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Old 07-20-2007, 02:06 AM   #1
ModlrMike
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Default 1st cider attempt

My wife can't drink beer, but loves cider. I was thinking of making a blueberry apple cider for her because we have lots of last year's berries left in the freezer. Having never made cider before, I was thinking of making a small experimental batch of about 1 gal (I have a 5 litre jug to use as a primary). I intend to use 1 gal cider and add 1 can of frozen juice concentrate. After I rack to secondary, I will add the thawed berries. Conversely, I could add the berries in the primary. So, my questions are:

Is one pound per gallon enough berries? Should I use more or less?
Do I need to use two stage fermentation?
My wife likes a sweet cider. Can I use an ale yeast instead of a wine yeast?

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Old 07-20-2007, 03:54 AM   #2
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my opinion:

no, try 2 lbs, more if you want
yes, use berries in secondary, rack again after a month, then age
yes, you can use ale yeast

if you are using a 5L fermentor, take a cup of cider out of the jug before you start, to make sure you have enough headspace (you are adding liquid as concentrate).
This will be great by Xmas.

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Old 07-20-2007, 04:07 AM   #3
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If you are using berries, you will want a two stage fermentation. Add the berries to secondary. Note though, you will lose a lot of volume- a lot will be absorbed into the berries.

1 to 2 lbs per gallon would be fine.

I'm still working on making a good cider. As of yet, I'm still not there. Presently, I am playing with Malolactic bacteria in an attempt to produce a less bitter/acidic cider.

Ale yeast is fine. I just finished a couple batches with WLP300 Hefeweizen yeast.

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Old 11-27-2007, 01:38 AM   #4
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Well, we decided to finish the cider today. It spent three months in bulk storage, and today we back sweetened it with 1 can of raspberry/kiwi concentrate and 1/4 cup of corn sugar. Damn... it tastes good, even as a still cider. I can't wait to see what happens when I carbonate it. I may up the raspberry flavour by adding a more fruit concentrate. I can buy some fruit syrup at a german deli here, and that's what I'll probably use. The missus sure likes it. I figure the ABV is probably between 12 and 15%, but I didn't do any tests during the brewing process. I will probably ramp this up to three gallons for next year.

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On Tap: Cooper's European Lager
On Tap: Smoked Porter
Carboy 1: Don't Kill Kenny Irish Red
Carboy 2: empty
Carboy 3: empty
Aging: Welch's White - 1 gal
Aging: Cranberry/black cherry - 1 gal
Aging: JOAM - 1 gal

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