider experiments I did that requires a metric ton of patience was my cyser port.

I made a cyser with fresh juice and honey. Fairly strong - 1.100 or so. Damn thing stuck at around 1.040. Pitched multiple pitches, swirled it, warmed it, nutriented it, yelled at it, sang lullabies, but nothing worked.

And then one of our club members, Bruce Brode - master judge and everything - told me he was thinking of making a mead port. Since I knew I already had a bottle of Mexican Cana in the closet, I dumped it into a 3 gallon keg, racked the stuck cyser in on top. Shook it and walked away from it for 3-4 years.

Pulled it out of the closet for the Oakland conference and people went bat s*** crazy for it. Definitely needed the age.

So maybe for you - couple cans of apple concentrate plus some sorbistat to prevent re-fermenation to boost the gravity and then a strong booze addition to "fortify" and then let it age.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7240
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 11:38:14 PM »
Ooooh! Now that is interesting indeed!

Great idea. ++1
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7240
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 12:15:48 AM »
It's really improving. I think there may be a little fermentation going on but it's closer to what I envisioned. No difficulty in draining a few glasses.

Have five more gallons. Some brandy hmmm. How about doing the aging in bottles?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline enso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
  • Northeast Kingdom, VT
    • View Profile
    • Bristle Bros. Brewing Blog
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2010, 01:09:54 PM »
Sounds to me like the original juice was lacking in tannins and acidity.  That would leave you with blah cider in the end.

You can do a few things.  Make up some new cider with better juice maybe a little more acidic and tannic than you would want in the end.  Then do trials and blend with your current cider.  It is also possible to mix in some crabapple juice to up the acidity and tannins.  Neither will be much help until the next apple harvest though.  You could sit on it until then if you keep it topped up so NO air can get to it.

Or, you can attempt to "artificially" pep it up.  Carefully add small amounts of grape tannin to a small test amount until it has the right amount of tannins for you.  Then scale up the amount to add to the entire batch.  Next, do the same procedure with some malic acid to increase the acidity to your liking.  It is best to do the tannins first as they can be harder to differentiate once the acid levels are higher.

Cider is all about the blending.  Whether you do it before ferment or after.
Dave Brush

Offline mikeypedersen

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
  • Longmont, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 01:28:29 PM »
Since I knew I already had a bottle of Mexican Cana in the closet, I dumped it into a 3 gallon keg, racked the stuck cyser in on top. Shook it and walked away from it for 3-4 years.

Hey Drew - What is Mexican Cana?

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2311
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2010, 05:13:42 PM »
What is Mexican Cana?

Mexican Everclear basically. 190 proof white "OMFG" lighting.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7240
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2010, 12:24:45 AM »
Cider is all about the blending.  Whether you do it before ferment or after.

I never understood why supermarket apple juice/cider doesn't make great Cider. Then I realized it was the multitude of apples that make bad shelf-juice since it is too sour and tannic and not sweet enough. There's a few commercial varieties and then all the rest- cider apples basically. Hope I have this right cider guys. LOL

We grow peaches and rarely apples since it is quite hot- though my neighbor just planted an Apple tree...

Stuck with what I can buy at the store I'm afraid....

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline enso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
  • Northeast Kingdom, VT
    • View Profile
    • Bristle Bros. Brewing Blog
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 06:19:41 AM »
Cider is all about the blending.  Whether you do it before ferment or after.

I never understood why supermarket apple juice/cider doesn't make great Cider. Then I realized it was the multitude of apples that make bad shelf-juice since it is too sour and tannic and not sweet enough. There's a few commercial varieties and then all the rest- cider apples basically. Hope I have this right cider guys. LOL

We grow peaches and rarely apples since it is quite hot- though my neighbor just planted an Apple tree...

Stuck with what I can buy at the store I'm afraid....



Supermarket juice is made from apple juice concentrate generally shipped from China, Argentina, or wherever it can be gotten cheapest.  It is made with mostly dessert or eating type apples.  That is, apples that are sweet, not too acidic and hardly any tannins if any.  The bulk of apples grown in this country (and the countries the concentrate comes from) are this variety.  True cider apples used to be prevalent but have gone out of favor as real hard cider all but disappeared after Prohibition.  They are also at times harder to grow, not always pretty, and taste very much different eaten by themselves.  I like the taste of some cider varieties but many folks have claimed they are inedible.  Fresh pressed "sweet" cider also relies heavily on culinary apples, but generally has some more balance than supermarket apple juice.

As I mentioned above, if you can get your hands on some crabapples you can mix those to taste with "sweet" cider (as opposed to apple juice) and make a decent cider.
Dave Brush

Offline nicneufeld

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1049
    • View Profile
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 11:06:10 AM »
I also am a fan of "fortification" occasionally, particularly when you have very sweet ciders or meads that "stick".  I had a braggot (imperial stout style) that stuck very sweet, but after fortifying it with bourbon and bottling it still it was one of my more happy accidents, a very unique flavor.  I'm about to try blending a cyser that stuck recently with bourbon as well, the vanilla and caramel of bourbon should blend nicely with a sweet apple wine.  Now, it would be that much better with calvados but my wallet disagrees!

(Aside note...If you want a tasty experiment, this one involving no fermentation, at least on your side, you can make a rather tasty "pommeau de normand".  I've never had the original, but its a blend of unfermented juice and apple brandy.  A bottle of calvados, and a bottle of good apple juice (martinellis is tasty for this purpose), blend 50/50 and rebottle.  Makes a nice little aperitif, at about port or sherry strength.)

I too have fermented somewhat bland and uninteresting ciders on occasion.  I admit, I like mixing them; most of my attempts to add flavors before fermentation or bottling/kegging either fail or fall short in some way but a slug of Ribena or a bit of cranberry juice in a glass of otherwise somewhat bland cider is not bad.

Offline alikocho

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 567
  • Bristol, UK
    • View Profile
    • A Storm Brewing
Re: Cider ressurection?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 05:34:15 AM »
The other way to go would be to add another fruit an make a melomel. Ken Schram provides detailed info on amounts to add in secondary for different fruits and characteristics in the Complete Meadmaker.
Bristol Brewing Circle (BBC)
Bristol Craft Brewers

UK National Homebrew Competition - http://www.bristolhomebrewcompetition.org.uk/