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Old 11-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default Beginner Cider Questions

Hi All,

I've made beer before but this is my first shot at cider. I live on the SC/NC border and bought five gallons of apple cider that is non-pasturized, non filtered and no preservatives - in other words fresh from the apple press. The folks who run our local home brew store said simply put it in the carboy along with Lallemand Notthingham ale yeast and yeast nutrient. A couple of newbie questions and thanks in advance.

About how long should I expect this to take to ferment?

Do I need to transfer to a secondary fermenter at some point?

Do I need priming sugar for carbonization before bottling?

I poked around the forum trying to find answers but there seems to be conflicting views.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #2
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New to this myself but in answer to your first question I think it depends on the yeast but probably less than a week.
I'm just about to start my brew ,yeast is being primed as we speak ready to go in to main batch tomorrow. I'm using safale s-04 yeast and will be fermenting for about 5-7 days or until I've reached my goal FG of 1.000 - 1.005 , then cold crash for 24 hrs , rack into secondary ,cold crash for another 48 hrs then finally rack into bottles ready to be pasteurized, using the top stove method as in the sticky at top of the forum.
I won't be carbonating mine so can't help you there.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
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I read some of the recipes on the forum and some seem to indicate ferment two weeks or more and then transfer. Hence my confusion.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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suppose it depends on you OG and your goal FG so really it takes as long as it takes once your at your FG it's ready.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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I let my cider go in primary for 3.5 weeks, letting go a bit longer helps to clear it up some.

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Old 11-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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well mine has been fermenting for a day and gravity has gone from 1.058 to 1.040 so if it keeps at that pace it will be done in about another 4 days!

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Old 11-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFZBeer View Post
About how long should I expect this to take to ferment?

Do I need to transfer to a secondary fermenter at some point?

Do I need priming sugar for carbonization before bottling?

I poked around the forum trying to find answers but there seems to be conflicting views.

Thanks in advance.
If you want to speed things up a bit, you could try degassing part way through, but you would have to be very careful not to oxidize your cider.

If you are not in a rush, I say just leave it and let it be. It'll be done when it is done, which is usually in a few weeks. Keep taking SG readings and when they stabilize under 1.00 it should be done. (although I've never use Notthingham yeast before)

2) As for using a secondary, it really isn't necessary. I personally like to do it to reduce the headspace. If you have started fermenting in a bucket, then your headspace could become a problem, but many people ferment in buckets only and never have problems. Just make sure there isn't much more then an inch of headspace. If your primary is a carboy then you'll be fine, the neck of your carboy reduces headspace considerably. If you do use a secondary, it is a good idea to add some crushed campden tablets to act as an oxygen inhibitor.

What ever you are fermenting in, it is best to keep it topped up.

3) If you want to carbonate, then yes you will want to use priming sugar. You can use dextrose, brown sugar, honey, or apple juice concentrate.

If you are looking for sweet and carbonated, then you'll want to look at the sticky on bottle pasteurizing by Pappers.

Good luck, and feel free to ask as many beginner question as you want. But remember a faster way to get answers is to use the search tool. Most beginner’s questions have been asked before.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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well mine has just about finished fermenting, gravity now sits at 1.010 which makes the abv 7.2% taste tested and tastes good so time to cold crash

I'm guessing the length of time of fermenting depends on alot of factors like ingredients,type of yeast, conditions i.e temperature.

If i were to leave mine any longer i'm going to start to lose the apple flavour and it will be more like rocket fuel than cider so seen as the FG is where i want it its time to crash it.

If it were left for 3 weeks it would have no sugar left in it , would be dry as hell and taste like a very dry wine.

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Mine still has a nice froth on top and is bubbling nicely so I will wait. Thanks for the tip about not waiting too long and losing the flavor.

Devo9. Thank you for the detailed response. That helps a lot. I am in a carboy so that is good. I did research the forums before posting my questions but I kept get different answers. Ditto for the recipes. As this is my first time doing cider I felt I would get the clearest answer by asking direct questions.

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFZBeer View Post
Mine still has a nice froth on top and is bubbling nicely so I will wait. Thanks for the tip about not waiting too long and losing the flavor.

Devo9. Thank you for the detailed response. That helps a lot. I am in a carboy so that is good. I did research the forums before posting my questions but I kept get different answers. Ditto for the recipes. As this is my first time doing cider I felt I would get the clearest answer by asking direct questions.
Good to hear! I am glad I could help!
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