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Old 10-19-2009, 03:39 AM   #1
Philosopher_Ted
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Default Cider batch #2

Some of you may know that earlier this summer I started a batch of cider using apples and cherries of my trees in the backyard. Well, we just did or second racking and tasting over thanksgiving and the turn out so far was good enough to encourage me to start a second batch.

Batch number #2 - "DBA - Death by Apple"
Cut, processed, and crushed between 5-6 pounds of each of the following:
Apples: Ambrosia, Royal Gala, Honey Ripe, Golden Delicious, Grannysmith, and Fuji

Pear: Bartlett

After having thoroughly beaten my knuckles to a pulp (no pun intended, hehe..) pressing all of the above and being a couple litres short of the total amount. (18 litres) I consigned myself to supplementing with 1.8 litres of organic Opalescent apple juice and just for a random kick, 1 litre of Ruby Red grapefruit juice.
Although I was wary of how the grapefruit juice would affect the final product, I'm new to this whole thing and willing to take chances.

Starting S.G. was 1.055 and I want to end up in the 10 - 11% range, so I added 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of brown sugar.

Yeast is a generic Champagne yeast from the wine kit section of my local grocer. I reconstituted it and pitched this morning and fermentation took off quickly (I think) as it is bubbling 3-4 times a min 8 hours later this evening.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions!

Ted

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Old 10-19-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Wow that's a lot of work! Seems like it will be a dry cider since you added sugar and used champagne yeast. Seems like it will need some age.

Do you plan on stopping fermentation or letting it dry it out all the way?

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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I'd be interested to know how the grapefruit juice works. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 10-19-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Yeah, I def need to build a press this winter... Hand pressing is for cavemen. It took two 4 hour sessions with plenty of breaks to get it all processed and pressed but I'm a cheap sob, so I pressed every last possible drop out that I could by hand.

At this point I'll probably ferment it right out and at the final tasting decide whether to backsweeten or not.
I'm partial to a very dry cider, but some of the other people who I'm going to be sharing this with are not of the same preference so I'll probably end up doing at least a partial batch sweetened.

I will be updating this as I go, for my own records if nothing else. So keep an eye out for future updates!

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Old 11-12-2009, 05:45 AM   #5
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Ok... so I racked to secondary today and something interesting happened and I'm not sure it's a good thing.
I did some research and found some info but only relating to other types of fermentation (i.e. beer), so I hope someone can help me out here.
So...
I tested the s.g. and the "floating thingy" (sorry, it's late and my brain isn't working...) sank straight to the bottom but I underfilled the tube and couldn't add anymore cider at that point... anyways it read 1.02ish when it bottomed out.
Cider had been in primary for a month minus 5 days and hadn't bubbled in ages and I thought it was therefore done fermenting.
Now here's the weird part. Once I had it all safely put into the secondary and transported it downstairs to my dark corner I noticed the airlock had started bubbling very slowly again.
What's up with that?

On a sidenote, I'm very happy with the very immature taste of this cider already. For only being a month old, it is a much more pleasing taste than my first batch was at two months...

Anyhow, I hope someone can shed some light on this for me.
Thanks

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Old 11-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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Airlock activity does not mean a presence or lack of fermentation. It could have restarted, racking can shake the brew into doing so, or it could just be some co2 in solution just coming out. Keep an eye on it and use your hydrometer (floating thingy)

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Old 11-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #7
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Don't champagne yeasts ferment down to .995 or .990?

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:35 AM   #8
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Yes, champagne and many wine yeasts (and many others) can and do ferment down to below 1.000. Especially in cider will almost all of the sugars are fermentable even beer yeasts can ferment to complete dryness.

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:22 AM   #9
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Allright... thanks for the info.
I sort of thought that either of those could be case, but was "noob worried" that it might have been "infected" or something.
Anything I should do in particular other than check the s.g. to ensure the yeast has finished?

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