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Old 11-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
thisgoestoeleven
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Default 3 weeks for a cider?

I got married this summer, and we finally moved into a decent-sized place from our crappy studio, and so we're having Christmas with our families at our place for the first time. I want to have something on tap for it, but between moving, work, etc I haven't had enough time to get my brewing stuff set up for the new kitchen (longer tubing for wort chiller now that the stove's no longer next to the sink, making sure the stove in the new place can handle a full volume boil, etc), so that leaves cider. The trouble is, I've heard that ciders take much longer than most beers to be ready to drink. The recipe I was planning was as follows:

5gal apple cider (from a local orchard)
1# brown sugar
(not sure what yeast, something simple and clean like US-05)

Primary for 3 weeks
Keg and force carb for ~3 days
Tap Christmas day

Will this produce drinkable, good-tasting cider, or am I setting myself up for failure with only 3 weeks of fermentation?

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Old 11-24-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by thisgoestoeleven View Post


Will this produce drinkable, good-tasting cider, or am I setting myself up for failure with only 3 weeks of fermentation?
Maybe.

I'd probably leave out the brown sugar (partly because it will raise the OG and take longer to finish, but partly because I hate the way fermented brown sugar tastes).

I'd probably use nottingham or S04 yeast, as it will flocculate faster and clear the cider faster.

I made two ciders this year. One was fermented out and clear in 5 days, but still dropping sediment for another week or so. One still isn't clear (but tastes better). I used S04 with both of them.

So it's hard to predict exactly, as it depends on the juice, the fermentation health, the yeast, the temperature, etc.

When you keg it, you can sweeten to taste with brown sugar if you wish. Cider can be very dry and tart, which I like, but if people like sweeter drinks you can always sweeten then. If you keep the keg cold, it won't have a chance to ferment out.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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What's a good fermentation temp for ciders? The house itself is pretty warm, but we've also got an unheated back room that hangs out around 55, so I've actually got some modicum of temperature control (whereas our old apartment was tiny and had 3 big west-facing windows, which made the whole place sit around 75 or so all summer. Great for belgians though)

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Old 11-24-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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The fermentation temp will depend on the yeast that you use.

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