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Old 01-16-2012, 09:03 PM   #1
hiphops
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Default Any comments on my first cider?

I normally make beers but wanted to try a cider (chicks dig cider more than beer.)

This was the recipe . . .

5 gallons of cheap store brand apple juice.
1 tsp yeast nutrient.
1 pound of preservative free raisins (for extra yeast nutrient)
5 lbs brown sugar.
1 packet of Lalvin champaign yeast (71B-1122).

The OG was 1.092 and I'm about to rack it into the secondary. The gravity is now down to about .95.

I just tasted it and its very dry: it almost feels as if it sucks all the hydration out of your mouth. The taste of apple is slight, but there. And its VERY strong.

I'm thinking about spicing it up with cinnamon, nutmeg and some vanilla beans, to make it almost like an apple pie.

Any comments, thoughts, advice?

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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Check out edworts apfelwein recipe if you haven't already...real simple, real good. To my understanding the champagne yeast is what contributes the dryness...eats a lot of those sugars and has left some of my ciders tasting a little champagne like (not a complaint). I'm about to expiriment with using different yeast, like notti, and some dme for more body. As for adding spices...I haven't tried it myself but its another next step.

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphops View Post
The OG was 1.092 and I'm about to rack it into the secondary. The gravity is now down to about .95.
You have about 13% ABV right there.
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Oh, and get a hydrometer. Psychic brewing is great and all, but hard numbers get rid of MUCH of the guess work.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." ~ 1 Timothy 5:23

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Old 01-16-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
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You have about 13% ABV right there.
I'm getting about 18% on my calculations but I am questioning that .95 reading.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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I'm betting about 18% on my calculations but I am questioning that .95 reading.
youll probably never see it in beer brewing but since the apple juice base has so much sugar, and then more added, id say its definitely possible to take it that low. i think the champagne yeast you die out before getting to 18% though, i dont think they can survive that high.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
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youll probably never see it in beer brewing but since the apple juice base has so much sugar, and then more added, id say its definitely possible to take it that low. i think the champagne yeast you die out before getting to 18% though, i dont think they can survive that high.
I am questioning it because that reading is not on a standard hydrometer.

A standard hydrometer reads from 0.990 to 1.120. I am assuming he meant somewhere around .995.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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I am questioning it because that reading is not on a standard hydrometer.

A standard hydrometer reads from 0.990 to 1.120. I am assuming he meant somewhere around .995.
somehow i thought he meant that too a skipped over everything else without even noticing it. doh.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:35 PM   #8
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I would also assume he meant 0.995, which would put it around 13% like UpstateMike said. 71B has an alcohol tolerance around 14%. I don't believe it's considered a champagne yeast, which can hit 18%.

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Old 01-16-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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oops. yes. you are correct. my final reading was .998, which is just under 13%.

I never drank cider until i drank what i made. its not bad, but could use a little kick to it.

Any thoughts on adding apple pie spices to it? more specifically, a combination of nutmeat, cinnamon and vanilla?

If so, how much should I add and when? Perhaps in the final 2 weeks its in the secondary? (I brewed it up on 20 December 2011 and just transferred it to the secondary right now, 16 January 2012).

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Old 01-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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For cinnamon ... use the stick type. Not ground cinnamon.
I've not used nutmeg before that I can think of (maybe years ago).
A couple years back made a Cherry wine with vanilla beans in both the primary and the secondary. Used about 10 inches of bean per gallon, smashed a bit.

My last batch of apple wine that had spices was an cherry-apple wine that used spices in the secondary ... per gallon: cinnamon- about a 4 inch stick ... 2 cloves ... 4 allspice seeds .. 2 teaspoons slightly crushed coriander seeds ... and a couple 1/2 inch wide strips of both lemon peel and also orange peel. Tangerine peel would be another good choice. The above additions were left in the secondary for about 40 days ... this gave a medium-strong spice flavor ... knock the amounts back a bit if you want a more subtle flavor (or intend to drink it sooner). All the flavorings were first all put together into a small bowl with a few tablespoons of K-meta solution (enough to cover) and soaked for about 20 minutes before being added ... the spices plus solution all were added to the wine. The small amount of K-meta that the solution provides to the overall batch is not sufficient to protect the wine, it was just enough to treat the spices.
Came out really great. Drank it after bottling and aging for a year. Truly good but truly gone.

If you use them, be careful when using cloves ... I used 2 per gallon in the above wine ... adding too many can quickly overwhelm the other flavors.

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