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PrincessOfWails 08-13-2010 06:17 PM

backyard fresh pressed apples cider suggestions
 
Hello!
I live in a neighborhood that was once an apple orchard so each house has at least one apple tree in the yard. I happen to have 4 very productive trees. My neighbors hate the mess they leave and have offered their apples to me as long as I pick them and take them away.
I have 2 macintosh and 2 golden delicious trees, and the neighbors have the same varieties in their yards. 2 years ago we picked, pressed and fermented them and ended up with 25 gallons of cider!
It was a decent first attempt. We pressed the apples, added sterilization tablets, added honey to raise the potential to about 10% and used champagne yeast. It ended up being so dry that we added a couple of lbs of honey back into it to make it not so painfully dry, but much of the apple flavor was gone and it was more like a wine a cyser.
We are going to make another batch this year, but we want to make it awesome this time! We want to keep more of the apple flavor and use a different yeast so it can be carbonated and lighter, although we don't want a sweet cider, more in the Strongbow vein.
Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do. We don't have kegging capacity.
Thanks for any input!
Wails

david_42 08-13-2010 11:29 PM

A specialized cider yeast like WLP775 English Cider Yeast will leave more apple flavor, but it still ferments dry. If you are looking for the best cider flavor, don't add any sugar or honey. Pushing the ABV does exactly what you experienced: a dry, wine-like beverage.

BBBF 08-14-2010 12:48 PM

How long did your supply last? I've found that the flavor comes back over time... Like after a year.

CvilleKevin 08-14-2010 01:32 PM

With Macs and YD as your main apples, you'll need some tart apples for balance. Jonathan, York, Winesap, Granny Smith etc. You can add honey or sugar, esp for early season apples, but dont go more than 1.065 or 1.070 or else you will lose apple flavor. Champagne yeast ferments very dry. Use an ale yeast like Notty, S04, US05, WLP005 or wheat yeast like 3068, 3056, 1010 to get something that is crisp but has more fruit

Pappers_ 08-14-2010 02:09 PM

Hi PoW. Here's a summary of what I do. If you are starting with fresh-pressed apples, you may want to add some campden tablet 24 to 48 hours earlier, to knock down any wild yeasts present.

1. add 5 gallons of apple cider to a sanitzed carboy

2. add 3 teaspoons pectic enzyme to the cider

3. add one packet of dry ale yeast such as Nottingham

4. put on a stopper and airlock, or loosely cover with sanitized aluminum foil

5. let ferment for approximately 1 - 2 weeks or until the cider is at the balance of sweetness /dryness you desire; if you use a hydrometer, a reading of 1.010 will be semi-dry

6. prepare a priming solution of 2/3 cups white sugar boiled in 2 cups of water; cool to room temperature

7. add priming solution and cider to bottling bucket

8. bottle and cap, using bottles made for carbonated beverages such as beer or champagne bottles

9. allow bottles to conditioned and carbonate in an area at least 70 F

10. occasionally test bottles for carbonation process by opening one and tasting

11. when desired carbonation level is reached (but before bottles begin exploding), pasteurize the cider to kill the yeast and stop fermentation; prepare a hot water bath of 190 F water, remove from heat, carefully set the bottles in the bath for ten minutes and remove; repeat until all the bottles are pasteurized

Good luck!

Edcculus 08-14-2010 07:34 PM

My suggestion is not to add extra sugar. I've liked all of my ciders I didn't add sugar a lot better.

Yan 08-14-2010 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Edcculus (Post 2217017)
My suggestion is not to add extra sugar. I've liked all of my ciders I didn't add sugar a lot better.

seconded. Both the varieties you have will probably put you at high enough abv. anyway.

PrincessOfWails 09-29-2010 01:29 AM

I just pressed my cider and my potential alcohol is only 5.2%, my book says you need %5.7 to be stable. I want to use honey but I can't find a calculation that will tell me how many lbs of honey I will need to raise 5 gallons of cider from %5.2 to %5.7. Anyone know???

Bombo80 09-29-2010 06:12 AM

What is your OG ?

My plain fresh cider had a SG of 1.045, which ended at 0.996. Beer Smith tells me that is 6.38% ABV.

Kauai_Kahuna 09-29-2010 10:49 AM

I would recommend reading through the mead FAQ by hightest. A good portion of it also applies to cider making.

I highly recommend the spreadsheet to do calculations, there are sections there for juices such as apple cider / juice.
Tools -> Mead Calculator Spreadsheet (8/04/09)
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/sticky-mead-making-faqs-83030/

I use it with openoffice which is open source / free and it works great.
With it, you can do all the what if calculations to meet your goals.
Best of luck, and have fun.


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