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Old 04-24-2010, 02:27 AM   #1
George7845
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Default Cider / Brewing virgin! please help!

I was working the other day, and my friend started talking about making hard cider, a very old fashioned dangerous way that could end up in vinegar. So i said what the hell, i would like to make a batch of hard cider! A possible new hobby. So the last two weeks Ive been trolling forums, found a local home brew store, and trying to find out best way to do it.

This is what i came up with; i have 2 airlocks, 2 five gallon bucket carbs (plastic, is a new hobby) , 5 grams of RedStar powdered yeast, and campden tablets. I plan on getting cider a from local orchard (ive worked there) who claims they use a blend of sour and sweet apples for their cider. So i plan on hopefully getting the cider raw and using 1 tablet per gallon (what bottle says). If i cant get it raw it will be flash preserved with no preservatives, then ill scratch the campden.

This is my plan of action! i plan on sterilizing everything with First Step cleaner, then going to orchard and filling my carb. Ill get it home and use campden, set up airlock, (may be premature, but have nothing else to cover hole) Then wait 24 hours, aerate with silver spoon of some sort, add my yeast, then sugar. Then put the cap back on with airlock and wait 2-3 weeks. Then i will siphon into secondary bucket (with a second airlock?) and i intended on using tubing and turkey baster, but local brew store laughed at me , something i had seen online. Wait another 2 weeks, prime with suger that makes it carbonated and bottle it with saved non twist off bottles, by using caps and bottle capper from brewery store. Then i intended on letting it sit on the shelf to age whether it be a week from then, or 5 months.

So i know this is a long thread and alot of info, but i just want to do it right (no vinegar). Please critic me cause ive just been going off of random forums. And one thing that i left out was im not sure how much sugar i should use for 5 gallons in 1st stage. Someone said to use like a pound of brown sugar.
In the end i would like a fair tasting , kinda sweet cider, 5% alc that me and the fiancee will enjoy.

Hope to hear from some people, George

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Old 04-24-2010, 03:37 AM   #2
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I usually use a 50/50 split of white sugar and brown sugar. For me, it gives it a bit more flavor. Other than that, everything sounds good, just be as clean as possible!

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Old 04-24-2010, 10:17 AM   #3
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I for one would love to hear more about the "very old fashioned dangerous way" to make cider. Could you elaborate?

Thanks

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default dangerous cider

This is how my older friend does it (country boy). He, and his friends all chose a day to press raw cider. They all bring their own apples and press through out the day, nothing out of the norm. But then he takes his RAW cider and put it in a barrel, no campden, no yeast, but with some brown and white sugar. Then he says he makes sure to pick up a couple of extra gallons. He checks his cider once a day, takes off the cap (no airlock), and adds cider to it, so no air is in it. Then he proceeds to cap that, and do that for every day for a month or so, then i think he racks it in 2 liter coke bottles or something. I believe he is going for authenticity and good taste being a (country boy) but i just didnt want to end up with vinegar or ecoli. So that is how my friend makes old fashion dangerous cider.

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Default One step cleaner

I used 1 one step cleaner last night on my carboy im going to fill today with cider. The cleaner says to mix teaspoon into gallon, wash , dont rinse let air dry. I did that w/o the rinsing, but im worried that the one step residue i can see on the lid, (also in white bucket, just not visible) will stop my cider from fermenting? opinions please, about to go fill up very soon.

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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So for 5 gallons of cider, half pound of white, half pound of brown?, or a pound of each? just want a happy medium taste 5% alc.

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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I wouldn't use ANY sugar! The sugar does ferment out, boosting the alcohol but it also gives the cider a more wine-like taste and less like cider. A "real" cider is just cider and yeast.

As far as the one-step, one-step is a cleaner and not a sanitizer. However, it CAN sanitize. You must not have dissolved it well, though. You don't want to sanitize the day before you make your cider- you do it a couple of minutes before. So, I'd rinse that film off, and mix up some fresh sanitizer. You can use one gallon of hot water and a tablespoon and one-step and stir well until it's completely dissolved. Swirl to cover all surfaces and your lid and airlock, then dump it out. I like to use star-san, iodophor, or even crushed campden tablets, since they are "no rinse" and wet contact sanitizers- that means you sanitize and then use while the items are still wet. Once they dry, they can be susceptible to being contaminated again.

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
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great, thank you yooper!

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Old 04-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Looks good. FYI, 1 Lb of Sugar in 5 Gals of Apple Juice comes out to about 1.060 OG, which translates to about 7.5% abv.
Straight Apple Juice with no sugar would give you about a 6% cider.

I prefer to use Nottingham Ale Yeast with 1 Lb of Light Brown Sugar in my ciders. Nottingham is a cheap yeast, that wroks well and clears in about 3 weeks, quicker than Red Star IMHO.

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Old 04-30-2010, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George7845 View Post
This is how my older friend does it (country boy). He, and his friends all chose a day to press raw cider. They all bring their own apples and press through out the day, nothing out of the norm. But then he takes his RAW cider and put it in a barrel, no campden, no yeast, but with some brown and white sugar. Then he says he makes sure to pick up a couple of extra gallons. He checks his cider once a day, takes off the cap (no airlock), and adds cider to it, so no air is in it. Then he proceeds to cap that, and do that for every day for a month or so, then i think he racks it in 2 liter coke bottles or something. I believe he is going for authenticity and good taste being a (country boy) but i just didnt want to end up with vinegar or ecoli. So that is how my friend makes old fashion dangerous cider.
Thanks for the reply. I had read somewhere that another old fashioned way to make cider was to simply cut the apples up, place into a barrel and cover with water. Let the natural yeast do its thing and the result is supposed to be a light hard cider. I havn't tried it myself but it sounded interesting.

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