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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Cheap Hard Apple Cider
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:41 AM   #11
JonSnow
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hmmm, well, if they are all crappy, then I guess I won't be doing a sweet cider. Thanks for the heads up. To be honest, I'm just trying it out to see how it goes. I don't have a keg...I'm trying this out for a little experience w/o equipment. Thanks again for the info!

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:12 AM   #12
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Soo, I gave 'er a go tonight. I used this idea:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/5-da...-cider-265986/

I "made" my own brew bucket out of a home depot bucket and a grommet. I think it should work well.

I had two gallons of Wal-Mart apple juice. Heated up a bit of it. I put some cinnamon in the mix then realized I did have a stick, so I added that too. Put in about a pound of brown sugar. Let it cool down a bit. Added a little cold water to speed the cooling process then dumped the two gallons and heated-up-now-cooled mix. Stirred it up good and added the yeast (champagne). Mixed it again and put the lid on. It'll be sitting in the basement (I'd estimate around 64-70 degrees).

Thanks for all the help. I'll probably keep updating this thread in the hope that it helps some other noob like me.

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #13
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I am going to have to respectfully disagree with Topher. I bottle-carb all my cider and it's not hard to sweeten them at all. You have a few options.

Option 1 is to use a sweetener that does not ferment. Artificial sweeteners like splenda (BOOOOOO) do this, as do non-fermentable sugars like lactose (YAAAAAAY) and non-sugar sweet glycols like Stevia (I have yet to try this; Stevia has a bitter taste as well which may not work well but a couple people on this board seem to like it).

Option 2 is to use regular sugar and careful planning. The theorycraft goes like this:
-If you make cider without too much added sugar then let it ferment dry you will still have a yeast population largely unimpacted by alcohol content
-Therefor, you can basically ferment any new sugar about as normal
-BECAUSE of this, you can sweeten your cider in such a way that you get carbonation before all the sugar is consumed.
In my experience, the correct amount of sugar to add to achieve this is somewhere between 1/5 and 1/4 of a cup per gallon. Less and all the sugar will be consumed; more and your cider gets progressively more and more sweet. Keep in mind that adding apple juice concentrate at this point as many folks do will also add sugar.

With a little trial and error using small batches, you can pretty quickly work out appropriate back-sweetening for ciders, provided they haven't been built to a very extreme ABV.

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #14
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I did the dishwasher pasteurization when I made my cider. It was easy. If you don't have a dishwasher that gets that hot you could use the stove top method. That way you don't have to back sweeten, but it is all up to you and what you want to do.

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonSnow View Post
Also, I had planned on using either plastic brown PET bottles that someone gave me from a Mr.Beer kit or old soda bottles...if I put them in the dishwasher for 10 min, will the bottles survive?
I wouldn't try and pasteurize in PET bottles. It might deform the crowns and not seal properly.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:02 PM   #16
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I wouldn't try and pasteurize in PET bottles. It might deform the crowns and not seal properly.
Yeah, that's what I was kinda thinking. My other option is to use a bunch of bud bottles that someone dropped off (with the caps re-screwed on). I was thinking this might work with a little elbow grease.

"Cold Crashing" sounds like it might also be an option. All I have to do is make the bottles cold enough after carbonation has begun, right?
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:34 PM   #17
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I wouldn't wait until the plastic bottles get rock hard before putting them in the fridge. I'd put them in right before they are perfectly carb'd and then drink them rather quickly. The plastic bottles will be more forgiving than glass, but personally I wouldn't automatically assume that cold crashing would stop the carbonation process. Most likely it will, but don't take it for granted.

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:31 PM   #18
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Thanks Pickled Pepper,
I'm living in WI now and I think I might just put them outside my garage in the backyard. I put store-bought beer out there and it rarely freezes, but certainly stays cold. The plan is to drink this stuff up quickly. If I do end up with a blowout, the applejuice will probably just feed the garden (or at least ants...lol).

Maybe with this batch I'll put some into plastic and some into old bud bottles. As the months go on, I hope to increase my bottle collection.

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:54 PM   #19
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At least once a year I put a bottle of something in the freezer just to "chill it". I usually start doing something else (and drinking something else ) and end up scrubbing the freezer the next day to get rid of broken glass and frozen beer.

Wisconsin. A friend has been trying to get me to go up to Madison for a few years now and I was hoping to make it to New Glarus for a tour. Have you ever been?

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Old 03-07-2013, 01:46 AM   #20
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I want to go badly. I'm up north though, so that's pretty far for me. I have been to hinterland and titletown on a recent trip though.

If this tastes decent, it might become my cheap fix.

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