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Old 03-01-2013, 06:20 PM   #1
HeavyHandedBrewing
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Default Blackberry Cider Help and Insight

2 gallon batch -
2 gallons cider from the store
3/4 pound light brown sugar
1 pound fresh blackberries primary
Camden and pectic enzyme in primary for 24 hours
Pitch rehydrated yeast (EC-1118)
Fully ferment than transfer to secondary (i figure about 2-3 weeks)
Add potassium sorbate to prevent further fermentation and add 1 pound of blackberries and 1/2 pound corn sugar to backsweeten
Let this sit for 2-3 weeks and then keg it.

I have been brewing beer for 10 years and mead for 3 - SWMBO hates beer and does not care for mead. After ten years of never taking interest in my hobby, she tells me about a blackberry cider she had three years ago and would like to know if I can make it. Since I have tried to get her involved in homebrewing for 10 years now, I don’t want to waste this opportunity. My goal is to have this ready to drink by our annual Memorial Day vacation (11 weeks from now). As I am not a big fan of cider, possibly because I have never had any besides Woodchuck Cider when I was in college, I have never tried to make it. In reading up on recipes, it does not seem that different from a cyser (without the honey), that I helped a friend make a couple months ago. My goal is to end up with a sweet or semi-sweet cider. I will be making this next weekend, giving me ten weeks from 'grain to glass' before I would like to be able to serve it. Any insight or feedback that can be provided would be awesome (feel free to tell me this is an awful idea or unreasonable timeline if you think so).

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Drinking - red ale, Honey Wheat, Chamomile Ale, Coriander Mead., Chocolate Porter & aging 6-pack of Smoked Porter
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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Looks like you have a pretty good recipe. Since you are sorbating and kegging you'll be able to easily hit your desired sweetness. You can always just stop fermentation once you hit your desired sweetness and not even worry about back sweetening. You might even consider an ale yeast if you already have some on hand. I personally like Nottingham.

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Old 03-03-2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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Thanks for the insight. I will see if I have any dried ale yeast around. Do u think 10 weeks is realistic from beginning to having it ready to drink?

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Drinking - red ale, Honey Wheat, Chamomile Ale, Coriander Mead., Chocolate Porter & aging 6-pack of Smoked Porter
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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I think it's possible. It will be young as wine goes, but if you shoot for a lower abv than wine and serve a little sweet, it will be palatable quicker. Just like a BIG Russian Imperial Stout versus a British Mild. They both benefit from aging, the the mild is good to go in a few weeks.

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Old 03-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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I tried that recipe last year with EC-1118. I don't keg so it came out very dry. Carbed nicely in the bottle. But the berry flavor was missing and tasted a tad bitter.

Question: Will Notty Ale Yeast make it less dry? If it does will it still bottle carb OK?

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Old 03-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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Do you think Safale US-05 always yeast is better to use then the wine ec-1118 yeast?

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Old 03-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper View Post
I think it's possible. It will be young as wine goes, but if you shoot for a lower abv than wine and serve a little sweet, it will be palatable quicker. Just like a BIG Russian Imperial Stout versus a British Mild. They both benefit from aging, the the mild is good to go in a few weeks.
I am only going for something between 6-8 abv. I still need to plug the stuff into beersmith to see where I stand.
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Drinking - red ale, Honey Wheat, Chamomile Ale, Coriander Mead., Chocolate Porter & aging 6-pack of Smoked Porter
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkKF View Post
I tried that recipe last year with EC-1118. I don't keg so it came out very dry. Carbed nicely in the bottle. But the berry flavor was missing and tasted a tad bitter.

Question: Will Notty Ale Yeast make it less dry? If it does will it still bottle carb OK?
I've heard 1118 strips some fruit flavors.

Yes, I bottle carb using nottingham all the time and in my opinion it doesn't take as long for the apple flavor to come back around. But I guess it will depend on your definition of "dry". You have to rack a couple of times to slow it down. I rack at 1.020 and keep it in the upper 50s to low 60s.

It usually takes me about 3 weeks to get perfect carbonation when bottling around 1.002-1.005
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyHandedBrewing View Post
Do you think Safale US-05 always yeast is better to use then the wine ec-1118 yeast?
I personally don't care for US-05 much as it doesn't flocculate as well as S-04 or notty. (in my experience) Every time I've used it the cake always billows and leaves a ton of sediment in the bottles. Might not matter if you are kegging though.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper View Post
Looks like you have a pretty good recipe. Since you are sorbating and kegging you'll be able to easily hit your desired sweetness. You can always just stop fermentation once you hit your desired sweetness and not even worry about back sweetening. You might even consider an ale yeast if you already have some on hand. I personally like Nottingham.
I ended up using an American ale liquid yeast. I was making an ipa and just made an extra large starter and poured off 2 cups of the 10 cup starter. My question is this, how do u stop fermentation? I know how to stop a fully fermented mead from refermenting and back sweeten it, but I did not know it was possible to stop an active fermentation.
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Drinking - red ale, Honey Wheat, Chamomile Ale, Coriander Mead., Chocolate Porter & aging 6-pack of Smoked Porter
Kegged - Hefeweizen & 80 minute IPA

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