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Old 09-28-2012, 02:17 AM   #1
kzx87
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Default Been lurking for a few weeks... going for my first batch of cider this weekend...

I've ordered all of the equipment and I'm 95% sure I know what I'm doing, but I wanted to run through my steps and would like someone to confirm.


Starter Process:

Step #1 - Sanitize everything and then sanitize it again
Step #2 - Rehydrate the yeast per the instructions (using nottingham or 1118, not sure yet)
Step #3 - I'm going to put a good amount of cider in a 1000ml erlenmeyer flask (is there a proper amount of cider for a starter?)
Step #4 - Warm it up over medium heat for about 10 minutes
Step #5 - Let it cool back down to about 70 degrees
Step #6 - Add the rehydrated yeast
Step #7 - Add some DAP
Step #8 - foam stopper the flask and put it on a stir plate for 6-24 hours (that is what I read... seems like a long window)


Preparing the cider:

Step #1 - Sanitize everything and sanitize it again
Step #2 - Take my 5 gals of cider and put it on the stove over medium heat (not a boil) for 45 minutes (take a starting SG reading before heating it up)
Step #3 - Add some campden tablets do the cider
Step #4 - Add calculated amount of sugar/honey to get the SG to around .1050 for a 6.8% alcohol brew
Step #5 - Let it cool back down to about 70 degrees
Step #6 - take another SG reading
Step #7 - add some pectic enzyme


Pitching the yeast:

Step #1 - Add the yeast starter into a carboy
Step #2 - Siphon the cider on top of the yeast
Step #3 - plug the carboy with an airlock
Step #4 - begin the wait.


That's about it for now... A few questions though. Does it matter what kind of sugar I use to boost the SG from a taste perspective? I've got honey, brown sugar, white sugar, and dextrose.

Feel free to criticize and let me know if I should change anything or if something is blatantly wrong. I'll probably rack it to a secondary in about 2 weeks and then let it age awhile before sorbating it, back sweetening, and then kegging/force carbing. Thanks!

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:34 AM   #2
ColbyJack
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I've never made a starter for cider, never felt the need. There is so much sugary goodness in there already, the yeast will take off. I have tried both, and Nottingham gives a flavor of its own, as does 1118. I prefer 1118 to Nottingham, and prefer Safale US-05 to Nottingham as well, just seems like a cleaner finish. To each his own. Everything else looks good. Prepare to give it time! I have 6 gallons of store bought juice cider that ia almost a year old. If I were just starting out, I would make your cider, then while that is aging, make a batch of Graf. The Graf is very satisfying, and gets you into a couple more ingredients. Plus it can be drunk in a week or so of it takes off. Again here, I prefer US-05. Welcome to the sickness!!!

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:35 AM   #3
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Oh yeah, each sugar has its own flavor as well. Honey takes awhile to fully ferment. I would suggest dextrose. I have used all of them, but dextrose is the cleanest flavor in my opinion.

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:46 AM   #4
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I prefer to use light brown sugar to raise the gravity if needed. Just mix up very well. Or you can make a 2 part sugar to 1 part water (wine conditioner) for back sweeting. Or you can freezer some apple juice and pour off the sugary goodies for back sweeting as well. I wouldn't heat up the cider and I would use only one crushed Camden table and wait 24hrs before pitching yeast (killing of wild yeast if fresh pressed).

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Old 09-28-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
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Going to those lengths to make a yeast starter for a cider is unnecessary in most cases. Those types of starters may make sense for beer, but cider is all simple sugars. Just rehydrate in ~100* water, wait, atemperate with base juice in 10* steps over 10-15 minutes each and pitch. Or just pitch dry yeast right into cider.

When I need to up the OG, I like apple concentrate, homemade when I have time or just bought.

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Old 09-28-2012, 06:30 AM   #6
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what do you hope to gain by heating the cider? your process sounds like a lot of fun, two sanitizations, starter, heating and cooling, but you just bang it together in 10 minutes and use the time for something else...

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Old 09-28-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
what do you hope to gain by heating the cider? your process sounds like a lot of fun, two sanitizations, starter, heating and cooling, but you just bang it together in 10 minutes and use the time for something else...
I am on my first couple batches myself, but was told the heating it up helps dissolve the sugars.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
what do you hope to gain by heating the cider? your process sounds like a lot of fun, two sanitizations, starter, heating and cooling, but you just bang it together in 10 minutes and use the time for something else...
This process sounds like fun?! How could this be done in 10 minutes?

Why is everything sanitized twice?
Why are you making a starter?
'Medium heat' is a rather nebulous term, what temperature is that, and more importantly again, why? You're heating ALL 5 gallons of juice to dissolve a relatively small amount of sugar?
What cider are you using that needs campden tabs? And how many is 'some'?
How are you cooling this? If you heat it to just below a boil, and don't actively chill it, plan on waiting at least a day before continuing. Where is the cider going to be when it's cooling? Seems like it's just sitting in a pot for a day instead of a sanitized/airlocked fermenter.


Out of curiosity, what equipment have you ordered. You said you're going to keg this, and that's not cheap or trivial so I guess you're a beer brewer?
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_stodd View Post
This process sounds like fun?! How could this be done in 10 minutes?
the only parts of (my process of) cider making that really take time are- 1. getting the juice out of the apples, and 2. waiting months for it to be ready

if the op is starting with fresh pressed juice, then waiting 24h after adding campden is a good idea. some people (apparently) use bottled juice- if so skip the campden and the 24h wait. the sugar doesn't need heat to dissolve, or can be dissolved in a tiny amount of heated juice in a couple minutes, sanitizing a sanitized jug is a waste of time and chemicals, pouring some juice and some rehydrated yeast (forget the starter!) into a jug doesn't take long, stick in an airlock, bang you're off.
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