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Old 02-16-2010, 04:45 AM   #1
gcrisler
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Default Another First Timer - Please Help

Hey, sorry for posting as another first timer but I was hoping you guys could take a look at my possible recipe and procedure and offer your sage advice. I am not looking for my cider to be extremely sweet or extremely dry, somewhere in the middle is good. Also the higher the alcohol content the better (need to make the roommates who help me buy the ingredients happy!). I've brewed a few batches of beer so far so I know at least somethings but not much at all about cider. I hope it doesn't seem to much as though I haven't done my homework. Please critique anything you see.

Recipe
5 gallons local apple cider
1 pound crystal malt 80 (looking for some caramel flavor but not overpowering, is this a good number for the crystal malt?)
1.5 pounds dark brown sugar
5 campden tablets (to kill the wild yeast in unpasteurized cider)
1 tube White Labs english cider yeast
irish moss
yeast nutrient

As far as heating/boiling the cider I am somewhat confused. If I were to wing it I would try something like:

-add campden tablets, let sit for 24 hours
-Heat to 155 F, steep crystal malt for 20 minutes
-Bring to boil (do I bring all 5 gallons to a boil? I do have a large enough pot to accommodate), add irish moss and yeast nutrient (how much of each?)
-Boil 20 minutes then cool
-Add wort and dextrose to carboy
-Pitch yeast
-Mix well/aerate

Fermentation:
-let sit in primary for 2 weeks
-move to secondary after 4 weeks
-prime with ¾ of a pound of corn sugar (how much would I use if I wanted to prime with brown sugar)
-bottle, let sit in bottles till July sometime

Thanks

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:48 PM   #2
gratus fermentatio
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!st off, don't boil; you'll set the pectins & your cider will be cloudy & possibly develop a "cooked" flavour. The campden will take care of any unwanted nasties. I'd steep the grain in water & add it to the juice (along with everything but the yeast) prior to adding campden. You don't need Irish moss, it'll clear just fine on it's own.

As far as yeast nutrient/energizer, just follow the directions on the package. I'd areate the must before pitching the yeast.

Your recipe (with a couple tweaks) sounds similar to Brandon's Graff recipe, you can paruse it here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/graf...-cider-117117/

Regards, GF

EDIT: You might want to add some frozen (thawed) apple juice concentrate to make up for the water used to steep the grain. Regards, GF.

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
I'd areate the must before pitching the yeast.
Because you are using extra sugars, aerating is a okay idea in my head. I'm a purist who doesn't believe in added sugars in cider, but I see you have good reasons for doing so. Thing is, if it was a pure apple juice batch, aerating is not good. It is like biting into an apple and then setting it aside. It turns brown. Nope, I do not like aerating a pure cider batch.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:05 PM   #4
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I would let it ferment all the way in the primary, then cold crash to clear out the yeast. Secondary not required IMO

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vespa2t View Post
I would let it ferment all the way in the primary, then cold crash to clear out the yeast. Secondary not required IMO
Why would you not secondary it?
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:24 AM   #6
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I just havent found it necessary to secondary a cider with lower gravity. You would want to secondary for a few months if you were going with a higher ABV, but the recipe listed sounds like a normal gravity must... it should be ready to drink soon after fermentation.

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Old 02-20-2010, 02:54 PM   #7
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Agree with Gratus on all points. I'll add: I've read poor reviews of the White Labs english cider yeast, never tried it myself. You should read the sticky topic at the top of this forum. It may take you a few days, but you'll have all your questions answered and even have questions answered that you didn't even think to ask.


http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/resu...riments-83060/

Something else to consider, you may want to hold off on the malt until fermentation has been going for a good day and a half, then add the malt to re-energize the yeast at a point where it's getting stressed and will start producing unfavorable compounds. This is worth more consideration if you decide to add more sugar than your recipe states. Right now, looks like you'll have about a 6% product, and you have a much wider variety of yeasts to choose from as well, at that target.

I'll also add: dark brown sugar doesn't taste like dark brown sugar after it's fermented. If you want the sweet character of dark brown sugar in the final product, it's something you'll want to add later. But you'll still need some kind of sugar in the beginning if you want to up the final alcohol content.

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