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Old 01-21-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
wdwalter
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Default Ale Yeast for Cider

Posted this in the Cider Forum but looks like there's only one person per week that looks at that.

Alright, going for first cider attemp here and would really appreciate some input before I make a catostrophic mistake. First off, I'm using Tree-Top apple juice (the 3 apple blend type). No preservatives, just pasteurized. I am also using White Labs Dry English Ale yeast. Now, I am planning on making a starter, as I do for beer. Would you all recommend using DME, just like beer, or some other type of fermentable sugar? After I add my juice to my sanitized carboy I am going to add some yeast nutrient. Is there anything else thats common to add at this point? After fermentation, I am going to kill the yeast with pottasium sorbate. Then to get a little sweetness, I am going to add some frozen apple juice concentrate. My plan is to keg and force carb to low carbination.

Thanks for any help!

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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Yeast Nutrient and DAP. Pectic enzyme for clarity.

I like to add candi sugar or honey myself, I add a pound or so.

For lalvin wine yeasts 71-b & D-47 offer the most interesting results, rc212 & ec-1118 I find lacking character.

wyeast 3724 & 3787 generates a wow factor for everyone who tries my ciders when fermented with that yeast. Give those a try.

Honey or brown sugar give nice results as a back sweetner.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:37 AM   #3
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You can use apple juice for the starter. I usually just use some slurry from a beer; real handy and cheap.

I've never used nutrient, and been fine. Maybe I have a lot of dead cells in the slurry that act as nutrient.

That juice is clear juice? If so, you don't need any Pectic Enzyme.

Check he gravity of the juice. I like to run my ciders at 1.060. I often find I have to add about 4 ozs of table sugar to get there ... sometimes not (the gravity in juice will vary a lot, and don't go by the sugars claimed on the label).

1.060 will give you about 8.5% abv.

I always use ale yeasts for my ciders. I think it leaves more apple flavor. I have found Brett and Belgian yeasts tend to give it more flavor, but an English yeast should do fine.

Try it before you sorbate and sweeten. You might like it that way - I do.

Good luck.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
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The English Ale yeast will work just fine. As mentioned above you could build the starter with apple juice or DME. Either will work very well. Using ale yeast for cider will often leave a little residual sweetness depending on attenuation, so taste it before you back sweeten.
Your plan sounds pretty solid to me, though.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:07 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I feel good about this batch. I'll probably add some table sugar to boost the og a bit.

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