Author Topic: less dry cider  (Read 3727 times)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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less dry cider
« on: December 04, 2014, 06:13:38 PM »
so cider guru's- if i want a less dry cider, say around 1.010 would you go the route of mashing some crystal and base malt at higher temps and mixing it with the apple juice to achieve the result- or something else like malto addition.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline erockrph

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 07:41:46 PM »
Most cider makers treat it more like wine - use sorbate/sulfites to arrest fermentation then backsweeten. You can use cider concentrate, sucgar, honey, etc; or you can chapitalize the initial cider to make a base cider to a higher alcohol strength then dilute down with fresh juice.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 08:02:49 PM »
so cider guru's- if i want a less dry cider, say around 1.010 would you go the route of mashing some crystal and base malt at higher temps and mixing it with the apple juice to achieve the result- or something else like malto addition.

Ken, I was thinking in terms of a cider too, but this is the apple beer you talked about making, right ?  In which case mashing higher and using some crystal would help it finish higher/sweeter. Whereas many ciders will ferment bone dry (~.998-1 ish) and need backsweetening.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 09:14:01 PM »
actually yes for the apple ale with 3 gals juice 3 gals wort. but i am also interested in the sorbate to halt and back sweeten for a straight cider next time. im sure theres some great info on this process in the forum if iI dig around. '
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

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Dort
Mead                 
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Ger'merican Blonde
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Online dmtaylor

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 09:15:25 PM »
so cider guru's- if i want a less dry cider, say around 1.010 would you go the route of mashing some crystal and base malt at higher temps and mixing it with the apple juice to achieve the result- or something else like malto addition.

Hell no, I wouldn't add malt unless you want to make a graff, and then I'd add hops, too.

Secrets to sweet cider:

1) Yeast selection.  Nottingham and Scottish ale yeasts (WLP028/1728) make sweet tasty ciders.  Wine yeasts make very dry cider.

2) Ferment cool in the 50s and rack about once per week for the first month.

3) No need to add any yeast nutrients, they'll only increase fermentation rigor and theoretically reduce final gravity.  I've brewed about a dozen batches of cider in the past couple of years with no yeast nutrients and come across no ill effects and higher final gravities.

4) No need for sorbate/sulfites either in my experience.  Use ale yeasts above and your ciders will turn out sweeter.  But not US-05, that makes a very dry cider.

Works for me.  I'm making some pretty dang good ciders this season.  Five batches with four different yeasts, and they all taste completely different.  Some sweet, one bone dry, many in between, all delicious.

Cheers.
Dave

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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 10:03:50 PM »
so cider guru's- if i want a less dry cider, say around 1.010 would you go the route of mashing some crystal and base malt at higher temps and mixing it with the apple juice to achieve the result- or something else like malto addition.

Hell no, I wouldn't add malt unless you want to make a graff, and then I'd add hops, too.

Secrets to sweet cider:

1) Yeast selection.  Nottingham and Scottish ale yeasts (WLP028/1728) make sweet tasty ciders.  Wine yeasts make very dry cider.

2) Ferment cool in the 50s and rack about once per week for the first month.

3) No need to add any yeast nutrients, they'll only increase fermentation rigor and theoretically reduce final gravity.  I've brewed about a dozen batches of cider in the past couple of years with no yeast nutrients and come across no ill effects and higher final gravities.

4) No need for sorbate/sulfites either in my experience.  Use ale yeasts above and your ciders will turn out sweeter.  But not US-05, that makes a very dry cider.

Works for me.  I'm making some pretty dang good ciders this season.  Five batches with four different yeasts, and they all taste completely different.  Some sweet, one bone dry, many in between, all delicious.

Cheers.

questions- when you say sweet, what FG are we talking about.
rack every week?
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
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Ger'merican Blonde
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 10:30:05 PM »
Personally, for cider I like to ferment dry, use sorbate/sulfite, then backsweeten to ~ 1.006-1.008 most of the time, using apple juice concentrate . But Dave is right that many non 1056 ale yeasts will leave the cider a bit sweeter. It takes a little experimenting to figure out just what you like, but there are lots of people here to talk you through it.

EDIT -  I use malic acid when necessary to add acidity to the cider too. Some juices are 'one note sweet' to me and need some acidity, where other ones like the juice/cider I used recently are pretty tart and probably will have plenty of acidity.

EDIT2 - Compared to beer, making cider is easy !
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 01:40:41 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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less dry cider
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2014, 12:09:34 AM »
I like the idea of notti as the yeast. My experience with it suggests it will still finish somewhat dry and I will need to back sweeten to get back to 1.008. Unless it's behaves differently with apple juice......Dave says rack weekly...is this necessary?

Edit: Dave I don't know the correct classification for my Maris malt apple ale, but at 3 gals juice and 2.5 gal malt, it finished at 1.004 and it really has a nice taste of fresh apples. No hops used. It has a unique character for sure and so far my friends says it's quite tasty. I used s-04.

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« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 12:14:44 AM by wort-h.o.g. »
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2014, 12:20:48 AM »
I like the idea of notti as the yeast. My experience with it suggests it will still finish somewhat dry and I will need to back sweeten to get back to 1.008. Unless it's behaves differently with apple juice......Dave says rack weekly...is this necessary?


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Dave's was a list of things to do to get a sweeter cider by using the right yeast and fermentation management to get there. I've done it - works fine.  The way I've been making cider for a while is to leave in primary for over month, let it ferment out, rack to secondary, and eventually backsweeten and acidify to my tastes, as mentioned. Lots of approaches and room to experiment !
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2014, 12:22:51 AM »
Ok makes sense now. I'm likely to follow the less complicated path, so let it sit for a month and backsweeten as needed.


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Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Online dmtaylor

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 04:41:33 AM »
questions- when you say sweet, what FG are we talking about.
rack every week?

This year most of my ciders finished between 1.005 and 1.010 with my methods above.  The US-05 one though is bone dry in the 0.990s.

Yes, rack often.  I prefer this over backsweetening and sorbating, where results have been more of a crapshoot.  By removing a lot of the yeast, it's a way to preserve natural sweetness from the apples.  And then if you age for a good 3-6 months (like I do), the yeast is further put to sleep and the cider is naturally stable without adding all kinds of chemicals.  Just a different way of doing things that works well for me.

I'm disappointed with my apple ale this year.  I used the wrong yeast.  Too tart and too dry.  Took 6 weeks to ferment.  Ugh.  Next time I'll use Notty.

I've tried S-04 in the past and was not impressed.  However I hear otherwise from many other cider people, so I might need to give it another try next year.  (I only make cider (and apple ale) in October when it's fresh.)
Dave

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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2014, 01:37:53 PM »
I like the idea of notti as the yeast. My experience with it suggests it will still finish somewhat dry and I will need to back sweeten to get back to 1.008. Unless it's behaves differently with apple juice......Dave says rack weekly...is this necessary?

Edit: Dave I don't know the correct classification for my Maris malt apple ale, but at 3 gals juice and 2.5 gal malt, it finished at 1.004 and it really has a nice taste of fresh apples. No hops used. It has a unique character for sure and so far my friends says it's quite tasty. I used s-04.

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I'm using Nottingham almost exclusively for all my ciders and they ferment down close to 1.000.  I will then stabilize and backsweeten as needed.  I will rack off once when fermentation is complete, then once more when I stabilize and backsweeten before kegging.  This method also does well for me in competition.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 04:18:09 PM »
I don't doubt that Dave's technique makes some fantastic ciders. For me, I prefer my cider a little bit sweeter (1.012-1.015). I force carbonate mine, so I think the extra bit of sweetness balances the carbonic bite. I prefer to add sugar to the initial ferment to raise the gravity and let it dry out. Then I sweeten with enough fresh juice to get in the 6% ABV range (give or take) and to get the sweetness level I like. But I grew up on Woodchuck, so that's the type of cider I prefer to drink.

As far as yeast nutrient is concerned, I find that you get a faster ferment with less sulfur if you use it. I also add pectic enzyme prior to pitching my yeast, which gets you clear cider pretty quickly. I've had cider go from orchard to keg in under 3 weeks. After about a week in the keg the cider is usually brilliantly clear as the last of the haze drops out.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2014, 04:32:23 PM »
I don't doubt that Dave's technique makes some fantastic ciders. For me, I prefer my cider a little bit sweeter (1.012-1.015). I force carbonate mine, so I think the extra bit of sweetness balances the carbonic bite. I prefer to add sugar to the initial ferment to raise the gravity and let it dry out. Then I sweeten with enough fresh juice to get in the 6% ABV range (give or take) and to get the sweetness level I like. But I grew up on Woodchuck, so that's the type of cider I prefer to drink.

As far as yeast nutrient is concerned, I find that you get a faster ferment with less sulfur if you use it. I also add pectic enzyme prior to pitching my yeast, which gets you clear cider pretty quickly. I've had cider go from orchard to keg in under 3 weeks. After about a week in the keg the cider is usually brilliantly clear as the last of the haze drops out.

so i actually want to give something like this a try. do you happen to have your detail on the recipe and schedule with additions that you would share?
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: less dry cider
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2014, 04:37:55 PM »
I don't doubt that Dave's technique makes some fantastic ciders. For me, I prefer my cider a little bit sweeter (1.012-1.015). I force carbonate mine, so I think the extra bit of sweetness balances the carbonic bite. I prefer to add sugar to the initial ferment to raise the gravity and let it dry out. Then I sweeten with enough fresh juice to get in the 6% ABV range (give or take) and to get the sweetness level I like. But I grew up on Woodchuck, so that's the type of cider I prefer to drink.

As far as yeast nutrient is concerned, I find that you get a faster ferment with less sulfur if you use it. I also add pectic enzyme prior to pitching my yeast, which gets you clear cider pretty quickly. I've had cider go from orchard to keg in under 3 weeks. After about a week in the keg the cider is usually brilliantly clear as the last of the haze drops out.

so i actually want to give something like this a try. do you happen to have your detail on the recipe and schedule with additions that you would share?

This is a pretty decent overview, Ken. It'll get you started and make a pretty good cider.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/cider.pdf
Jon H.