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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > 1 year old cider???
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default 1 year old cider???

Hey all,

After years of brewing beer I had my hand at hard cider via the press. One year later my cider is still in my primary (in a cool room). I've neglected to take the next step and bottle it. Right now, it looks very clear (with some natural sediment on the bottom), but has a floating (circular) island of sediment on the top. I assume that this is a colony of some sort. Yeast? Botulism? Need for worry?

Do you think it is still safe to bottle and drink? Should I throw in a campden tablet for good measure? Should I pour it down the drain??

Any info would be great! Thank you much.

Dave

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Old 12-05-2009, 11:24 PM   #2
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Hey all,

After years of brewing beer I had my hand at hard cider via the press. One year later my cider is still in my primary (in a cool room). I've neglected to take the next step and bottle it. Right now, it looks very clear (with some natural sediment on the bottom), but has a floating (circular) island of sediment on the top. I assume that this is a colony of some sort. Yeast? Botulism? Need for worry?

Do you think it is still safe to bottle and drink? Should I throw in a campden tablet for good measure? Should I pour it down the drain??

Any info would be great! Thank you much.

Dave
Don't pour it down the drain

If it is clear, then you're in a great position. You can crush 1 campden tablet per gallon and mix it in, then let it sit for another couple weeks, then bottle, or just go ahead and do it now. If I add campden tablets to mine, often I'll see bits of white floating at the top of the wine/cider that hasn't dissolved yet. No need to worry. Draw off a sample and if it tastes non-offensive, then go ahead and bottle/age/drink. If it tastes like vinegar, then cook with it
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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So...you left it on it's lees for a year and you're asking if it's still good? Do me a favor. Rack off about a pint, drink it, come back and tell us if it's still good.

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:29 AM   #4
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Just had a glass. Didn't taste hideous. Quite dry, a little watery, but good. Still wondering a couple of things:
1. If I wanted to carbonate it, could I just add a cup of honey (I'm working with 5 gallons) when I bottle? Or should I keep it still? I'll defer to other's experience/taste here. Again, this is my first attempt at cider.
2. Should I throw some campden tablets in for good measure, even though I'm not dead from botulism three hours after the taste test? Should I even be worrying about botulism with cider??

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:44 AM   #5
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Bye the way. The cider has been in my secondary (carboy) for a year, NOT my primary as I mentioned above. My mistake. Does this change any of the above comments in reply to my first thread?

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:53 AM   #6
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Bye the way. The cider has been in my secondary (carboy) for a year, NOT my primary as I mentioned above. My mistake. Does this change any of the above comments in reply to my first thread?
as i understand it, if you fermented properly and followed very thorough sanitizing practices, than letting it sit unexposed to elements or temp fluctuations than it should be safe to bottle, drink, etc. if it were me i'd prep some priming solution (corn sugar, honey, whatever) and bottle the stuff asap. sounds properly aged IMO, but i'm not there to know for sure.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:03 AM   #7
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as i understand it, if you fermented properly and followed very thorough sanitizing practices, than letting it sit unexposed to elements or temp fluctuations than it should be safe to bottle, drink, etc. if it were me i'd prep some priming solution (corn sugar, honey, whatever) and bottle the stuff asap. sounds properly aged IMO, but i'm not there to know for sure.
OK. More questions are coming as I read more posts (the danger of forums, I know). Nonetheless, this is my first cider and I'm feeling shameless.

A year back when I was making the cider I added campden tablets and then the yeast (2 days later) to the freshly pressed cider and then racked it into my secondary after 10 days or so. I DID NOT add any sugar/sweetner at any point in the process. Did I make a mistake in not adding sugar? Or do I just have a dry cider?

Thanks for helping a beginner.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:04 AM   #8
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The fact that it has been in a secondary instead of the primary makes a huge difference. It is the reason why you were able to drink the cider.

Sugar increases the alcohol content of the cider. You did nothing wrong by not adding any.

If you want to carbonate, you might want to consider pitching some more yeast when you add your sugar/honey/DME/coopers. I would suggest just going to your local home brew store (LHBS) and asking for some priming sugar. You can buy it pre-measured and just toss it in.

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Old 12-07-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
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I just bottled 5 gallons of plain hard cider. This was made from cider that I pressed, added campden tablets, then cider yeast 48 hours after. The only thing I did different from you was I racked it off the yeast cake at one week and added malolactic enzyme, and let it ferment for another week. I then racked it to the secondary for about 30 days. I crash chilled it then racked off two cups of the cider and heated it up and disolved one pound of plain sugar to backsweeten it just a bit. Once that cooled down, I kegged and force carbed it. Tastes great.

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Old 12-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #10
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I make apple wine (12 gallons) every year. My wine is higher in alcohol than typical ciders are, but as long as you kept O2 exposure down and you add some potassium metabisulphite to the cider, you should be ok. One thing I do with my wines during the clearing stage is to shake the carboy back and forth for several minutes, releasing trapped CO2 and loosening any clinging matter from the sides of the carboy and floating on the top layer of the wine.

What you have on top, may just be a layer of trapped dead yeast cells floating due to the amount of CO2 in the cider. Try using a turkey baster or wine thief to remove the floating matter as best you can, then shake up the carboy to see if you have trapped CO2 remaining. After that, allow it to re-settle and clear, then bottle or keg your cider.

After such a long period of time in the carboy, the need for additional yeast to carbonate may be required, if you intend on a carbonated beverage.

Salute!

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