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Old 09-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #11
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Oh, gotcha! Thanks for the quick reply. Still new to brewing and trying to immerse myself.
Can't wait to hear how this "au natural" cider comes out!
Yeah, me too. It was a lot of work milling and pressing 6 gallons of juice by hand. Hate to lose it, but then again, I really like JK Scrumpy's cider and that's what I'm shooting for.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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Something related I have seen is that if you get a batch that you particularly like, to take a tree twig and cut some deep grooves in it, and immerse that in your brew. Supposedly then the yeasts will penetrate into the grooves, then you can take the stick out and hang it to dry, and then put it into your next batch to help get those yeasts going again.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:23 PM   #13
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I really like JK Scrumpy's cider and that's what I'm shooting for
JK Scrumpy's ferments their cider very cold and slow. They use nitrogen reduction to limit the extent of fermentation, similar to traditional European cider makers like Etienne Dupont. There were some threads on JK Scrumpy clones a while back, which you can probably find with the search function
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
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Most people who use wild yeast also add so2 at the start to get rid of potential nasty yeast/bacteria, however you should be ok without it, just a slightly higher risk of spoilage. Once the wild yeast get going it should finish fairly fast at that temperature, probably about 3-4 weeks for the whole thing. Then you will probably get a wild MLF if you keep it above 60F, that is also a slight risk of spoilage. You need to keep air totally excluded for ageing, a brewers bucket isn't good enough for that so either get a glass carboy or bottle as soon as primary is finished (around 0.096 sg), and age it in bottles. You have a good sg so you should be able to get good cider, you should check pH every year so you can compare your apples to previous seasons.
Wild yeast mainly get in during the milling and pressing, there aren't many on the apple skins, and you don't need an open fermenter.

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Old 09-18-2012, 09:02 PM   #15
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You need to keep air totally excluded for ageing, a brewers bucket isn't good enough for that so either get a glass carboy or bottle as soon as primary is finished (around 0.096 sg), and age it in bottles. You have a good sg so you should be able to get good cider, you should check pH every year so you can compare your apples to previous seasons.
Wild yeast mainly get in during the milling and pressing, there aren't many on the apple skins, and you don't need an open fermenter.
I sanitized a sealed bucket with an air lock. Two days later the water is burping so I guess it is working in there.

You said I needed something other than a bucket. Here is what I have it in. Good enough for a primary?
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #16
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No, that is only good fr the first couple of weeks, after that you will get oxidation or vinegar taint. Even at the tail end of primary you will start to get some oxygen in there. You sound like you are going to a bit of trouble so don't spoil it at the end, oxidation is the main enemy of quality cider so you need to eliminate airspace and have a really tight seal. You can get plastic fermenters with an o-ring that have a smaller neck, which means less headspace. You have to learn to manage your cidermaking so that containers are at or very near full, a range of different vessels from 1 to 12 gallons helps.

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Old 09-19-2012, 02:07 AM   #17
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No, that is only good fr the first couple of weeks, after that you will get oxidation or vinegar taint. Even at the tail end of primary you will start to get some oxygen in there. You sound like you are going to a bit of trouble so don't spoil it at the end, oxidation is the main enemy of quality cider so you need to eliminate airspace and have a really tight seal. You can get plastic fermenters with an o-ring that have a smaller neck, which means less headspace. You have to learn to manage your cidermaking so that containers are at or very near full, a range of different vessels from 1 to 12 gallons helps.
These buckets have O-rings and fit really tight. In addition, the juice is almost at the top, maybe an inch down. I thought maybe the CO2 would push the air out through the lock and I'd get a "must" without a risk of oxidation. Am I wrong?
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:29 AM   #18
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These buckets have O-rings and fit really tight. In addition, the juice is almost at the top, maybe an inch down. I thought maybe the CO2 would push the air out through the lock and I'd get a "must" without a risk of oxidation. Am I wrong?
For primary, no, that's fine. When fermentation slows down, and c02 is no longer being produced you want a carboy with a very narrow headspace and to top up to the bung so there is no way for oxygen or air to touch the cider.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #19
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For primary, no, that's fine. When fermentation slows down, and c02 is no longer being produced you want a carboy with a very narrow headspace and to top up to the bung so there is no way for oxygen or air to touch the cider.
Yeah, have those and plan to rack to the carboy when the bubbles stop. Thanks. Any other suggestions?
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:39 PM   #20
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Hi, not meaning to hijack this thread but after searching for some hours here this naturally fermented cider thread is the most applicable one to my situation I have found, and rather current.

I want to try my first cider batch in two weeks using fresh pressed apples that will be leftover during the peeling and coring process we do for our annual apple butter weekend on the farm. (we've been making 100+ gallons of apple butter on the farm for 40+ years every third weekend in October.) I just recently got into homebrewing and thought why not make some cider this year to drink at next years event!

I want to make a naturally fermented cider and will risk the adventure rather than using Campden tabs and purchased yeast. I plan on aging this cider in a very stable cellar environment that will be around 45-55 degrees, and age it at least 7 months before bottling. I have a few questions I would appreciate guidance on:

Should I add S02 initially? Will this get rid of nasties but not harm the wild yeasts?

Should I add any Yeast energizer or nutrient to get the wild ones going?

If I use a 5 gallon glass carboy for my primary can I just leave it in there with an airlock on it for the 7 months, or should I monitor fermentation and rack it to a secondary vessel to age? If I should move it to a secondary, maybe I will use a brewers bucket (just like UncaMarc) for the primary and then rack to the glass carboy with a bung as the secondary aging container? I assume that by racking it to a secondary a primary purpose is to leave the sediment on the bottom of the primary behind and to make it completely airtight?

If the cider is good enough to share I plan on bottling it in glass growlers with ceramic tops in about May, and letting it age out in those containers until October, and then sharing it with the 60 or so folks who come and help us make Apple Butter next year!

Appreciate any advice you can share about pressing my own juice and making a good potent apple flavored cider!

Thanks

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