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Old 01-31-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
Jsmith82
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Default Small batch of cider on my next brew day - Help with a couple questions?

I'm brewing off a half batch of Blood Orange Hefe this Saturday and I was thinking about doing a couple of gallons of cider for fun (and to use the rest of my yeast).

I have found a simple recipe I can easily convert down to a smaller quantity but I could also use local organic products making it unique to my city:

5 Gallons unfiltered Organic Apple Cider (from grocery store)
2 lbs local wildflower honey

1 tube White Labs #WLP775 Dry English Cider yeast
5 tsp Fermax yeast nutrient

OG 1.050
FG.996
ABV 7.04%


Brew day directions were very simple: sanitize everything, cider goes directly to the fermentation chamber (though I was debating bringing it to a boil then chilling first for safety concerns), heat the honey in a portioned amount of hot water (2 cups water to 2 lbs honey - 150F recommended), add the fermax, cool a bit, then add to primary. They call to pitch yeast directly on top the primary though I'd probably make a starter. Aerate, then on to fermentation.

Before I accidentally create a hideous batch of apple junk, I thought it would be smart to clarify a couple of things here first.

I was planning on using the leftover Wyeast3068 from my Hefe; because I'm not using the recommended yeast above in the recipe, is this going to drastically change the outcome and flavor?

My main fermentation chambers are currently utilized, I was planning on using a couple of clear glass 1 gallon wine jugs. They are screw tops so I figured a tight twist but not a Hulk twist, would leave enough minimal break in the seal for adequate breathing room during the fermentation process. SO, I make 2 gallons worth, let it ferment in the screw top jugs for 2 weeks, then rack over to secondary jugs for a single week to help clear the cider out a bit, then rack to the bottling bucket, cap them off, and let them go basement bound for a couple months.

Am I destine to make 23pack of apple gunk or do you think I will end up with a fairly nice cider by spring?

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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I wouldn't boil the juice, boiling makes it tougher to clear.

You will want to make sure fermentation is complete before you bottle. It is very easy to make bottle bombs with cider that is still fermenting. Safest bet is to let ferment out than bottle for a still cider or prime and bottle for a sparkling cider.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadymi View Post
I wouldn't boil the juice, boiling makes it tougher to clear.

You will want to make sure fermentation is complete before you bottle. It is very easy to make bottle bombs with cider that is still fermenting. Safest bet is to let ferment out than bottle for a still cider or prime and bottle for a sparkling cider.
Clear cider will not be much of an option with this yeast strain unless you cold crash the fool out of it. I made some cider with the white labs equivalent and was pleased with the results. I just used straight juice and nothing else though so your cider may vary.

I am not sure what flavor you will be going for with the yeast (clove or banana) but I would think that both would be good candidates. Pay attention to your temperature and pitching rate and you should be fine. I went for the banana when I made some and was pleased with the results. I would have a tougher time making it again until them summer as my house doesnt get above 68 during the winter.

Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice; I will definitely follow your recommendations. If you don't mind sharing, how much priming sugar did you use for your batch and how much did you make? Did you mix it directly to water and add it to the bucket prior to bottling or did you add a measured amount per bottle?

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:43 AM   #5
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The honey will take a while to ferment out.

Cloudy juice takes forever to clear unless you use pectic enzyme.

Leave a couple of months (at least) before bottling, or you will have a ton of gunk in the bottom of the bottles.

You might rack it a couple of times to get it off the sediment. I usually top-off after racking with straight store bought clear (preservative free) juice.

Use similar priming rates to beer. Maybe on the high side; about 3 volumes. I usually use juice for bottling. The juice I get is about 1.046/1.048. That works out about the same SG as a pound of table sugar in 1 gallon, so 1 cup (half a pint) is equivalent to one ounce of table sugar. I usually use 1 cup of juice to a gallon of cider for bottling.

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Old 02-04-2011, 01:38 PM   #6
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Right on Calder; thanks for the tips. I like your route of using sugary juice in oppose to a priming sugar solution. I'm heading to my local supply today to grab another fermenter and a bottling bucket (nervous about carbonation in a wine jug now). I'll pick up some pectic enzyme while I'm there. Sorry to continuously barge with questions but what would you say the rate of enzyme per gallon is or would this be something printed on the container?

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Old 02-04-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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*fermentation, not carbonation.. well.. I guess its technically a bit of both..

Bottom line I don't need a 1 gallon glass cider bomb exploding in the basement :P

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