Author Topic: First time cider maker.  (Read 2299 times)

Offline ken.hugen

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2014, 11:48:41 PM »
This is my first go at cider! Plum Cider actually.....I picked 20 or 30 lbs of delicious cling plums in June, pitted, quartered and froze with skins on. I just started brewing too. Just kegged a nut brown ale and really like it! So I am quite a Rookie! Here is what I have done. Two 3/4 gallon batches. More apple juice than plumb in each. I have one batch with clover honey and cooked the plumbs at 150 for 40 minutes. It got pretty thick. I added the apple juice and a little brown sugar. OG was reading 1.100 but the mix was foamy, so it's probably less?

Is that to much sugar? Should I dilute it? I'm just experimenting, but as I research more, I'm thinking I am heading for trouble.....

Second batch is heated at 150 for 5 minutes, brown sugar and apple juice. OG is 1.084. No honey.

I added pectin enzyme to both.

My yeast (which I haven't pitched) was k1-V1116. I was told it would be to dry. What yeast should I use? Any advise for the Rookie?

Ps I found this recipe on line and decided to mix it up and experiment a little.


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2014, 05:25:51 AM »
Sounds like you are well on your way to some tasty plum cider and cyser!  Both will ferment semi-dry and taste way more like wine than say Woodchuck or Angry Orchard or whatever.  Just so you know.  When you add any sugars it turns your cider into a stronger more wine-like beverage.  Fermentation will take a couple of months to finish.  Feel free to rack often maybe once a week for the first month in order to get a sweeter cider and to aid with clarity.  After you are sure fermentation is done... wait at least another week if not two before bottling or you could get bottle bombs.  Also need to condition with sorbate and sulfite at bottling for the same reason.
Dave

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Offline udubdawg

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2014, 05:54:41 AM »
most any yeast you would pick is likely to go dry at the gravity range you've mentioned.  I like 1116 a lot in the summer.

there are some sweet mead yeasts that have a good shot of stopping that early, depending on your actual gravity and how you treat the yeast, but first it would help if you state what your goal is.  Are you looking for a fairly low alcohol beverage?  Something wine-like?  How sweet do you want it?  How soon do you want to be drinking it?



Offline erockrph

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2014, 06:09:03 AM »
You might want to consider pectic enzyme if you heated your juice, otherwise you have the potential for some pectic haze.
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Offline miker88

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2014, 06:34:33 PM »
So I tried my first batch today. Purchased the frozen apple juice concentrate and added water till I had a gravity of 1.056. Pitched a full packet of rehydrated Champaign yeast. So how long should I assume that this will take? I was going to wait a week and start takin gravity readings or should I wait longer than that.


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Offline ken.hugen

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2014, 11:15:10 PM »
Originally I wanted a tart sparkling cider. But if I end up with a drinkable wine, or some version, I will be happy. I can be a little compulsive and dive into things. I also want learn about yeast, how it reacts, etc. I tried harvesting yeast from my nut brown ale, but botched it. I was going to use that in the apple plum cider. I really appreciate all the input and encouragement! I'll keep you guys posted. I will be out of town for two weeks, can I let it ferment two weeks then rack it?


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2014, 05:56:26 AM »
Sure, two weeks then rack is fine, although it might be really dry by the time you get back, maybe.  Timing is always variable with ciders, meads, wines.  Keep it as cool as you can, low 60s if possible.
Dave

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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2014, 10:36:27 AM »
Splenda is a personal choice. I've used small amounts and thought it really improved the flavor over bone-dry cider. It doesn't add any body though like sugar does. Maltodextrin adds body, but I find the sweetness fades quickly. Lactose - mmm apple milk.
 
Spenda has been used to sweeten cider in the UK for so long that it's legally considered a 'traditional' ingredient.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2014, 12:13:29 PM »
Spenda has been used to sweeten cider in the UK for so long that it's legally considered a 'traditional' ingredient.

Eek!!  If true, man, that is unfortunate.  I tend to think they know how to make better cider in foreign countries... but after visiting Canada and tasting dozens of theirs and some imports, I've also no doubt that there are crap ciders in other countries.  It's not just an issue in 'Merica I guess.
Dave

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Offline miker88

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2014, 05:11:43 PM »
So my cider dropped from a 1.052 to 1.000 and has stayed there for about 2 days. Should I safely assume it is done and if so how much priming sugar do I add to bottle a 3 gallon batch? 

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2014, 06:18:38 PM »
Not safe yet.  Check it again in a whole 'nother week.  It might still be dropping by 1-2 points per week for a while.  My ciders usually aren't done until they hit about 0.992-0.994.  The last part of the fermentation takes the longest.  If you bottle now, you'll get champagne, but at the potential risk for bottle bombs.

When you do bottle in another week or three, prime the same way as for beer, about 2/3 cup sugar per gallon.  Takes a good month or so to carbonate usually, and it will taste bone dry.  Sorbate and sulfite at bottling time can help keep it from going to total dryness, but in my experience, the result is variable -- sometimes it helps, and sometimes not.  YMMV.
Dave

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2014, 06:21:32 PM »
Not safe yet.  Check it again in a whole 'nother week.  It might still be dropping by 1-2 points per week for a while.  My ciders usually aren't done until they hit about 0.992-0.994.  The last part of the fermentation takes the longest.  If you bottle now, you'll get champagne, but at the potential risk for bottle bombs.

When you do bottle in another week or three, prime the same way as for beer, about 2/3 cup sugar per gallon.  Takes a good month or so to carbonate usually, and it will taste bone dry.  Sorbate and sulfite at bottling time can help keep it from going to total dryness, but in my experience, the result is variable -- sometimes it helps, and sometimes not.  YMMV.
2/3 cup per gallon seems excessive doesn't it? that's like 3.3 cups per 5 gallons or slightly more than a pound.

I would go with weight if you can and aim for more like 1-1.5 ounces per gallon
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Offline miker88

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2014, 06:59:42 PM »
So if I bottle it now with no priming sugar how do you think it would end up? I like the dryness to sweetness ratio and really don't want it to dry out much more. I also use corn sugar to prime beer is that ok for cider.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2014, 07:07:56 PM »
So if I bottle it now with no priming sugar how do you think it would end up? I like the dryness to sweetness ratio and really don't want it to dry out much more. I also use corn sugar to prime beer is that ok for cider.

using priming sugar or not will not affect how dry the cider gets. bottling now means you are taking a shot in the dark on how much carbonation you will get. you can't know the actual final gravity of your cider exactly so you won't know how much carbonation it will end up with.

if you want a sweeter cider you have a couple options:

kegging - you can wait till the cider is done, dose it will a chemical to stun the yeast and then add sugar back and keep it cold.
pasteurizing - you could bottle with enough sugar to get you your carbonation and residual sweetness, monitor the batch carefully until the carbonation is just right and then pasteurize in the bottle. I have no idea how to go about that though.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: First time cider maker.
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2014, 04:43:07 AM »
Not safe yet.  Check it again in a whole 'nother week.  It might still be dropping by 1-2 points per week for a while.  My ciders usually aren't done until they hit about 0.992-0.994.  The last part of the fermentation takes the longest.  If you bottle now, you'll get champagne, but at the potential risk for bottle bombs.

When you do bottle in another week or three, prime the same way as for beer, about 2/3 cup sugar per gallon.  Takes a good month or so to carbonate usually, and it will taste bone dry.  Sorbate and sulfite at bottling time can help keep it from going to total dryness, but in my experience, the result is variable -- sometimes it helps, and sometimes not.  YMMV.
2/3 cup per gallon seems excessive doesn't it? that's like 3.3 cups per 5 gallons or slightly more than a pound.

I would go with weight if you can and aim for more like 1-1.5 ounces per gallon

Oops you are correct.  I meant to say per 5 gallons.  I would go 0.8-1 oz per gallon.

If you want to maintain some sweetness then now is the time to hit with sorbate and sulfite to stun the yeast.  Just be warned that this will also make carbonation more of a crapshoot.  It is not easy to successfully and consistently carbonate a cider.  It can either turn out flat but sweet, or dry and carbonated.  It is difficult to get one that is both sweet and carbonated because you have live yeast and simple sugars in each bottle.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 04:49:50 AM by dmtaylor »
Dave

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