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Old 08-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #1
gahyoujerk
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Default cheap cider problem

Hey, I'm new to the forum. I lived in the northwest of France for about a year a few years ago and fell in love with cider. I watched a lot of youtube videos showing how I could make cider. So I decided I would make some cheap cider to practice cider making and homebrewing in general.

I used 1/2 gallon of white house 100% juice, it has no preservatives. I used Lavin D-47 wine yeast.

With the 1/2 gallon, I made two batches to ferment, a larger one and a smaller one. The larger one I used a 2 liter soda bottle that had been sanitized. The smaller batch I used a 20oz soda bottle that was sanitized also.
I was using the 20oz batch as my tester to determine how to continue with the larger one. I poured the juice in and added 2 cups of sugar and about 2oz yeast. I let it ferment for 6 days when it seemed the bubbles had pretty much stopped, the I strained the cider through a coffee filter and put it into the fridge for 2 days.
I tried some of this cider yesterday, it has a very strong alcohol smell and taste! I'm happy about this part. But it also seems to be a bit syrupy. I like sweet wines much better than dry ones, but the sweeteness is quite strong and syrupy a bit. I had to add some water to try to fix this.

Why is the cider syrupy? Did I add too much sugar for the 20oz size? or too little yeast? Does the amount of yeast need to increase for the increase in sugar?

I'm glad the cider/wine is quite strong, just confused about the syrupy sweetness.



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Old 08-17-2011, 03:37 PM   #2
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if I am not mistaken, 2 cups of sugar weights around 1#. This is a lot for 20oz of juice!

So what happened is probably the alcohol content got so high that the yeast simply died. As a result, you have both alcohol and unfermented sugar.

Check out the recipes here to help you design your recipe. The simple recipe I use can be found in post #2 of this thread. It calls for 1 lb. of crystal sugar and 1/2 lb. of brown sugar, for 4gallon of juice in the fermenter, and an additional gallon of juice when kegging.

Also, you may consider using a hydrometer to know the sugar content of your recipe. This will help you understand what is going on, and how much alcohol you can expect.

Finally, 6 days is really short for a cider to ferment. "No bubbles" should not be a criteria. Check the gravity instead. Usually 2 to 6 months is a good fermenting time for ciders.

Hope that helps



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Old 08-17-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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2 cups is indeed a LOT of sugar for a 20oz!

That works out to 12.8 cups per gallon.

I use between 1 lb and 1.5 lb of brown sugar for 5 (FIVE!) gallons of juice. Recently, a bit more towards 1.25 lbs.

M_C

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Old 08-17-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
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Oh ok, thanks for the info. I added a good amount of sugar case the last thing I wanted was a cider that was very dry, I like some sweetness. I also read that more sugar will produce a higher alcohol percent, as long as the yeast can handle the high alcohol.
Guess I just added too much sugar. haha

Wow, 2 months to ferment some cider. I really can't imagine letting mine ferment so long since I'm just beginning to make my own product. I'm extremely anxious to try out my cider even after only a week much less 2 months. Maybe after I get some experience and want to make a few gallons at a time I will try to wait longer.

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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Fermentation will probably take about 2 weeks usually, if you're looking at about 6%. Cider ferments pretty slow because there arn't a lot of nutrients in apples. If you let it ferment, clear and settle out, it's likely to be fully fermented and basically ready to drink.

It sounds like you need to do some research though, you are definitely rushing things here

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:22 PM   #6
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Not that I'm an expert, I agree with Rob... Mine only takes about 5-6 days but I stop the fermentation at 1.02 SG because I like it a little sweet.

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Old 08-17-2011, 11:28 PM   #7
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Yes all the sugar will be converted into alcohol pretty quickly, and it is drinkable after a couple of weeks. But depending on your recipe and the temperature you ferment at, letting you cider age will benefit a lot. I like my cider better after a couple of months.



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