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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > 5 Gallons and need help
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:22 PM   #21
DarkPhyre
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Originally Posted by Ickythekid View Post
Wow. I guess it doesn't just happen in video game forums.
it happens everywhere, since the dawn of when al gore invented teh interwebs

I remember back in the IRC days this sort of thing happening and before that, bars or the comforts of someone's couch. Nothing is new under the sun.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by frydogbrews View Post
oh, and in the interest of good advice, i will point out that this is inaccurate. the apple flavor does go away sometimes, depends on what yeast you use really, but comes back with age.
it will taste like sweetened cheap white wine for a while, which is exactly what sweetened white wine tastes like when it is young and not ready for consumption.
In the interest of full disclosure- "sometimes" means usually, if you let yeast go to completion; and "comes back with age" and "for a while" generally means 6+ months.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:14 AM   #23
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lulz, I appreciate all advise.
I understand that you can do just about anything a million different ways, this is no different.

I have only WLP 001 yeast right now, will this work, or is this a bad idea?

I haven't pitched anything yet I still have the jugs in the fridge.

I also wonder if I should pour all the juice into the carboy then let it sit for a few hours to warm it up, then pitch the yeast. seems to make the most sense.
If you already have WLP001, which is ~US05 dry, it will work fine. There is just no need go out and spend the $7 for WLXXX, especially when you are near Portland where the LHBS with the cheapest prices (~$2) on dry yeast is located. WLP001 can go drier more quickly and scrub more apple flavor than the english ale yeasts like Nottingham and S04, but still turns out nice. You just have to watch the last part of the ferm. CvilleKevin, who has done many, many yeast tests, prefers hefe yeast blends. I have yet to try them, but I do like the SO4 and Notty.

Besides stopping the yeast early, there are no differences between ferming beer and cider you need to worry about for your first batch. All other beer procedures apply, so have both yeast and beer at close to your ferm temp (low 60F's works good) before pitching.

Bottling a sweet cider (without using artificial or alternative sweeteners) is the only complication you face. Do a search for "bottle pasteurizing", and you will get a good primer on how to do it. Many just put them through a dishwasher cycle with good results. What could be easier? And, you will be drinking your first batch of cider in about a month, instead of a year.

Aeration, nutrients, yeast starters, etc. are mostly personal preference, and the pros and cons are available with a search. The sugars are so simple, and OG low enough, with cider, these are not as critical as with beer.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:33 AM   #24
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so bottle age? after pasteurization?

or should I bulk age in a glass carboy.

I am just spinning in circles on what to do.

Again, I am attempting a crispin style cider. The yeast didn't kick back, I am guessing they killed it.

This is the plan as of now.

let all 5 gallons sit in garage overnight to warm up.
place all 5 into 5.5 gallon better bottle and pitch yeast (not sure if I am going to add any brown sugar, or any other ferment-able sugars)
add blow off tube and leave in garage (stays low 60's)

this is where I am lost as what would be the best choice going forward.

I want 6-7% ABV and a sweet cider taste.
SO, I am thinking checking gravity until I reach that, backsweeting for carb and let carb for a few days, then bottle pasteurize and age.

Also, I was drinking some Horbys hard cider and they say they used carb'd water which makes me wonder if I could somehow do that.

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:18 AM   #25
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Again, I am attempting a crispin style cider. The yeast didn't kick back, I am guessing they killed it.
The "yeast" in the bottle may have just been apple "stuff", or they pasteurized after bottling. Either way, it's much safer to get fresh yeast.

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Originally Posted by DarkPhyre View Post
let all 5 gallons sit in garage overnight to warm up.
place all 5 into 5.5 gallon better bottle and pitch yeast (not sure if I am going to add any brown sugar, or any other ferment-able sugars)
add blow off tube and leave in garage (stays low 60's)
You will definitely need the blow-off with 5g in the 5.5g. I would use the 6g glass carboy you have. Low temps will help prevent blow-off, but there is still the chance. The simple sugars ferment quickly. Putting it in a water bath in the garage should be ideal.

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Originally Posted by DarkPhyre View Post
I want 6-7% ABV and a sweet cider taste.
SO, I am thinking checking gravity until I reach that, backsweeting for carb and let carb for a few days, then bottle pasteurize and age.
You can probably get away with just tasting it, but a full hydro sample will also work.

I always just leave the juice as is, but nothing wrong with shooting for a specific ABV and FG. You will have to do some calcs to estimate how "sweet" you want it to end up, 1.005-1.020 is around the range from low to high sweetness. Crispin is probably on the high end, but I am not sure. Then you can figure out, using the OG of the juice which is probably 1.040-1.060, how much sugar (or preservative free frozen apple juice concentrate) to add. You can open one jug to sample for OG, and then keep the open one cold to prevent any contamination from gaining a foothold.

You shouldn't have to age a sweet cider much, probably just enough to carb it. Use a couple of PETE soda bottles as pressure testers, then pasteurize when they are soda firm. Crack open one of the PETE bottles after chilling it (even before pasteurizing) to see what it tastes like. That will give you and idea of whether it is drinkable young, or needs some bottle aging. Keep in mind that most commercial ciders are carb'd higher than beer (closer to soda), so figure out how many volumes of CO2 you want.

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Also, I was drinking some Horbys hard cider and they say they used carb'd water which makes me wonder if I could somehow do that.
Haven't heard how they do theirs, but you would need to start with some pretty sweet and strong hooch to be able to dilute it with enough carb'd water to taste fizzy and get you buzzed. Replicating this at home, there is also the gusher issue with adding carb'd water to sugary solutions.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:23 AM   #26
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so bottle age? after pasteurization?

or should I bulk age in a glass carboy.
Bulk aging a sweet cider in a carboy is tricky. You would have to rack very carefully, and then keep tabs on it for the first few days to make sure it doesn't start back up. It is much simpler and safer for your first attempt to go straight to the bottle, wait for carb, and then pasteurize, which would have to do even if you did bulk age before bottling. The biggest difference between beer and cider, especially sweet cider, is that the yeast want to go lower than you want them to.

After you get a few batches under your belt, I agree with the guy (Carter?) from the other thread about trying a drier cider (~1.006) at some point. Keep some of sweet stuff around to lube up the ladies, though.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:26 AM   #27
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a lot more great info, thanks cwi!

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #28
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I forgot about at least one of your questions-
Yes, you can pour the entire contents of the cider jug, sludge and all, into the fermenter. It won't hurt anything, and you won't lose as much volume. It will solidify on the bottom again, along with even more sludge and yeast.

After it gets to the FG/sweetness you want, you will have to cold crash it at ~36F (or colder). It won't go any drier while in the fridge, and the longer it sits the clearer the cider and tighter the yeast cake gets. This will make racking to the bottling bucket easier. When first crashed, the sludge on the bottom of the carboy can be like silt on a lake bottom, and one wrong move stirs up a massive cloud. If some gets into the bottling bucket, it won't hurt anything taste-wise. Like clear beer, it's mainly for looks.

After carb'd, cold crashing the bottles for a few days may help prevent burst bottles while pasteurizing. All just theory on my part though, based on the neck/dead space and liquid pressure not being equalized with a sweet cider since it is still actively ferm'ing, unlike beer where you can let it sit and equalize after the carb'ing is finished. You can check with one of the gurus in the pasteurizing threads.

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:13 AM   #29
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I have an OG of 1.064 I have a target of 1.02

I normally could place it in the garage to get ~60 degree temps, but we are near/@freezing outside which is well below average this time of year.
So its in my house which has a high of 68

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Old 11-03-2011, 07:01 AM   #30
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update: The yeast started quickly and I had a great fermentation in the morning. I took a reading 18hours in and its gone down 6 points already, I'll be taking another around the same time tomorrow.

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