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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Advice for newbies
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:33 PM   #1
hroth521
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Default Advice for newbies

I'm barely beyond newbie stage myself. 2 years ago I fermented some storebought organic juice with cider yeast and it turned out great. Last year I built a press and grinder and pressed about 25 gallons of juice. Fermented with safeale 05 and nottingham yeast. I backsweetened some with honey and pasteurized them, I fermented 5 gallons on 8 lb of cherries, backsweetened with honey and pasteurized them. I bottled a bunch dry and carbonated. And they all turned out great. This year I'm going to press 15 bushels of apples for, I hope, somewhere between 30 and 35 gallons of juice. I'm going to ferment in a 30 gallon barrel with Lalvin 1118 yeast. I'll do some with backsweetening, some with cherries and I'm going to try a 5 gallon batch "methode champenoise" just to see what happens.

The point I want to make is that if you take care of cleanliness (not even to the point of obsessiveness, after all, some in England press with hay and ferment in the barn with native yeasties), it will be delicious. BUT and here's a big problem for me, you have to be patient. You can taste it at a month or two, but don't expect much. It might be flavorless, watery or stinky. It might be so acidic you pucker. BUT ALL of my ciders have been delicious after a year!! Some smelled like rhino farts early on, some developed a film yeast (I had to sulfite and bottle that one), others were fairly effortless. One batch was so acidic it was undrinkable until I backsweetened and pasteurized it and LEFT IT ALONE for 6 more months. ALL WERE DELICIOUS at about 1 year or older. I have seen this advice by others and ignored it. You will probably ignore this too and wonder why people love their cider so much. Ageing for a year gives the cider time to integrate, improves the mouthfeel and the flavor to something you can't buy and is not provided by any other beverage. Oh man, I loves me cider.

HANDS OFF for a year!!!

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Old 11-12-2011, 04:46 AM   #2
Dilligans
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thats why I don't brew cider or wine... too damn impatient... I do respect you for all the work you do..... I will stick to brewing beer...

P.S you seem to have pleanty experience to know that you sure do need to age cider for at least a year.

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