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Old 12-30-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default 1st Apple Cider Brew... Got some ?'s

So I have 5 gallons of fresh pressed, un-pasteurized apple cider from a local apple farm. 3 parts Rome, 1 part Golden Delicious, 1 part Gravenstein.
I also have 4oz of mulling spices and 3 pounds of Trader Joe's desert mesquite honey and one packet of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast (what this out-of-town brew shop told me to use because my lhbs is closed until after new years).

So my question is... I pour the juice into my primary, add the mulling spices and the honey and pitch the yeast...?

Kidding, but seriously... I read about simmering the cider but not boiling it, to kill pathogens without setting the pectins. Is that right?

So I simmer the juice for so long (?), add the honey in and stir to dissolve it, add the spices in a muslin bag for the last 20 minutes, cool it and pitch the yeast?

How much honey should I add? I don't want it being too dry (shooting for ~7%) but I don't want it to be weak cider.

I've read some recipes that have given me a general idea, but nothing concrete with the ingredients I have. I want it to be sparkling, bottle conditioned. Should I bulk age or age in the bottles after adding the priming sugar?

I've brewed 2 batches of extract beer before this (first was a german amber ale which turned out surprisingly good and the second an american wheat which wasn't quite as good) so I'm still a huge newbie. I'm thankful I found this site to help me get started on this wonderful hobby.

Thanks!

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Old 12-31-2010, 03:16 AM   #2
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If you want it sweet and sparkling you will need to back sweeten with splenda to your liking then prime with regular sugar or force carb.

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Old 12-31-2010, 03:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulTheGhost View Post
Kidding, but seriously... I read about simmering the cider but not boiling it, to kill pathogens without setting the pectins. Is that right?

So I simmer the juice for so long (?), add the honey in and stir to dissolve it, add the spices in a muslin bag for the last 20 minutes, cool it and pitch the yeast?
keep the apples right at 170-175 degrees for minimum 10 minutes just to kill the bacteria. then proceed with the spices
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:47 AM   #4
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Would it be better to backsweeten with splenda, or more fresh cider?
3/4 cup corn sugar? or 1 cup corn sugar?
The last two beers I made used 3/4 cup and even after a month they still aren't carbonated as much as most microbrews I've had. But then again... I don't want to blow any lids.

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keep the apples right at 170-175 degrees for minimum 10 minutes just to kill the bacteria. then proceed with the spices
Thanks, lumpher. I'll do a 15 min simmer.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:38 PM   #5
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Personally, I'd skip the heating all together. If the press you used is sanitary, the chances of picking up a bug is very small. I'd also replace the champagne yeast with an ale or wheat yeast, which will leave you with more residual sugar, although if your lhbs is closed, you may not have that option

Rome and gravensteins have great natural flavor. it would be a shame to let these ferment all the way dry and then backsweeten with splenda, but its up to you. Romes have a lot of pectin though - they are an applesauce apple. My experience that that Romes take a lot longer to clear even with cold crashing, but they will clear. Also taste great cloudy.

As for honey, it depends on starting sg and personal taste. I use 3lbs in the beginning of the season when sgs are running around 1.050 and cut back to 2lbs later in the season as apples get sweeter and sgs rise to 1.060.

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Old 01-01-2011, 02:58 AM   #6
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Romes have a lot of pectin though - they are an applesauce apple. My experience that that Romes take a lot longer to clear even with cold crashing, but they will clear. Also taste great cloudy.
that's why you want to watch out about going over 175 or so. you get apples much hotter, it releases the pectin, and it'll never clear.
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