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Old 10-07-2010, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Apple-blueberry Hard Cider *NEWBIE*

Hello everyone! This is my first post on these forums !! I've just recently started brewing my own beer (3 batches finished so far), and decided to make my first batch of hard cider today!! I had the opportunity to pick of some fresh cider today, so i figured, WHY NOT?!? I have a few questions about the process, which hopefully someone can answer.
Okay so a little backround information... I've been reading about cider for the past month, and figured i'd come up with my own recipe. I basically took a cider recipe from my local brew supply store, and added my own special touches on it. Heres the recipe:

5gal Unpasteurized and unpreserved fresh cider (blend of mcinstosh, empire, gala)
2# Clover Honey
4# Frozen blueberries (I pasteurized them, blended them, and strained the skins)
2# Dark Brown sugar
1T Malic acid
1/4t Pectic enzyme
Wyeast Activator 6766 cider yeast (i think it's 6766)

S.G. 1.082

Method:
1. Sanitize
2. I heated the blueberries and honey in a sauce-pan at 150F, added brown sugar into that mixture so it would be easily soluble in the cider.
3. I dumped all the cider into a sanitized carboy, added the strained blueberry/honey/sugar mixture into the cider and added the remaining ingredients.
4. Pitched yeast and aerated.

I hope i included all necessary information. The reason i added the blueberries during primary was, I wanted to be completely sure of my starting gravity, and didn't know how it would affect the cider if i put it in during secondary. My first question: My homebrew store recommends fermenting this in the primary for 7-10 days then racking it to secondary and continue to rack it like twice more for 6-8 months, then bottle. Is this completely necessary? I figure that fermentation should be finished in a matter of weeks, so why can't i bottle when fermentation has ceased, and condition the cider for the next 6-8 months?? Also I have a question about carbonation: I don't have a kegging system, and i would like this to be a sparkling cider. Should I use 5oz priming sugar, just like we do for beer? I was considering using this clover honey instead of priming sugar, and how much should i use of that?? Also, if this cider ends up fermenting out all the sugar and is very dry, how should I sweeten it?
I hope this post wasn't completely ignorant and full of stupid questions, Thanks in advance guys.
-MO

EDIT: I purposefully left out the campden tablets, from my research, it doesn't seem so necessary. The cider was pressed yesterday and I have no fear of bacterial or wild yeast contamination. The Wyeast usually starts within 12 hours, so i don't think it will have a problem overpowering the bacteria that may be in it. Was this a bad move?

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:34 AM   #2
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If it was a bad decision not to put in the campden tablets, would it be okay to put it in 24 hours after pitching yeast?

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Old 10-07-2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Someone correct me if im wrong but wouldnt the campden tablets kill the yeast in there? IE the yeast just pitched.

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Old 10-07-2010, 11:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Moerdertaktiken View Post
If it was a bad decision not to put in the campden tablets, would it be okay to put it in 24 hours after pitching yeast?
No. Adding campden this soon after yeast pitch will either kill your yeast, or at least stress it severely. If there's a problem later on, deal with it then, otherwise I'd just let the yeast do it's thing. Regards, GF.
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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No. Adding campden this soon after yeast pitch will either kill your yeast, or at least stress it severely. If there's a problem later on, deal with it then, otherwise I'd just let the yeast do it's thing. Regards, GF.
Thanks for your imput. Can anyone else answer the other questions? So far it has been 24 hours and fermentation is well under way. Airlock is bubbling nearly constantly.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #6
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Bump. Anyone?

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Old 10-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #7
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Fermentation my be finished in 3 or so weeks but it won't be as clear as it could be, hence the secondary and multiple rackings.I am not one to advise as I haven't let one go past 8 weeks to bottle. As to how to get a sweet sparkling cider, read the sticky at the top of the forum.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/
as to priming with honey that's for someone else to answer.
Hope this helps

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Old 10-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #8
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Fermentation my be finished in 3 or so weeks but it won't be as clear as it could be, hence the secondary and multiple rackings.I am not one to advise as I haven't let one go past 8 weeks to bottle. As to how to get a sweet sparkling cider, read the sticky at the top of the forum.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/
as to priming with honey that's for someone else to answer.
Hope this helps
Alright thanks, this helps a lot.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:06 AM   #9
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Alright so it's been nearly two weeks, i've already racked it once...currently it is at .999. Fermentation has ceased and i'm gonna wait one more week to bottle. Any insight on the other questions in the original post?? Since it's bone dry, how can i back sweeten and carbonate in the bottles? i was going to use apple juice as the priming sugar, instead of honey. I read somewhere on here that 36oz will suffice

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Old 10-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #10
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I'm at the same spot as you, man...
My cider I just made is thin and boozy tasting...

I say let it sit in the fermenter a little longer, like a month or so.

I sweetened my 5 gallon batch with 32 oz of apple juice, which i boiled for 5 mins to sanitize it.

Check out that link for bottle pasteurization.

I think the yeast ate all of the fermentable sugars in our ciders. To back sweeten it, apparently you can use splenda, but no one knows how much to use. Personally I hate the taste of Splenda so I'm just going to age mine and hope for the best.

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