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Old 12-11-2008, 08:26 PM   #1
gwin99
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Hi there:

I was just wondering if anyone knew where a complete brew-noob (like me) can get thier hands on a Cider FAQ?

I know there are tons of questions you seasoned vets are tired of answering - so why not make a sticky out of them! Or if there is a post that pretty much covers this - can you point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:05 PM   #2
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gwin99 top of this page there is a FAQ and a search facility, if you cant find what your looking for just post. Alot of us are noobs and you will always find new people joining day by day so there will always be someone who will answer your question

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:25 PM   #3
gwin99
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amasterjedi: thanks for the info! Yeah, I do see that, but thought there may have been something more specific to cider brewing and all the terms and procedures that go along with it...

When i say I'm a noob - i mean i am brewing my first brew ever. So my fisr thing was to "purroose" the forum looking for info but all the posts i came across had terms i have no idea what they actually mean...

Like cold-crash. OK, so it obivous that it means you chill your brew, but to what extent? Does the cold kill or just slow/stop the fermentation process - if that doesnt kill them, should i go colder to do so - is it even possible to kill off the yeast with cold temps?

Also, say you have been fermenting in primary for 2 weeks - and you like everything about the brew, what steps do you take to "curb" fermentation further? Or is it as simple as k-sorbate and campden tabs - which i understand (please correct) doesnt really stop fermentation in its tracks, so it continues...?

I have more "easy" questions like this - but thought there may have been a "noob chapter" I have yet to come across.

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Old 12-12-2008, 04:01 AM   #4
BrewinJack
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mate just post all your questions numbered on a post right here, and people will answer them when they feel like it and then the post will be there for others to use, it will be a legacy...

Cold crash is A term which means exactally what it sounds like, you cool your cider and stop fermentation like its hitting a brick wall... It doesnt kill the yeast it merely sends them dormant, as far as i know you can not kill yeast with cold tempatures, like most bacteria (which yeast only loosely belong to that family) they go dormant at tempatures but can survive even extream cold... after Cold Crashing it is common to add K-Sor and/or Camp Tabs to kill yeast left in the brew and thus stop fermentation from restarting when the brew reaches normal temps again.

No K-Sor and Camp Tabs are not magic off buttons for fermentation, fermentation is a process, like acceleration it takes time to heat up and slow down, your right in assumeing that if you throw on the binders that it still takes time for the train to slow down... K-sor is a chemical preservative which prevents yeast propagation and kills yeast... Camp Tabs are sulfites, another more organic anti bacterial, more common in use for treating unpasturized juice rather then stopping fermentation because most brewing yeast shrugg off sulfites in low to moderate ammounts like it was never even there, its more for the killing of wild yeast and infectious bacteria also leveling the playing field so your selected yeast has a leg up

If you hit two weeks and you like everything about a brew i would sugest you let it keep going, it is quite possiable it will get even better with time... Cider takes more time then beer, two weeks is a very conservative estimate... try closer to 6-8 weeks for a real fine product... the most important fact about brewing is dont rush, be pacient

Being new i have a sugestion... Edwort has a recipe he calls Aphealwine, or some spelling its pretty easy to find you should try a simple 1 or two gallon batch of that... other then that you may just try buying some apple juice which has no preservatives and pouring it into a foodgrade bucket and then adding in some brewers yeast and letting her rip and seeing where it leads... again if you have any questions just ask and im sure sombody will answer then for you... and be sure to fallow proper brewing practices; Clean, sanitize, rise, repeat... then brew... also i forgot, look up on the net and see if you have a homebrew shop near you, the people who work at them are often quite knowlegeable... or they dont know a damn thing, one of the two... or they know all the wrong things... that is always a possiblity, so always fact check...

Cheers

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Primary:
Ginger mead (3 Gal)
Edworts Apfelwine (5Gal)
Australian Lager (5gal)

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Operation "Black Gold" (High ABV) (5 Gal)

Bottled:
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Stright Juice Cider
Apple/Blue berry/ale

Last edited by BrewinJack; 12-12-2008 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:53 PM   #5
gwin99
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Thanks BrewinJack!


I dont to be dense (which i admit - i am :-)), can you cold crash in the frigde, or does it have to be colder like a freezer? And for how long is the cold crash process (how long do you leave it in there) before you add the k-sor & tabs? is it a "visual thing", like will you see the yest drop out of suspension (lees)? so i guess racking would be in order before you add the k-sor & tabs? Sorry, but I'm one of those people that like directions with pictures or at least a step-by-step! LOL

Also, my two weeks question was a precursor to my real one - which is about "sweetness"... Is the only option, with brewing cider, to "backsweeten" (let it ferment dry, then add sugar & juice to taste) or is there a procedure/process one can do to keep more of the orginial body and flavor of the cider in your finished product?

I was thinking of somehow stopping the fermentation process now (not looking for anything above beer alcho - maybe 3-5% tops) and have it age, keeping alot of the apple cider notes and flavor with it verse a more "drier" finished product...

Any help/tips on this would be most helpful! Thanks!

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:13 PM   #6
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If that is your desire, I would suggest you ferment straight juice with no sugar added. That will get you between 4-6ish % abv. Once it ferments dry, yes I suggest backsweetening. You can backsweeten with apple juice or juice concentrate if you are concerned with using plain sugar. However, it is very difficult to stop fermentation early, even with cold crashing sometimes, and it is easier and more consistent to backsweeten.

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Old 12-12-2008, 06:42 PM   #7
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Thanks Tusch! If i used Apple Cider, would it be a bad thing to backsweeten with more apple cider? I ask because i'm really trying to keep the apple cider taste in the finished product... I gather the juice used in b~sweetening will impart flavors/body of that juice, which is why i asked about using cider instead of juice....

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Old 12-12-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
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some people keep a small part of their raw juice in the freezer and then backsweeten with it so the flavors profile remain coherent.

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Old 12-13-2008, 03:12 AM   #9
BrewinJack
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I would not sugest cold crashing and useing preservatives... i would sugest you fallow Tusch sugestion, find a nosugar added organic cider with not preservatives which has and been properly pasturized and stablized with Vitimin C take about 5 gallons in a carboy and add yeast nutrient and a very simple brewers yeast, probably a bottom fermenting yeast... for some reason no names are comming to me specifically but i do have the tale end of a migrain so i am not completely lucide, most brewers on this site would condem me for at this point mentioning that simple bakers yeast will produce the results of a lower ABV. But bakers yeast tends to ferment dirty (rough flavors) and have a slightly bready after taste if not properly racked and cleared, for a first time i would not sugest it, but in the future you may play with the idea ... after that allow the batch to ferment for about 2-3 weeks then rack the liquid off the yeast cake(the less deposites at the bottm of the carboy) and allow to clear in secondary fermentation... this step is optional some brewers dont use secondary with cider for thier own reasons... let sit an additional time which you will need to determine based on how much fermentation to still see happening before you racked, if fermentation was completely finnished before you racked then simply test your SG after rack for three days for consistancy (having the same SG 3 days in a row is equal to having completed fermentation) if your above say, 1.008 or maybe even as low as 1.006(if lower you will likely need to backsweeten more) you will have a sweeter (not nessacryily a sweet cider, just sweeter then that produced by a lower SG) cider with out much need to backsweeten more then the recomended ammount of priming sugar... If fermentation was still going on at a noticeable rate with out sign of wavering check on a dayily or every other day basis to see if it slows or until you get the required 3 consistent SG readings... racking will likely temporaily reinvigor fermentation for as much as twelve hours and then it will settle back to its former state, dont worry if this happends or dosent it is merely a possibility.... just to clarify heres a small step by step instruction on what i would recomend for your first batch, im sure others would also recomend there own sugestions simple choose which one you think best.

1: purchase 5 gallons of preservative free, no added sugar apple cider or juice, which ever you prefer
1A: Purchase a beer hydrometer, seeing as you do not wish high achohal content a beer hydrometer will work just fine
1B: purchase 1 packet of dry brewers yeast, or a liquid yeast pack from your local brew shop or source
2: add to fermenter, either carboy or food grade bucket with airlock, and yeast. (before adding yeast check SG for OG reading)
3: Allow to set for 2-3 weeks
4: Rack off less into secondary fermenter if wished, if not wished allow to ferment until stopped as stated above
5:Take Final SG reading
6:Backsweeten to taste if required
7:Bottle
8:Wait 2-4 weeks if desired (i normally only wait 2 weeks but some wait as long as 6 months)
9:Enjoy
10: Do it again

just my sugestion, hope things work out

Cheers

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Twin Ogre's Brewing Co.

"I wish i could give all my genrals a bottle of what he's drinking..." Honest Abe

"On the 8th day God created Bars"

Primary:
Ginger mead (3 Gal)
Edworts Apfelwine (5Gal)
Australian Lager (5gal)

Secondary:
Operation "Black Gold" (High ABV) (5 Gal)

Bottled:
Carmel Stout
Stright Juice Cider
Apple/Blue berry/ale

Last edited by BrewinJack; 12-13-2008 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:01 PM   #10
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To backsweeten you must stop renewed fermentation, I've never used cold crashing so would suggest doing it chemically. But you must take some steps to prevent renewed fermentation, prior to backsweetening.

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Ciders:3 Ciders with differing additives TBD, Strawberry/Apple Cider
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