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Old 10-30-2011, 05:15 AM   #1
DarkPhyre
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Default 5 Gallons and need help

So a good buddy and I got a wild hair and decided to try cider.
I have read several threads about it but I feel more lost about making cider then I ever did with brewing beer.

Today we bought five, one gallon jugs of UV treated apple cider.
We placed all of them in the fridge and bought two bottles of Crispin cider (we both like this brand) we left about a half inch of cider left in each bottle and dumped the yeast in the bottom into a starter.

The plan is to use the yeast to make our own cider.
I am just confused of the process.
We have a 5.5 gallon better bottle and a 6 gallon glass carboy. we plan on starting the fermentation in the better bottle then racking to the glass carboy for a few months.

After reading several more threads today it seems like the 'set and forget' method isn't for cider making.
Could someone point me to, or give me pointers on how to create a great tasting cider that is sweet like crispin cider?

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Old 10-30-2011, 07:48 AM   #2
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it's pretty easy actually, but i would just get a packet of yeast. ale yeasts such as nottingham and safeale04/05 are popular choices, or a white wine yeast such as champagne. you can set and forget, but you can't ferment and then rack to a larger carboy; you will have oxidation issues. in your situation i would ferment in the big one, rack to the smaller one, but you will still need to top it off with some more juice. or you can skip the secondary; it will clear in the primary. and to get a sweet cider you are going to have to kill off the yeast, which will still be waiting in the wings months later to consume whatever fermentable sugar you put back in. that usually means adding sulfite and sorbate while racking, but you could also try a pasteurization method

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Old 10-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #3
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So, I could put all 5 gallons in the glass and just leave it in there the whole time? do I need to fill it up to the top or leaving the headspace ok?

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Old 10-30-2011, 09:38 PM   #4
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So, I could put all 5 gallons in the glass and just leave it in there the whole time? do I need to fill it up to the top or leaving the headspace ok?
once fermentation is complete, you will need to top up.
what i did once was ferment in a carboy, then rack to bucket, clean carboy real quick, rack right back into carboy and top up to the skinny part of the neck (~3 inches below the opening. )
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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There are very few ways to reliably have a carb'ed sweet cider without kegging.
Here is my recommendation for your situation.

Get a packet of Ale yeast- Notty, S04, S05, etc.
(There is homebrew shop in Portland that has the cheapest price on dry yeast, ~$2.) Rehydrate yeast using the plain water method.
Ferment in the 6g carboy at as close to ~60F as you can get.
Pull samples daily after ~5 days, and after it suits your tastes, cold crash it.
Rack to a bottling bucket, and prime however you like. Bottle at least one in a PETE bottle. Check the firmness of the PETE bottle, and when it is soda pop firm, follow one of the bottle pasteurizing protocols for the rest of the bottles.

An alternative slightly riskier method would be to refrigerate after the PETE bottle is firm. Place the bottles in a very cold refrigerator, and never let them get warm again. There is still a chance of a bomb.

There are variations on this, like stopping the cider sweeter to use some of the excess sugar to carb so you end up with the taste you like, as well as other ways.

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Old 10-30-2011, 10:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

This making hard sweet cider seems more like an art then brewing beer.
I have read so much over the least 48 hours my head is spinning.

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Old 10-31-2011, 01:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

This making hard sweet cider seems more like an art then brewing beer.
I have read so much over the least 48 hours my head is spinning.
it truly is easier and way less time consuming than beer. at least active time.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:53 AM   #8
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Ya, but for whatever reason, I feel its harder.

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Old 10-31-2011, 02:30 AM   #9
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thats only because people are making it more complicated than it truly is. give it a few batches and you'll see what i mean.

you can go crazy and make it very rigidly and all that jazz and it will be great, or you coudl do it basic and it will still be delicious.

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Old 10-31-2011, 02:31 AM   #10
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thanks you are making me feel better about the process, I just want to be successful the first time.

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