The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Apple Cider Vinegar

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
drcarl
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Suquamish, WA
Posts: 3
Default Apple Cider Vinegar

Yo! I mean Greetings!
(Breaking Bad joke)

OK, while I go blind reading for answers to a few pressing questions I have, I see SO many different instructions and so very many extremely interesting (and sometimes relevant) stories...well, while I continue my search I think I'll put this up and invite your expert commentary.

I recently participated in an apple harvest and squeezin' and have 5 gallons fermenting in a carboy right now. I'll list the details below. I plan to enjoy some as hard cider and to take a portion (if not almost all) of the batch all the way over to apple cider vinegar (ACV).

I am Mr. Organic and do no pasteurization and use no yeast killers, sulfates or other added chemicals. ALL of my ingredients are raw and organic.

What I have read is that fermentation is complete when the specific gravity (SG) reaches 1.000. Another less reliable indicator is the ending of gas formation. What puzzles me is what appears to be conflicting indicators. My batch is still producing CO2, and my SG reading is below 1.000 at 0.996. Seems to me if gas is still being formed (though now at a very slow rate), fermentation has not completed. Is this so?

How can the SG be below 1.000? Is that because alcohol has a lower SG?

I am reading about making ACV and one site advises me to stir the primary fermentation every day. Is that right??? I was under the impression that it's best NOT to disturb it, and that opening it every day would increase the risk of undesirable yeasts? So, what's the truth on this? Stir or no stir?

I would love help deciding what to do next. I am debating whether or not to add sugar for carbonation because I am unsure about how that might affect the ACV.

If anyone knows of a favorite site about making ACV to point me at, please do!

If anyone sees something that I should do right now, or has any suggestions at all (racking/bottling, etc.), of course I welcome any and all input.

Thanks in advance!

drcarl

--------------------


Here are the details of my first batch. (I've made two beer batches ages ago)

09-09-2012
Day 1 - Yesterday, we acquired 5 gallons of fresh-squeezed apple cider from Friend's 33rd annual Apple Squeezin'. Today we make a start for hard cider.

Cleaned equipment and counters
Sanitized equipment and counters
Measured OG without sugar 1.038 (4.9 % alc. potential)
Added ...
Sugars - dissolved in 2-3 C water - added half-way through adding juice to carboy:
1 lb organic dark brown
.5 lb organic raw washed cane sugar
.5 lb organic turbinado raw cane sugar
(I wonder how many cups that is)

Measured SG with sugar 1.049 (6.8 % alc. potential) [Is this the OG?]

Added...
.5 t pectase (pectic enzyme) per gal (5X total)
1 pkg Redstar Pasteur Champagne Yeast - dissolved in 1/4 C water at 100-105 degrees

Placed in bedroom - temp is consistent 62-62 F
Waited

9-18-2012
Day 9 - Bubble rate maxed at one every 2.7 seconds

9-26-2012
Day 17 - Took specific gravity reading: 0.996 [temperature is 62 F]
I am surprised that it's under 1.000 (does alcohol cause it to read that low?)
Taste test: Partner didn't like it. I think it's "interesting."
Neither of us have any idea how it's supposed to taste.

Current objectives:

get some hard cider somewhere - sample it to see what it tastes like
discover if 0.996 is an oddball SG reading
1.000 is supposed to mean the sugars are used up, yet it's still off-gassing - normal or not?
can sugars be used up AND brew still produce CO2?
decide if and when to add sugar (and how much) for carbonation
decide how much (and how) to make into apple cider vinegar (ACV)
what are next steps toward ACV?

10-01-2012
Day 22 - Bubble rate is significantly slower, yet still happens with one bubble every 73 seconds, or every 1 min 13 seconds.


Now what?


edit_2012-10-01_2.jpg  
__________________
drcarl is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 02:10 AM   #2
gcastrat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Plainfield, Indiana
Posts: 24
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

That all sounds like typical behavior of Champagne yeast when it is used with highly fermentable sugars (cider). It will be extremely dry and benefit from up to a year of mellowing. If you like dry champagne, you can actually try to bump up the amount of sugar used in priming (or set your keg to something HIGH like 20 lbs)

Now if dry cider doesn't appeal to you, you could always back sweeten it with something interesting (or just cane sugar). Some people use concentrate to bring out the apple flavor. Just be sure you find a way to stabilize those yeasties so they don't go nuts in the bottle.

__________________
gcastrat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 02:13 AM   #3
gcastrat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Plainfield, Indiana
Posts: 24
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Forgot to mention - many of my dry ciders get down to .995 and that's normal since alcohol has a lower SG than water. You should also include that in your %ABV calculations as the FG.

__________________
gcastrat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 06:16 AM   #4
dinnerstick
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: utrecht, netherlands
Posts: 1,904
Liked 212 Times on 161 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

i'll take the other softball here- during rapid fermentation the liquid gets super saturated with CO2. it takes a while for this to come out of solution, and it will continue to bubble out after fermentation has dwindled or finished. you can get it to come out actively by stirring the cider, or just ignore it, but it's not an accurate way to monitor fermentation. neither is bubbles at the airlock. nice to see when your drink is fermenting, but you can forget that as 'data'!

for the vinegar, i'm speaking as someone who has made it a couple times on a very small scale. with no sulfites added this should go pretty easily for you. i believe the most important factor is to get oxygen into the cider after you have alcohol. you will also need acetobacter; this is usually accomplished by leaving the cider open to the environment, it will find its way into your cider. but if you have a 'live' non-filtered/pasteurized vinegar you can pour a splash of the dregs in to get the culture going. i aerate the crap out of it by splash pouring back and forth between 2 glasses, and then leave it open with cheesecloth rubber banded to the top of the jug, aerating every few days. that way takes a couple months. i think the commercial guys inoculate with an aceto culture and constantly bubble O2 through. that's much quicker. i bet an aquarium air pump with sintered stone would do the trick nicely just with air
you can still make vinegar from carbed cider but if you're doing it on a big scale do you really want to go through the hassle of bottling, before then pouring out the bottles? if you do you can just splash pour a couple times to get the fizz out

__________________
dinnerstick is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
drcarl
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Suquamish, WA
Posts: 3
Default

gcastrat - dinnerstick: you're awesome! I don't have a keg or extra fridge yet, though googling that info up was interesting. Perhaps kegging is in my future since I can see this whole process is addicting (even if somewhat research- and labor-intensive?).

Wanting to be sure of the terms, I looked-up "priming" and "bottling bucket" (you can laugh at the noob now) and it seems like "priming" is something that would occur by adding more yeast and a fermentable sugar to the bottling bucket? (the step after at least one racking) --and that bottle bombs are a concern.

I also read that I can add lactose, a mostly non-fermentable sugar, for sweetness...and maybe a teeny bit of carbonation? I wouldn't touch splenda or any other artificial sweetener with a 100-foot pole since it is toxic, poisonous and not suitable for human consumption. Since I am not volunteering to be a member of the GMO experimental group, I am also returning (or tossing) the corn sugar I have since it's bound to be contaminated by GMOs, also proved now to be detrimental to health.

Cider...I also read that I can twist and stir the primary to help the skeletons clinging to the sides of the carboy (and elsewhere) to begin a downward drift, and that some people rack cider several times to remove more and more sendment. I'll probably rack it once.

Once I get confirmation that I am on the right track (like lactose into the bottling bucket IS "priming" and that's the right time to add it)...well, in the interest of adding some sweetness and perhaps a tad of carbonation? [no bombs, please], I'll hope to find somewhere a recipe for how much lactose to add per gallon, remembering that I'm setting aside 2 or 3 gallons which are destined to be Apple Cider Vinegar. Or, is this increase in sugar (lactose) something measured with the hydrometer?

Oh! And yeast!?! I have another packet of champagne yeast. Does this go into the priming bucket with the lactose? If so how much? ... or, is the alcohol content already too high for champagne yeast to work?

Today: day 23 - bubble rate decreased to one per 1min 35sec - and I gave it a couple of twists.

Thanks for your replies, past, present and future!

drcarl

PS - I think I understand AVC better now. It's all about starting with hard cider (which I believe I have now) and putting it into a wide-mouth container, filling only 3/4 full (both for air supply/oxygenation), adding some "mother" from the raw, organic ACV I have on hand, covering with breathable cloth and rubber-bands, and creating a suitable environment (all these mentioned elements, and ~warm enough~) for the aerobic bacteria (natural and added) to flourish and make us some acetic acid. Yum!

__________________
drcarl is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 02:06 AM   #6
FATC1TY
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Atlanta Area, GA
Posts: 1,605
Liked 127 Times on 107 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

You seem to be clinging to the idea about bubble rate from your airlock. Bubbling means literally nothing in terms of it being "done". It will release co2 from the solution and will cause a bubble here and there anyways.

Stirring it won't help it clear up. Moving it actually makes it worse. Allow it to sit, rack it carefully without distrubing the bottom.

Also, priming means you are going to carbonate the cider in bottles. Lactose is unfermentable, so it will only sweeten the cider, not cause it to carbonate. You will need to prime with sugar, or honey to have it carb up. Lactose won't do anything but add sweetness to the cider, and perhaps a bit of body. It's a milk sugar, which... doesn't really seem to flow with the whole cider thing, IMO, but people try different things.

You cider is done when your gravity reading is no longer dropped. Check the gravity, once it's at say.. .995 now, then check it in 3-4 days and see where it's at.. .995 again? It's probably done or close. If you are bottling it, you need to boil water, add your sugar for the amount of carbonation you want, and cool it. Add it to your cider in the bottling bucket, stir it slowly, and then fill the bottles, cap them, and leave them in a room temp spot for a few weeks. This is will be a dry cider with little sweetness. If you want it sweet, you'll need to add an unfermentable sugar, or you will need to pasteurize it at home to stop the residual yeast from eating the sugar producing the carbonation.

As for the ACV, I don't do that, so I can't help much there.

__________________
FATC1TY is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-03-2012, 02:08 AM   #7
FATC1TY
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Atlanta Area, GA
Posts: 1,605
Liked 127 Times on 107 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

BTW, if you gravity is done at .995, and you started at 1.049, you are roughly at 7% ABV estimated. The "potential" on the hydrometer means nothing really from the get go.

__________________
FATC1TY is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2012, 02:31 AM   #8
drcarl
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Suquamish, WA
Posts: 3
Default

Gotta love the internet. You guys rock. I bought some English Cider; Bulmer's I think...to see what hard cider is supposed to taste like. I was not at all impressed - too sweet, though I could sort of think of some dishes it might accompany well. Made me even more interested in the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) which I know will be used.

Took out some cider for a SG reading on day 32 (Oct 10) - it read .992. Chilled it overnight (and let it settle a bit) and tasted it the next day. It was kind of good! Kind of like an apple-ee champagne! Had some guests over (one gourmet chef, one old hippy, and another gal) who I let sip my small amount to share. There was not enough to pour a glass, just to taste, still, when I was about to put it back in the fridge they said: "Hey! Where you going with that?" "Here, you can have it; I've got about 5 gallons where that come from." LOL ~They passed it around like it was a treasure or something. They loved it and said it's not at all 'sharp' (even though I bet it's creeping up on 8+% alc). It certainly is not sweet, (it is dry), and I was considering adding some sweetness and deliberating about carbonation.

Not after today! (Day 36, Oct 15) I took out some more and got a SG reading of 0.992. I figure it's done. I tasted it again and woo hoo! it's yummy as-is. I'm not doing ANYthing to it except decide how much will go to vinegar. I'll rack it to another carboy for a day or two to let a bit more settle to the bottom, then bottle part to cider and begin the other portion transition to ACV.

Thanks for your help and comments!

~drcarl

__________________
drcarl is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2012, 03:37 AM   #9
FATC1TY
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Atlanta Area, GA
Posts: 1,605
Liked 127 Times on 107 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcarl View Post
Gotta love the internet. You guys rock. I bought some English Cider; Bulmer's I think...to see what hard cider is supposed to taste like. I was not at all impressed - too sweet, though I could sort of think of some dishes it might accompany well. Made me even more interested in the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) which I know will be used.

Took out some cider for a SG reading on day 32 (Oct 10) - it read .992. Chilled it overnight (and let it settle a bit) and tasted it the next day. It was kind of good! Kind of like an apple-ee champagne! Had some guests over (one gourmet chef, one old hippy, and another gal) who I let sip my small amount to share. There was not enough to pour a glass, just to taste, still, when I was about to put it back in the fridge they said: "Hey! Where you going with that?" "Here, you can have it; I've got about 5 gallons where that come from." LOL ~They passed it around like it was a treasure or something. They loved it and said it's not at all 'sharp' (even though I bet it's creeping up on 8+% alc). It certainly is not sweet, (it is dry), and I was considering adding some sweetness and deliberating about carbonation.

Not after today! (Day 36, Oct 15) I took out some more and got a SG reading of 0.992. I figure it's done. I tasted it again and woo hoo! it's yummy as-is. I'm not doing ANYthing to it except decide how much will go to vinegar. I'll rack it to another carboy for a day or two to let a bit more settle to the bottom, then bottle part to cider and begin the other portion transition to ACV.

Thanks for your help and comments!

~drcarl

If you plan to sweeten it, look into adding some additives to stop fermentation from any other additions sugars.

While it may be "done" fermenting as is, it will ferment if you add sugars to it. If you are wanting a dry, carbonated cider, then you can add a bit of sugar, and carbonate them in the bottles. Look online for calculators on doing so.

If you want to back sweeten the cider, you can, but you will need to pasteurize it, bottle it with enough sugar to sweeten to taste and then open periodically when you think it's where you want it. Then cold crash them, IE: keep them cold, until they are all consumed. If you allow them to stay warm with addition sugar, they will risk over carbonation, and the bottles could explode.
__________________

----------
Bubba's Backyard Brewery

FATC1TY is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apple cider with real apple juice fauxtoe Cider Forum 10 03-17-2012 10:42 PM
Apple Cider Vinegar? HutSutRaw Cider Forum 1 09-15-2011 11:00 PM
Video: How to make EdWort's Apfelwein / Apple Wine / Dry Apple Cider jbrookeiv Cider Forum 17 05-28-2011 05:05 AM
YUMMY! Apple Cider (vinegar) JoeSponge Cider Forum 3 12-31-2008 06:10 AM
How do I make Apple Cider Vinegar? Pogo Cider Forum 13 08-03-2008 02:29 PM