Author Topic: Cider questions  (Read 569 times)

Offline AlvinTostig

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Cider questions
« on: October 12, 2017, 09:56:54 AM »
Going to try making cider for the first time and have a few situation specific questions to throw at the community. All of my 6.5 gallon fermenters are currently filled with other recipes so I'll be using a 5 gal carboy that I normally use as a secondary vessel. I do not own a blow off tube so my first concern is how much must (not sure what the term is for cider) can I put into the vessel and still have enough headspace for foam? What kind of yeast have you guys used and what were your experiences with them? I'm shooting for a middle balance of sweet and dry. last question for now, what is a good priming sugar ratio for carbing?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 10:10:29 AM »
Not a lot of foam on cider, fermenting or in the glass.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 03:38:19 AM »
Cider is not beer.  The two are very different.  Cider is closer to wine in character.  In fact in most cases it will taste more like champagne at the end than anything anywhere close to Woodchuck or Angry Orchard or whatever, which are like fake versions of cider with apple concentrate and sorbate to keep them super sweet.  Real cider is not like the commercial garbage.  It's more like wine.

Cider usually just fizzes.  It will probably not generate any krausen.  You will certainly not need a blow off though a couple inches of head space is not a bad idea in primary.  In secondary (if you rack, which I *do* recommend), zero head space is actually recommended, to prevent oxidation.

It will also take a long time to complete fermentation.  Figure 4-6 weeks.

Cote des Blancs is the best cider yeast.  It produces its own apple and pear esters that enhance the cider.  I would consider it semi-dry.  Most yeasts will ferment down to about 0.992-0.994.  CdB on the other hand quits at about 0.997-1.000.  Still dry, but not as dry as others.

US-05 is another good cider yeast.  However it does give a slight ale-like flavor to the cider.  It performs similar to CdB actually.  I don't recall where it will finish.

You can prime the same way as beer.  It just takes longer.  Give it a whole month or two before expecting any carbonation.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 08:26:58 AM »
"More like wine" in what sense?  In the fermentation?  Flavor-wise, I find it comes out very tart which is not at all what I look for in wine.

When I've made cider, I get about an inch of gunk on top so there is something like a krausen, just not nearly as much as with beer.

As for yeast, I thought Nottingham made the best cider out of the yeasts I tried.  I don't recall if I used Cote de Blanc.  I know I used a wine yeast and a champagne yeast and maybe also US-05.

Cider is not my thing.  Which is sad to learn after you ferment out about 20 gallons or so.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 08:37:43 AM »
"More like wine" in what sense?  In the fermentation?  Flavor-wise, I find it comes out very tart which is not at all what I look for in wine.

When I've made cider, I get about an inch of gunk on top so there is something like a krausen, just not nearly as much as with beer.

As for yeast, I thought Nottingham made the best cider out of the yeasts I tried.  I don't recall if I used Cote de Blanc.  I know I used a wine yeast and a champagne yeast and maybe also US-05.

Cider is not my thing.  Which is sad to learn after you ferment out about 20 gallons or so.

The ferment, especially, is closer to wine, but the flavor as well.  It might be beery in alcoholic strength, but that's where any similarity to beer ends flavorwise.  Tartness is a matter of whether and how we choose to deal with the malic acid and the apples that go in.

Notty makes a decent cider, but can also give a distinct peachy flavor, which personally I don't want in my cider.

Champagne yeast is good but extremely dry, about 0.992 guaranteed bone dryness.

I do like the sweet mead yeast in a cider, turns out pretty good.

I haven't used any of the so-called "cider yeasts" from any manufacturer, but based on everything I've heard, any yeast that says it's a "cider yeast" is pretty much garbage and I would NOT recommend.  Funny ain't it.  Kind of like WLP820, the worst lager yeast on the planet.

EDIT: Oh, and, by the way.... Belgian yeasts and saison yeasts will NOT make the cider taste "Belgian" or spicy or funky in any way.  They will work just fine and make good cider, but don't expect them to give the phenols or esters that they do in beer.  Once again, cider is not beer.  The yeasts can't make all those same flavors in cider because the sugars and nutrients are all totally different.

Cider is my thing.  :)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 08:41:42 AM by dmtaylor »
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Offline denny

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 08:51:56 AM »
Through experimentation I've found Wyeast 1450 to make a great cider.

Here's some cider info....https://www.experimentalbrew.com/podcast/brew-files-episode-19-bad-apple
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Offline AlvinTostig

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 09:27:51 AM »
I've seen some people saturate their starter with as much sugar as they can possibly dissolve. I know extra sugar will increase abv, could it also balance the sweet and dryness or is that mostly the work of the yeast?

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 09:33:41 AM »
Sugar in the starter?  I don't see how that would help.  You want healthy yeast from a starter, not high alcohol.

As far as ciders, the simple sugars typically ferment out leaving you with the low FG and a tart cider.  You can backsweeten, but need to add sorbate or pasteurize somehow to kill the yeast or it will keep eating the sugar.

Keep adding sugar, and you'll wind up with AppleJack or something like that.

I understand, though I've never done it, that there are also ways to stop fermentation early, leaving the cider sweeter.  But these are not necessarily fool proof.
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Offline denny

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 10:16:13 AM »
I've seen some people saturate their starter with as much sugar as they can possibly dissolve. I know extra sugar will increase abv, could it also balance the sweet and dryness or is that mostly the work of the yeast?

IME, it's mainly the yeast.  That's why I've gone to using 1450.
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Offline AnimalChin

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 11:50:19 AM »
I was going to start a thread for my question but this seems like a good thread to post it. Hope that's ok. You guys have talked about types of yeast to use for cider. I currently have a Hefeweizen (using WLP Hefe IV yeast) and an IPA (using Wyeast London Ale III 1318) fermenting. Could I use the yeast cake from either of those batches to make a cider? I'd probably "wash" the yeast to eliminate some of the beer before re-pitching. I have not read anyone using these yeasts so I'm guessing it's not a good idea but figured I'd try it if it doesn't sound too crazy. Thanks!

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 11:52:13 AM »
I was going to start a thread for my question but this seems like a good thread to post it. Hope that's ok. You guys have talked about types of yeast to use for cider. I currently have a Hefeweizen (using WLP Hefe IV yeast) and an IPA (using Wyeast London Ale III 1318) fermenting. Could I use the yeast cake from either of those batches to make a cider? I'd probably "wash" the yeast to eliminate some of the beer before re-pitching. I have not read anyone using these yeasts so I'm guessing it's not a good idea but figured I'd try it if it doesn't sound too crazy. Thanks!

While I have not tried those two yeasts, I believe either one of those should work fine in a cider.  The 1318 especially I think *should* be well suited to cider, as most English yeasts are.
Dave

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Offline denny

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 11:56:09 AM »
I was going to start a thread for my question but this seems like a good thread to post it. Hope that's ok. You guys have talked about types of yeast to use for cider. I currently have a Hefeweizen (using WLP Hefe IV yeast) and an IPA (using Wyeast London Ale III 1318) fermenting. Could I use the yeast cake from either of those batches to make a cider? I'd probably "wash" the yeast to eliminate some of the beer before re-pitching. I have not read anyone using these yeasts so I'm guessing it's not a good idea but figured I'd try it if it doesn't sound too crazy. Thanks!

You can use about any yeast for cider.  You may not get much of the yeast's character, but they will likely make fine cider.
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Offline AnimalChin

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 12:11:44 PM »
dmtaylor and denny, thanks! I'll give one of them a whirl! I'll try the 1318.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Cider questions
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2017, 06:18:50 AM »
Well, a guy I know in MI who does pretty good with cider likes Cote des Blancs and Premier Cuvée.

Ken Schramm had a nice little cyser flight at Schramm’s Mead. It was the same must fermented four ways.

Natural fermentation had the most apple character, was cider like.
71B was the most like mead, the honey came through and a sweet-ish finish.
1056 was the most beer like, dry finish.
WLP-727 Steinberg-Giesenheim was the most wine like, it reminded us of a Rheingau Riesling with that characteristic minerally finish.
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