Author Topic: Crashing a cider  (Read 1451 times)

Offline Stevie

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Crashing a cider
« on: April 15, 2016, 02:57:45 PM »
I have a cider going for my wife and she is not into dry 7.5-8% ciders. Is hitting it with campden and crashing at ~80% ADF a bad idea? Is the best/only choice to let it go down to <1 and back sweeten with juice to raise the sweetness and lower the ABV?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 02:59:33 PM by Stevie »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 03:17:18 PM »
My recommendations:

When it tastes good, hit it with gelatin to remove ~90% of the yeast.  Wait 48 hours, rack it off the gelatin and yeast, then add sorbate and Campden in the recommended amounts to slow down fermentation even more.  These chemicals don't kill yeast but they injure the yeast pretty badly.  From there you can add your backsweetening (if any), and keg or bottle as normal.  If you're bottling, carefully monitor for carbonation by popping a bottle at least once a week, and as soon as you detect any fizz at all, chill all the bottles down immediately to prevent explosions.  If kegging, no worries.  In any case, keep it cold so it doesn't dry out again, because the yeast will in fact continue to work on it slowly for many months, even with sorbate and Campden in there.
Dave

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 03:20:57 PM »
So you say to let it finish before?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2016, 03:25:41 PM »
I always let it finish dry, then campden/sorbate and back sweeten. My wife likes it fairly sweet so the back sweetening knocks the abv down. But Dave's way with the gelatin sounds like a good idea too, though.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2016, 03:30:03 PM »
You don't need to let it go down to 0.992 (which it will if you let it!).  In my opinion that's not necessary.  For a semi-sweet cider (that's what I enjoy most), I halt all my cider ferments in the 1.008 to 1.013 range these days (1.010 plus or minus) using gelatin and cold.  This keeps more of the natural sugars and flavors in the cider, rather than relying too much on juice or concentrate additions for backsweetening.  I try not to use chemicals but I'd do it if I was in a hurry.  Otherwise a few months in the refrigerator has been working well for me to keep the yeast action super slow, without any chemicals.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 03:31:34 PM by dmtaylor »
Dave

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Offline pete b

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2016, 03:31:45 PM »
I'm glad my girlfriend doesn't go for all the sweet crap. She likes dry wine/mead/beer/cider and also prefers dark, high abv beers. She'll send back one of those sweet margaritas made with a mix and her favorite spirit is Islay Scotch.
There's no backsweetening at my house.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 03:35:45 PM »
I haven't backsweetened at all for the past ~dozen batches of ciders, and meads as well.  Halting fermentation does work, and at whatever point you like... 1.000, 1.005, 1.010, 1.015.... it's all good.
Dave

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2016, 03:40:19 PM »
By the way..... some of ya'll might enjoy this thread from HBT, which provides the as-bottled gravities of dozens of commercial ciders from USA and Canada.  All the best ones in my opinion fall right around 1.010 plus or minus.  The worst ones are anything 1.020 or higher...... which is like almost all of them.  :P

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=488345&page=6
Dave

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2016, 03:46:38 PM »
I figure I'll start to crash it at 1.015 figuring it will still crawl down a few points. I don't have any sorbate (campden is old stock from my pre-RO days), so I'll look into grabbing some.

I need to get a small keg so I can keep a cider an tap for her. I'm tired of pissing away $9-12 for a six pack when good juice can be had for $6-9 a gallon.

Offline pete b

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2016, 03:49:23 PM »
I haven't backsweetened at all for the past ~dozen batches of ciders, and meads as well.  Halting fermentation does work, and at whatever point you like... 1.000, 1.005, 1.010, 1.015.... it's all good.
I bet 1.005 is nice, I'll have to try it this fall.
Last fall I experimented with adding a little mini mash of crystal malt and it was real nice. Not sweet but a little softer mouthfeel.
I also made an Apple Ale based on the recipe dmtaylor posted and it was awesome. I noticed my son's fiancé drinking some god awful commercial apple beer a couple weeks ago so I'll definitely make her some of that.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 03:59:04 PM »
I figure I'll start to crash it at 1.015 figuring it will still crawl down a few points. I don't have any sorbate (campden is old stock from my pre-RO days), so I'll look into grabbing some.

Sorbate is more effective at hurting yeast than Campden.  Together they do a pretty great job, but still not 100% effective believe it or not.  Close enough for most people though.
Dave

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2016, 03:59:37 PM »
I also made an Apple Ale based on the recipe dmtaylor posted and it was awesome.

I'm glad you liked it!  :)
Dave

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2016, 04:01:17 PM »
Just looking for close enough. Continual drying is why I want some smaller kegs for her.

Offline pete b

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2016, 04:39:45 PM »
Just looking for close enough. Continual drying is why I want some smaller kegs for her.
I have one of those 1.75 gal cannonballs. It comes in handy.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Crashing a cider
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2016, 11:06:27 PM »
Dave - would degassing help to dissipate the H2S ahead of kegging?