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-   -   Brewing beginner - Mixed fruit ciders (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/brewing-beginner-mixed-fruit-ciders-129922/)

Philosopher_Ted 07-29-2009 02:16 AM

Brewing beginner - Mixed fruit ciders
 
Hiyo! Check my intro post for more info on me and my whereabouts but enough about that...

I'm a total newbie to brewing but my father and uncles have been brewing beers and wines for many years so I'm not totally "up the creek".

Unfortunately, none of them have tried making any ciders and while I'm sure many aspects are similar if not the same I thought I'd try to glean some information off the information superhighway.

So here I am! (I yabber if you haven't figured that out yet...)

I moved into a new place which has three beautiful mature apple trees and would love to brew some cider with them... but for God only know what reason, only one of them fruited well this summer and I've read that using one "breed"/type of apple isn't reccomended. Now I haven't done a lot of research here (but I will now that I've found it :D ) but that is my first question. One apple type or multiple apple types?

Second question is... Can I mix fruits with the main apple cider base?

I have two large well fruited Nan king (sp?) trees and Bing cherry bush that I think would mix well (as far as taste goes) with the apples. I also have access to my own and other raspberry bushes.

Which leads me into the third question... Which of the above would you recommend/want to try?

Any and all comments welcome! :D

gregbathurst 07-29-2009 02:29 AM

Fruit from you own apple trees will make excellent cider because you can let the fruit ripen on the trees - any apple tree is worth trying. Let them ripen until they lose the "green apple" taste and you can push into the fruit easily with your thumb. Most commercial fruit is picked early because it is easier to handle.
A refractometer will help track ripeness but isn't necessary.

Philosopher_Ted 07-29-2009 03:34 AM

Thanks Greg! Is there a particular type of refactometer I would be looking for?

gregbathurst 07-29-2009 05:27 AM

There are plenty on ebay, usually calibrated in brix. (grams/100mL).

NEW 0-32% Economy Portable Brix Refractometer CNC Sugar - eBay (item 390073648398 end time Aug-04-09 00:04:29 PDT)

This is the style to get. They are very easy to use - put a drop of juice under the flap and look in the eyepiece. I'm not endorsing this one, just the style.

Philosopher_Ted 08-11-2009 12:06 AM

So I picked my apples and went with the bing cherries, we ended up buying a food processor and shredding the apples and hand pressing both with cheesecloth. Ended up with aprox 10 gallons of 3/4 apple 1/4 bing cherry juice. What to do from here? I've heard wild yeast is a bad way to go, but have no idea how to discern what kind of commercial yeast to use... I'm hoping for a dry cider and have found a few different options but hoping for some input from others... Also I've ehard you should defoam the juice as well...

Philosopher_Ted 08-25-2009 01:51 AM

So here it is... I don't really know if anyone is paying any attention whatsoever to this thread but hey, I'm getting excited. BTW Greg, thanks for your response, I based alot of the basics of this cider on your pressed apple cider recipe, as well as my own research on here and other sources. Anyhow, on to the good stuff! Here's a pic from my dad cell. http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...d/IMG00081.jpg It looks excellent! I just hope it tastes good too... I can get details on the yeast and SG and etc etc if anyone's curious. If a n y o n e has recommendations on improving the flavour based on first taste before 2nd rack, please feel free to share! I.e. get more or less sweet - dry - tart - etc etc... Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

gregbathurst 08-25-2009 06:09 AM

Ted, it looks great, Im sure you must have tasted it hope it was ok. Are you going to carbonate it? I believe apple is an excellent base for other flavours so based on no experience of cherries i would say you chose a good ratio of fruit. If you intend to carbonate you could bottle without racking, leave it too long and the yeast drops out. If not, rack and age while deciding if it needs further improvement.
Glad to see someone got use from my recipe.
Greg

Philosopher_Ted 09-10-2009 03:25 AM

Another update:
Went back home for the weekend ( My dad has it down there as I have no space or suitable conditions that I feel are safe... Aaaaannnyyyways...) and we racked a second time, checked abv which is currently 4.5 ish%.
Looks great especially after racking again. Virtually no sediment left now which will be nice for bottles.
Smells great too, you can smell a hint of both the cherry and apple which I hope becomes more pronounced with age.
I wasn't so happy with the abv but we hadn't added any sugar yet so we added 2 cups of organic cane sugar, I want a good "kick in the head" cider so we'll see where that takes us. Kinda looking for the 7-9% area and I'm not sure where that amount of sugar will put it but I'm the learn by experience kind of guy so no biggee.
Taste was what I was expecting for an age of aprox 6 weeks. Not bad by any means, not much of an alchohol taste which is obvious, definitely tart but not too much so, you can already taste the edges of the apples and the cherry is stronger still at this point. So at this point very happy with the results. I may sweeten it a shade for final bottling and I plan on carbing it so I might have to do some research there as I'm not sure if the two will interfere with each other.

Anyhow thanks for reading and if you have any opinions, advice or constructive criticism please feel free to post!

Sacrilicious 08-21-2011 06:15 PM

Ted, what kind of yeast did you end up using? (if you're still posting here after 2 years)


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