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Old 06-12-2013, 10:02 PM   #1
tokerlund
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Default Cider Experiment

I made my first 5 gallon batch of cider a year ago. It lasted 6-8 months and my 2nd batch, which I started last fall is all but gone. As a result, I am hoping to make a good sized batch, say 6 - 10 gallons this time around. My problem is I have tinkered with the recipe each time. So this time I am going to do the following.

All Batches will be straight cider with no added sugar or fermentatables. I like to drink it young and I want only 5-6%. I like to ferment it dry and then add a bit of apple juice just before I bottle to provide just enough sugar to make it sparkling.

I plan to make 1-3 gallon batches of each of the following

  • American Wheat Ale Yeast
  • Nottingham Yeast
  • SO-4
  • SO-5
  • Lager Yeast (Maybe a Steam Beer yeast)
  • Montrach Wine Yeast (maybe a few others I have kicking around)

I also wanted to attempt to dry hop some of the ciders with Cascade or Citra

Any advice, thoughts or suggestions? I'm going to hit Costco and the LHBS on Friday.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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Don't waste your time with 1 gallon batches. You put as much time and effort into them as you would a 3, 5, or 6 gallon batch and get very little yield.

Nottingham produces very little krausen, don't be surprised to see nothing.

S-04 produces a massive yeast cake 2 - 3 inches deep, at least it has both times I've used it.

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Old 06-13-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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I've made 3 5 gallon batches of cider. One was with champagne yeast, and the other 2 with Nottingham. I made each with cinnamon sticks and each one I added some extra sugar but not a lot. The best one in my opinion was the one with champagne yeast. It finished pretty dry and ended up being more like a wine. The other two with the Nottingham yeast were too sweet for my taste.

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Old 06-16-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
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I ended up doing the following

S-04 (1gallon)
Montrachet (3 Gallons)
Champagne (1gallon)
Nottingham (3 Gallons)
W34/70 (1gallon)
WB06 (1gallon)
Cote Des Blanc (1gallon)

I threw the W34/70 in a tub of water to keep it cooler (67*), as it is a lager yeast. The rest are brewing at between 72* & 75*. They are all in the basement and the temp doesn't fluctuate too much.

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Old 06-16-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokerlund View Post
I ended up doing the following

S-04 (1gallon)
Montrachet (3 Gallons)
Champagne (1gallon)
Nottingham (3 Gallons)
W34/70 (1gallon)
WB06 (1gallon)
Cote Des Blanc (1gallon)

I threw the W34/70 in a tub of water to keep it cooler (67*), as it is a lager yeast. The rest are brewing at between 72* & 75*. They are all in the basement and the temp doesn't fluctuate too much.
I had never even bothered to look into lagering. I just realized that 67* is about 10* higher than recommended. If I had known, I could have put it in my beer fridge as both of my kegs are dry at the moment. Anybody have any thoughts as to how that 10* is going to affect cider? I guess I have a steam cider!
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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I have also used WYeast Liquid Cider Yeast, and was quite happy with that.

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #8
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Your lager cider will just be a bit more fruity as a result of the extra heat during fermentation. Not a bad thing, but could produce some extra SO2 as well, so let that gas off in secondary a bit before bottling.

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Old 06-18-2013, 10:38 PM   #9
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Great, thanks! The fruity flavor is worth testing out. Especially since I really don't have a reliable lagering option at the moment. If I had been able to lager it in the 50s it would have been a one time deal. At least this way I get an idea of what I could make regularly and how it would taste.

I am about 40 hours in and the bubbling has slowed significantly. I will be away this weekend, but should be either racking these over, cold crashing or bottling the weekend after. 14 days should be enough for a cider with an estimated OG of about 1.050 to ferment out completely at ~70* I would think.

I plan to taste before I carb and post notes, then again after. I may blend two batches to fill my keg, just for convenience. I am hoping to identify two that I think would go well together. . . or maybe just my least preferred two on the hope that they improve with blending.

I had planned to dry hop a gallon of the Notty and the Mont, but my LHBS did not have any of the C hops. He tends to run the store as a hobby and it can be very difficult to get what you want when you want it. Rather than taking a stab in the dark on hops, I'll just save that for another time.

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Old 06-24-2013, 01:26 AM   #10
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Racked them over hours ago.
Juice OG was 1.052
@ 15 days @ 72*-75*

34/70
-forgot to take an Gravity or taste test

WB-06
- 1.005
- Strong Apple
- Tart Bite
- By far my favorite so far

Cote Des Blancs
- 1.000
- Dry w/ subtle apple

S-04
- 1.010
- Sweet
- no apple flavor detected
- Might be a good cider to flavor with other juices after ferment. . .

Champagne
- 1.004
- Dry
- Small Apple w/ slight tang

Montrachet
- 1.004
- Sweet
- Little Apple
- Slight tang

Notty
- 1.010
- Sweet
- No Apple


As the hydrometer shows, it is still early in the process. Most probably have another week or two to ferment out completely. The Montrachet & Notty were both my least favorite. They tasted watered down and had little flavor. Both however are 3 gallon batches, where the rest a 1 gallon. I loved the WB-06. The tang, sweetness and apple were a nice mix. In the future, I might look at killing the yeast when they hit this FG and then keg it. The others are all good. The few with very little flavor I am thinking I would use to make a Strawberry Cider or a Rhubarb Cider in the future. As I said earlier though, time will tell how these come out in the final taste.

cider1.jpeg   cider2.jpeg  
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