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Old 11-01-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
kevinstan
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Default Bland Cider - Please Help

I have done two one gallon batches of cider so far. Both turned out ok, and tasted in the end like some juiced Granny Smith sour / tart apples with a small alcohol punch. It was ok but not a crowd pleaser.

What can I do to the two one gallon batches I have going now to make them better ? I have the super basic juice brown sugar and ale yeast recipe going, but want these to turn out better than the first two. I tried back sweetening with apple concentrate but didn't like how that turned out. I am thinking of using spices or something for these ? I don't know. Any suggestions ?

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Old 11-02-2012, 04:47 AM   #2
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How old is this "bland" cider? I usually age my ciders for at least a few months. You might also try using malt extract instead of sugar, adds more flavour & body to the cider, Raisins will help too. I've switched to ale yeast for cider, it turns out a much better product than wine yeast IMHO.

Try this recipe:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/graf...-cider-117117/
It's a little more involved, but it's still really easy & tastes so much better; takes almost no aging at all if you want to drink it young; but as with any cider/wine/mead, it gets better with age.

I've been doing minimashes with graff, increased grains, increased malt extract, added juice concentrate, adjuncts like oats, caraway seed, raisins, etc...
It's an extremely versatile recipe, I think it's pretty much goof-proof.
Regards, GF.

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Old 11-03-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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I like to add a cinnamon stick to the cider after it's done fermenting. A little tiny amount of nutmeg can be nice too.

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Old 11-03-2012, 04:19 AM   #4
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Do you add those when bottling or after you cold crash ?

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Old 11-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinstan View Post
Do you add those when bottling or after you cold crash ?
I usually add to secondary before cold crashing or clearing any other way. If you add them after you've cleared the cider you tend to end up with some haze. It isn't to bad, it's just that the cider won't be crystal clear. The spices really need to sit in the liquid for at least 2 or 3 days for you to get much flavor, a week seems to be about perfect.

Your basically dry hopping the spices. The cinnamon sticks need to come out when the flavor gets where you want it. If you leave them in the cinnamon flavor will continue to intensify for about 3 months before the cinnamon reaches its peak. That isn't usually desirable. The cinnamon sticks will also unroll in the liquid. So, you probably won't be able to get them out if you drop one down the neck of a narrow necked bottle.

It's better to add the spices to a reasonable volume of liquid. If you're just wanting to experiment, I'd say a 2 quart minimum. Any less and you will almost certainly over due the spices, just from the vagaries of how people measure small amounts of things.

Happy brewing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:53 AM   #6
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If you want to bump up the body try including chopped raisins, dates (unsulfured) etc, or get a hold of some glycerin from your LHBS and cheat I've never tried it with cider but I have used a single banana in some of my mead/wine batches to help boost mouthfeel without getting any real banana taste. Also if you have the ability get some paper chromatography stuff and do an acid analysis, might require a little tweaking with malic acid or acid blend to really turn the brightness of the flavors up. There's any number of adjuncts that can be helpful in making a more complex cider, blackstap molasses, maple syrup or maple sugar, agave syrup(if you're into that kind of thing). When you just bust out a really simple basic recipe you usually get a very simple basic product that can still be true-to-form but might not be one of those drinks that really "wows" the crowd. That being said it takes a couple of batches to fine-tune the desired effects in your magic beverage. My old man is still tweaking his "house draft" beer recipe every time he makes a new one that's to his liking but also easily replicable. Keep good notes, keep a drink at hand, and happy fine-tuning.

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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ive only done a few batches with cider.. but what works for me is.. that i add 1 pound of sugar to every gallon of fresh cider.. i will let it ferment for 6-8 weeks. After that i would add 2 can of pure apple concentrate to 5 gallons of cider.. its simple but it taste great.. Pluse i foudn by doing it that way u wont have that hot alcohol punch u were talking about.. it goes down really smooth.. one to many time me and my freinds foudn out the hard way how easy it goes down then nocks u back on your ass.

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:49 AM   #8
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yeast makes a huge difference, I really like nottingham for a bit more apple flavor and if you don't care about clarity wyeast 3068 is pretty amazing.

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