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Old 02-21-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
ztexz
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Default Newb question about Hard Cider

Hi folks, I have what is probably a very stupid question, so please forgive me.

During the fall, SWMBO and I had an apple cider that wasn't malted -- in other words, it was more like a thick wine (kind of like mead), not very much carbonation, and came in basically a wine bottle. We loved it. This is what we had (please scroll down to "North Carolina Hard Ciders): http://www.mcritchiewine.com/Pages/Wines.html

What we aren't real fond of are what I always thought of as cider (Woodchuck, Strongbow, etc.).

I've been ordered to make some of the cider that we had, but looking through these recipes, I'm not sure what it is I'm looking at -- whether it's the kind like what we are shooting for, or whether I'd end up making a Strongbow clone.

Would someone mind pointing me in the right direction? Many, many thanks for the assist!

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Old 02-21-2013, 09:09 PM   #2
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Hi folks, I have what is probably a very stupid question, so please forgive me.

During the fall, SWMBO and I had an apple cider that wasn't malted -- in other words, it was more like a thick wine (kind of like mead), not very much carbonation, and came in basically a wine bottle. We loved it. This is what we had (please scroll down to "North Carolina Hard Ciders): http://www.mcritchiewine.com/Pages/Wines.html

What we aren't real fond of are what I always thought of as cider (Woodchuck, Strongbow, etc.).

I've been ordered to make some of the cider that we had, but looking through these recipes, I'm not sure what it is I'm looking at -- whether it's the kind like what we are shooting for, or whether I'd end up making a Strongbow clone.

Would someone mind pointing me in the right direction? Many, many thanks for the assist!
The fact you said thick wine leads me to believe it had some residual sugar, making it a little sweet. The semi sweet says it has a brix of 1.5 which means you will have to back-sweeten a little.

Here's the tricky part...if you want it sweet but carbonated you will have to ferment dry and either sweeten with sweetner or some non fermentable sugar then bottle condition...or sorbate it, backsweeten with sugar and force carbonate it...or back-sweeten with sugar, bottle, wait for it to carb a bit, then heat pasteurize.

If you like it dry it is considerably simpler, just ferment dry then prime and bottle...but that won't give it a weighty thick mouth feel like a sweeter cider, and if you don't like strongbow you certainly won't like the sourness of unsweetened dry cider.

Anyway use this recipe:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-...felwein-14860/
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:28 AM   #3
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Thanks very much, my friend -- that's exactly what I needed to know. Happy brewing...and happier drinking!

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Old 02-22-2013, 01:24 AM   #4
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Thanks very much, my friend -- that's exactly what I needed to know. Happy brewing...and happier drinking!
My pleasure, I'l tell ya, cider has to be one of the easiest and more enjoyable things to ferment. It's very versatile and can be made fast or slow, cheap or expensive.

But I must say I don't mind the taste of completely dry cider but most people are use to drinking sickly sweet commercial cider and can't stand my sour sugarless cider. If you back sweeten with a little apple juice or sugar, just enough to take the edge off it can really make a difference.

Keep your eye on sales, sometimes the grocery store will apple juice for 88 cents a liter. Grab 20 bottles, a bag of sugar and a pack of EC1118 and you are off to the races.
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