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Old 08-14-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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Default Can I make cider from cheap store Apple Juice?

So I have been brewing beer and my lady got her interest peaked, but doesn't like beer as much as me so I suggested cider as she sometimes drinks Woodchucks and such. When she picked up the ingredients she supposedly couldn't find organic or fresh cider and bought the regular store Apple Juice in a jug. She did follow my instructions to ensure it had no additives except for asorbic acid. I figured worst case we're out a packet of yeast and some brown sugar so I went ahead and setup the primary and used a Redstar Pasteur Champagne yeast starter. It's been about 30 hours and there doesn't seem to be any pressure showing in the airlock. Does this sound normal? Is the juice going to work?

Recipe:
3 gallons apple juice + asorbic acid (probably pastuerized)
1 lb brown sugar
1/2 lb honey
1/4 tsp nutrient
1 pack pasteur Champagne yeast (hydrated and started)
1/2 tsp Irish Moss

Thx

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Old 08-14-2009, 04:13 PM   #2
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It will work fine. HBT members have made over 13,000 gallons of Apfelwein from such juice!

Skip the Irish Moss, it's a kettle fining designed to be used in the boil. No need for it here.

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Old 08-14-2009, 04:28 PM   #3
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I would think it will work just fine. Pasturized juice is still juice, it just has a different flavor (traditionally not as tasty). The yeast is more interested in the sugar.

No bubbles in the airlock doesn't always mean a stunted fermentation. Make sure your lid is sealed tightly. Check your must for bubbles/foam and give it a few more days. If you still don't see signs of fermentation (check SG to be sure), repitch. Also, make sure your must is about 70 degrees before pitching. I usually put a heating pad underneath my primary on the "low" or "warm" setting and make sure its up to temp before pitching.

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Old 08-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiGravShawn View Post
So I have been brewing beer and my lady got her interest peaked, but doesn't like beer as much as me so I suggested cider as she sometimes drinks Woodchucks and such. When she picked up the ingredients she supposedly couldn't find organic or fresh cider and bought the regular store Apple Juice in a jug. She did follow my instructions to ensure it had no additives except for asorbic acid. I figured worst case we're out a packet of yeast and some brown sugar so I went ahead and setup the primary and used a Redstar Pasteur Champagne yeast starter. It's been about 30 hours and there doesn't seem to be any pressure showing in the airlock. Does this sound normal? Is the juice going to work?

Recipe:
3 gallons apple juice + asorbic acid (probably pastuerized)
1 lb brown sugar
1/2 lb honey
1/4 tsp nutrient
1 pack pasteur Champagne yeast (hydrated and started)
1/2 tsp Irish Moss

Thx
If you are looking for a cider similar to woodchuck you will be sorely dissapointed with this. This will taste more like a white wine, unless you wait a year. After a year the apple flavor may come through.

If you want a cider like the commercial ciders your wife drinks you need to make Graff Read the whole thread, you will understand the history and consensus and the thinking behind it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
No bubbles in the airlock doesn't always mean a stunted fermentation. Make sure your lid is sealed tightly. Check your must for bubbles/foam and give it a few more days. If you still don't see signs of fermentation (check SG to be sure), repitch. Also, make sure your must is about 70 degrees before pitching. I usually put a heating pad underneath my primary on the "low" or "warm" setting and make sure its up to temp before pitching.
I won't have to worry about a heating pad. I have to keep the AC blasting all day to get it down to 70 for my beer. (Southern Louisiana Summers) I did make sure it was around 70 when I pitched and have made sure the lid is tight. I may spray some water around the edge and see if any bubbles can clue me in on air leaks.

Quote:
This will taste more like a white wine, unless you wait a year. After a year the apple flavor may come through.
Do you think that maybe after a month or so racking to a secondary and adding some fruit like mashed grannysmith would help? I know she loves Woodchuck grannysmith.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HiGravShawn View Post
I won't have to worry about a heating pad. I have to keep the AC blasting all day to get it down to 70 for my beer. (Southern Louisiana Summers) I did make sure it was around 70 when I pitched and have made sure the lid is tight. I may spray some water around the edge and see if any bubbles can clue me in on air leaks.



Do you think that maybe after a month or so racking to a secondary and adding some fruit like mashed grannysmith would help? I know she loves Woodchuck grannysmith.
No, it won't, it will still taste like white wine. That wine yeast is going to shred anything you put in there, it will be dry and very thin. Make some Graff, you will be so happy you did. For any who have tried it, it starts getting chain brewed.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #7
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I checked that out and I will try that for sure as it fits right into my brew experience , but is there anything I can do to enhance this batch? I hate to waste it, but it'll never make it sitting around my little place for a year. I wonder if making a concentrated graff and blending them would help?

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Old 08-14-2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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I would think, but have never added apples to a secondary myself. Brandon is right, as is its similar to a white wine. Can't hurt to try, but use some campden.

I'm going to try Brandon's Graff recipe soon. Also, you may be interested in this:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/appl...k-clone-90276/
Of course, Graff and AppleBee are grain routes. If you want to continue going down the wine route for a similar effect, try this:

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Old 08-15-2009, 02:11 AM   #9
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The recipe in my dropdown uses cheap juice, and turns out awesome, not ready as early as Brandon's Graff, but I feel it's much more representative of a classic cider.

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon O View Post
No, it won't, it will still taste like white wine. That wine yeast is going to shred anything you put in there, it will be dry and very thin. Make some Graff, you will be so happy you did. For any who have tried it, it starts getting chain brewed.
Graff is GOOOOOOOD. It's worth ignoring Apfelwein entirely just to get an extra 5 gal. batch of Graff on the go.
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