Author Topic: cider aging  (Read 1362 times)

Offline weithman5

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cider aging
« on: January 28, 2011, 09:39:41 AM »
my oldest son will be headed for flight school in pensacola sometime late this summer. he likes the hard cider and i am going to make him some to take with him.  i plan on aging it from now until then at least.  my question is do people age this in refrigerated temperatures (this is my plan).  or does it age better when stored at warmer temps (68-72)?
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Offline denny

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 09:49:55 AM »
I age it at room temps, which is about 65 around here.
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 09:53:15 AM »
in aging, temp plays a large part. flavor changes, both melding of existing flavors & developement of new flavors, happen more quickly at warmer temps and more slowly at lower. keeping something at fridge temps and expected it to age is somewhat counterproductive or at least understand that it is a slow proposition. aging is best done at cellar temps mid-50's to mid-60's. keeping a stable temp is also important - wide temp swings are not good.

all that said, many of us don't have the luxury of a cellar and have to do the best we can. all my vintage/aging beer, mead, & cider is kept in a closet of my home - essential in the temp range of high 60's to low 70's you mentioned.

I'd opt for keeping it at the temp range you mentioned, not at low fridge temp, if you want the beverage to age. If you want it to remain much as it is, then keep it in the fridge and you'll have the least change. That said, I don't have a lot of experience with cider (though I enjoy it and have a few bottles aging).
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Offline weithman5

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 09:58:55 AM »
thanks guys.
i thought it would probably do better a little warmer than i had planned. this frees up room for more lagering.
have a good weekend
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Offline euge

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2011, 01:57:19 AM »
Just tapped a chilled keg tonight. BOD 8/18/09 and a 1.003 FG. More of a session cider at 5.7% ABV. Stored it in the south facing room's outer closet uncarbonated. It wasn't without well-earned merit but I backsweetened two cans of FZC apple juice and forcecarbed to around 2.5 volumes by rocking the keg. 

I don't see this cider lasting more than a couple weeks. Worth the wait? Yes. Wish I made some last year. Wah. I will have to think more long term in regards to cider.


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Offline weithman5

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 05:27:53 AM »
euge, sounds actually perfect, this first one won't be able to age that long, probably only 6 - 9 months before the little dude heads to pensacola. but it should be a good start.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 02:52:13 PM »
If it helps I had two ciders in the second round of the NHC last year (one common, one English). Neither were older than 9 months, the better of the two scored a 45 in the second round. More age might help, but you can still get good cider.

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Offline euge

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2011, 03:06:07 PM »
I've made two different 10 gallon batches of cider from the flash pasteurized jugs at walmart. I'm finding it's probably not all that good for cider making unless it sits and does whatever magic time works upon it.

When I make it from straight frozen concentrate it can be ready in as soon as six weeks. Why I have no idea.

Unfortunately I have little access to actual cider apples or juice from them. Have to make do. I'm sure other folks that do- their cider probably blows mine away.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2011, 03:29:16 PM »
I'm lucky - I volunteer at a community orchard that exclusively grows cider apples. All my juice is organic and handpressed.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2011, 04:06:41 PM »
I'm lucky - I volunteer at a community orchard that exclusively grows cider apples. All my juice is organic and handpressed.

and they have some great old cider apples on that side of the pond! I'm jealous. I have been thinking of doing a gravenstein cider, that is our local famous variety here in northern Cali. don't know how it would go in cider though.
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Offline euge

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2011, 07:06:15 PM »
I'm lucky - I volunteer at a community orchard that exclusively grows cider apples. All my juice is organic and handpressed.

and they have some great old cider apples on that side of the pond! I'm jealous. I have been thinking of doing a gravenstein cider, that is our local famous variety here in northern Cali. don't know how it would go in cider though.

That is lucky indeed!

As I understand it apples that are good for eating or making juice are also unsuitable for making cider. Proper cider apples are too tart for anything else but cider. Hasn't stopped me from trying though! ;D
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Offline alikocho

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 12:56:28 AM »
I'm lucky - I volunteer at a community orchard that exclusively grows cider apples. All my juice is organic and handpressed.

and they have some great old cider apples on that side of the pond! I'm jealous. I have been thinking of doing a gravenstein cider, that is our local famous variety here in northern Cali. don't know how it would go in cider though.

That is lucky indeed!

As I understand it apples that are good for eating or making juice are also unsuitable for making cider. Proper cider apples are too tart for anything else but cider. Hasn't stopped me from trying though! ;D

Proper cider apples are not a great pleasure to eat as a general rule, but some of them are ok in small quantities. The Kingston Black, the king of cider apples isn't actually too bad, but the Dabinett is not to my liking. There are eaters that will make a decent cider - these tend to have some tartness to them, like Cox and Spartan. Anything too sweet or one-dimensional (I'm think Honey Crisp here) isn't going to give you a great cider.

There's some art in blending varieties to get balance, but there are also some truly excellent single varietal ciders. Of course, laying your hands on some of these apples can be a challenge!
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 08:47:32 AM »
There's some art in blending varieties to get balance, but there are also some truly excellent single varietal ciders. Of course, laying your hands on some of these apples can be a challenge!

Are there any particular things to keep in mind when attempting a single varietal cider? The gravenstein has a nice tartness that makes it really good in pies and there is a good cider company here that makes a nice gravenstein cider so I am curious.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 12:31:43 PM »
There's some art in blending varieties to get balance, but there are also some truly excellent single varietal ciders. Of course, laying your hands on some of these apples can be a challenge!

Are there any particular things to keep in mind when attempting a single varietal cider? The gravenstein has a nice tartness that makes it really good in pies and there is a good cider company here that makes a nice gravenstein cider so I am curious.

In a single varietal you'd be looking for an apple that brings its own unique characteristics and can provide you with what you want. You need an apple with a high enough sugar content to give you enough to ferment to the alcoholic strength you want. For most English cider apples this tends to be an apple that will produce a cider in the range of 6-7% (there are of course exceptions in each direction). You also want some acid to balance the sugar, what one would perceive as tartness, but not too much otherwise you'll be making paintstripper.

Then comes the real thing to consider in making a varietal cider - yeast. Many commercial producers in the US use champagne yeasts to ferment cider. None of the traditional cidermakers in the UK add any yeast at all, and it really shows in the character. Use the yeast that is all over the apples, that is there because it is adapted to that apple from that location. As one local cidermaker said to me (who is listed in the BJCP style guidlines for English cider), "don't substitute terror for terroir". Press your apples and let it ride.

And finally, you shouldn't forget that you can adjust your cider after fermentation. Age, storage in oak, backsweetening (keep some of the juice in the freezer), or even blending with other years/varieties, are all things you can do.
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Offline cheba420

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Re: cider aging
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 09:14:32 AM »
I've only made a few batches of cider over the years. I'm in Phoenix so theres no apples growing around here. I've found a local market that has flash pasteurized cider in the fall. It is apparently bottled in S. Cal. I have no idea where the apples come from or what they are. I ferment it, sorbate it, back sweeten it, put it in the keg and carbonate it. Start to finish is 6-8 weeks and it tastes great. Dont know if I'm doing something wrong.....cause it tastes so right!
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