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Old 03-20-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
sashurlow
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Default 2-3 week cider

I am normally a go very slow for a good cider kinda person. But the concept of a 2-3 week cider has me curious. I am half way through an experiment. I started with a gallon of apple juice from concentrate with a SG of 1.03-1.035 (long story why I am estimating the final figure). 3 cans of concentrate and 8 cans of water. s-04 yeast started in my usual starter (I boil bread yeast and table sugar, let that cool down, put it in a mason jar with the yeast packet and let it sit for 2 days). I bottled today after 8 days. The SG was 1.005. I got 8 glass bottles and one plastic bottle I use to tell how carbonated it is. This is how many bottles I normally get off of a gallon.
The taste results so far are pretty bad. I am trying very hard not to be biased against the concept of a quick brew, but the only way I can describe the taste is "young".
I expect the carbing to be done in a week. I'm hoping it tastes better than today. Being a science minded person, I'm trying REAL hard right now to say: "We told you so. If you want good cider you gotta wait a couple months". But I'm not saying that yet...



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Old 03-21-2012, 01:16 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good experiment, and would be thrilled if you can get it to work. I totally agree with what you said as I am the same way.

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I am normally a go very slow for a good cider kinda person. But the concept of a 2-3 week cider has me curious.
When I make cider I use a slow yeast and brew it in a cool place so that it ages while it ferments. It may spend 2 months fermenting but at least when it is done I have somthing drinkable right away... still beter with age but not bad, young maybe I will call it adolecient cider


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Old 03-21-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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So how dramatically does the taste change with age and how long does it take to get it into a reasonable range? I guess I am trying to go for maximum "value", meaning that if the quality of the cider is x and aging 1 week gives 2x, 2 weeks 2.8x, and 3 weeks 3.0x, I would find the 2 weeks worth it but not the 3. I know that's very vague.

I started a batch on 3/10/2012 using 1 gallon Treetop apple juice, 4 tbsps brown sugar, ~3.5 tbsps apple juice concentrate, and 0.5oz raisins. O.G. was 1.060. I racked to secondary on 3/15/2012 at S.G. ~1.020 (maybe a bit early but the bubbling had died down substantially). I tasted it at this point and was unimpressed. It tasted "thin". It is still in secondary but has been dead still for days now. I am wondering how long to wait before bottling, or if I could bottle and it would age in the fridge?? Will the taste ever get much better or is it just the juice I used? I started another batch with some better juice...

Edit: I used Nottingham yeast, and the temperature in my apartment is about 75 F.

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Old 03-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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Take a look at the "5 day cider" recipe. I've done it before with fresh apple cider and it's turned out great.

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekc153 View Post
So how dramatically does the taste change with age and how long does it take to get it into a reasonable range? I guess I am trying to go for maximum "value", meaning that if the quality of the cider is x and aging 1 week gives 2x, 2 weeks 2.8x, and 3 weeks 3.0x, I would find the 2 weeks worth it but not the 3. I know that's very vague.
basic aging guidelines I follow for cider are:

1. the higher ABV the longer it needs to age

2. The thinner the juice the longer it needs to age, in other words if I make a store bought compared to a fresh pressed the fresh pressed is ready sooner, also I have found ciders that use more apple age quicker. I just did a 1 gallon batch with 4 cans of concentrate. It only takes 2.5 cans to make 1 gallon of juice per the instructions. The extra 1.5 cans gave me the higher ABV I was after and tons more flavor which translated to less aging time

3. To a point the cooler it is where it is being aged the longer it needs to age. With that said I would not age any cider at 70º or above

4. Bottle pasteurizing helps age the cider faster

5. the faster it fermented the longer it needs to age

6. co2 helps bring out the apple flavor so less aging is needed.

7. no matter what 3 weeks to 1 month in the bottles as a minimum is a good idea IMHO
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
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I think your post is really a matter of personal taste. Some people simply like that high alcohol content flavor. Others simply like the appliness. Me personally I like tasting my brew over time and the thrill for me is seeing how much it changes. Letting friends get loaded at my house is nice but rarely do they appreciate the amount of work that goes in to a batch. For them, I brew up the quick and dirty stuff because they're just looking to get wasted.

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Old 03-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divi2323 View Post
I think your post is really a matter of personal taste.
exactly!!! that is why I said
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basic aging guidelines I follow... ...IMHO
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:00 AM   #8
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Thanks Daze, that was very helful!

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Old 03-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #9
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I forgot to add one thing.

8. If the ABV is less than 10% AND the beverage has not been bottle pasteurized, aging more than 1 year is a gamble, with the risk increasing as time goes on. I am not saying that after 1 year or more your lower ABV wine will always go bad. It may be good 2, 3, or even 10 or 20 years however if it has a lower ABV and it ages more than a year the risk of it going bad goes up the longer it ages. Not a problem with most ciders as they never last that long

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Old 03-25-2012, 03:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divi2323 View Post
Me personally I like tasting my brew over time and the thrill for me is seeing how much it changes.
That is a really good idea, especially for some one getting started in brewing (not saying you are new because you do that, just recommending it for the new brewer) by doing that you can develop your palate and get a really good idea how aging effects flavor. Also it gets you use to the specific components. early on the alcohol will be the prominent flavor but as it ages other flavors will begin to become more forward.


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- "It's all about time. You can't rush perfection. Time TIME TIME!!! You either need to pay on the front end or the rear. If the batch ferments out fast you need to secondary age or bottle age it. If it ferments out slow... months not weeks, then you don't have to age it nearly as long to get good flavors. Either way time is the key when making ciders and wines."
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