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Old 06-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
XombieDeath
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Default Apple-Plum Sparkling Cider

My brother-in-law and I just got a cooler full of plums from our father-in-law and we proceeded to pit and juice every last one of them. We got 4 gallons of fresh plum juice for our efforts, 2 each. So I naturally decided to use my half in a cider and cooked it up last night.

2 Gallons Unpasteurized Plum Juice
3 Gallons Pasteurized Apple Cider (Earth Fare brand)
2 lbs Clover Honey
1 lb. Light Brown Sugar
2.5 tsp Pectic Enzyme
5 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1 satchet Red Star Cote de Blanc yeast

Cooked Plum Juice, Honey, Brown Sugar at 150-170F for 45 minutes.
Added Cider, Plum Juice, Honey and Brown Sugar to 5 gallon carboy.
Added Pectic Enzyme, swirl carboy to stir, let sit one hour before pitch.
Added Yeast Nutrient 10 min before pitch, swirl carboy to stir.
Rehydrated Yeast in 1/4 cup boiled water at 105F prior to pitch.
Pitched at 80F with a gentle swirl of the carboy to spread the little guys out a little.
OG of 1.070 (I'm worried the string I had tied to the Hydro to get it out of the carboy threw off the OG reading, then broke the hydro the next night when I went to take a new reading.)

Racked to secondary on 6/17 (6 days) still didn't have a replacement hydrometer yet. Added 11oz. Raisins & 4 Cinnamon Sticks. Sat in 2ndary 4 days.

FG was 1.000. Batch Primed with 4.4 oz brown sugar and backsweetened with 14 tbsp. Xylitol.

Gonna let it sit a couple days and once I've got the right carbonation level, I'll pastuerize it.

Will provide further updates as it progresses.

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Old 06-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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Sounds tasty!

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Old 06-12-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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I messed around with a string in a hydrometer - I used a very light string and it still threw off the readings by quite a bit (the string made it heavier)

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Old 06-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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Ya, I figured my OG reading is off. If I can find something to use as a hydro test tube I might could use a sanitized baster and pull a test sample tonight or tomorrow before fermenation really kicks in and take another reading, problem is I can't seem to find anything to use that doesn't require taking out a whole lot of the wort. Think I'm just gonna have to break down and order one online but i don't think it'd get here fast enough to salvage any kind of reading on this batch.

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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I'm going to follow this with interest, as my plum tree is looking like it's going to deliver in a big way this year. Keep us updated on how it goes!

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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I didn't get an OG on my most recent cider batch (and it was juice I'd never used before; good times) because my hydrometer was at a friend's house. Luckily he recently picked up a refractometer, so hopefully I can grab both and math out the OG.

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Old 06-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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Replacement Hydro's arrive tomorrow, but I cycled the cider to secondary last night anyways. Added 11oz. Raisins and 4 cinnamon sticks to the bottom of the carboy and siphoned the cider on top. Reserved a taste, it was very good. Still a little sweet, packed a good punch. You could definately taste the plum in there, it wasn't subtle, but it wasn't overpowering either. I'll have a thief when my package gets here tomorrow so I'll finally be able to get a gravity on this.

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Old 06-25-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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Bottled on 6/21, checked carbonation level last night (6/24). I waited too long and they are overcarbed. Lost half a case trying to pastuerize due to carbonation breaking the cap seal. Still managed to come away with a case though, just gotta remember to open them over the sink due to the bubble fountain. Looks and smells great, tastes good (mildly sweet, good plum flavor without being overpowering, the raisin and cinnamon are very subtle and round off the flavor nicely, but it does seem a little green at this point. Gonna let it sit a week and try one.

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Old 07-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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last one of these got drank last night (7/19). You could taste the full plum flavor profile and the tartness was just right. The raisin was discernable but quite faint. It blended excellently. All the SWMBO's (wife / sister-in-law / mother-in-law / friend's wife literally stole my glass) really liked it, and you could see that, "you made this?" look in thier eyes as they drank it. The guy's all liked it too, but the biggest impact was with the girls. The carbonation was just right after cold crashing.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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Default Question regarding Cote de Blanc yeast...

Nice job on the plum cider... since I basically made the same thing yesterday, but using blueberry and pomegranite with my cider. Here's the question. I used Cote de Blanc (1 pkt), and rather than hydrating as any sensible person would do, I had some sort of a brain fizzle and direct pitched at about 72 degrees without rehydration. Just tossed it in there. On the bright side, I oxygenated with pure oxygen gas at 1 lpm for an hour (it was bottled apple juice with 20% dv ascorbic acid), and added 5 tsp Fermax to give it a push. I have used the bottled apple juice with excellent results in the past... but 24 hours after pitching... the airlock has not a bubble.

It's my first time with Cote de Blanc, and I have read that it's a slow starter. What's your experience with the lag time? Thanks.

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