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Old 08-31-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default cider with no added sugar

A lot of us here talk about using brown sugar, table sugar, corn sugar, dextrose, maple syrup, and other types of sugars to mix into the cider, but has anyone here made a hard cider without adding ANY sugar?
I'm tempted to try a test batch of this using Simply Apple juice and some of the White Labs English Cider yeast I have in my current cyser batch.
I've bought a few bottles of JKs Scrumpy cider, which doesn't add any additional sugar(just organic cider and yeast), and it is some of the best cider I've had. I'd like to make something close to this cider.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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Yes my first cider was made with one gallon of apple cider from Walmart. I used cooper brewing yeast. It came out dry and kind of thin tasting, I now use store bought apple juice and add some strong brewed tea to it and some brown sugar. It comes out nice I think.

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Old 08-31-2012, 04:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple_Jacker View Post
A lot of us here talk about using brown sugar, table sugar, corn sugar, dextrose, maple syrup, and other types of sugars to mix into the cider, but has anyone here made a hard cider without adding ANY sugar?
I'm tempted to try a test batch of this using Simply Apple juice and some of the White Labs English Cider yeast I have in my current cyser batch.
I've bought a few bottles of JKs Scrumpy cider, which doesn't add any additional sugar(just organic cider and yeast), and it is some of the best cider I've had. I'd like to make something close to this cider.
Cheers to another JKs lover! That IS the best cider that I've had. And I've had a bunch. No sulfites either in it. I'm glad that it's made it's way down to TN (if that's where you bought it?). That cider is basically what made me want to start brewing cider ($6/bottle adds up quick!).
So in regards to adding sugar, I usually don't add any. If anything, I will add some 100% juice concentrate to bump up the OG. Usually 3-4 cans per 5 gallons will get me to 1.06 or above.
One of the JKs guys (Bruce Wright...is what comes to mind) chimed in on one of these threads years ago and didn't give up too much info, but the main point he made was that organic apples have low nitrogen content which I think comes into play with bottle conditioning cider. I tested the gravity on a couple of JKs bottles and one was at 1.04 and another at 1.05! That was just out of the fridge cold. No wonder that stuff tastes like apple juice!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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Here's the thread if you're interested AJ
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/jk-scrumpy-83719/

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Old 08-31-2012, 04:59 AM   #5
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Ok actually this one has more info haha...
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/anyo...-clone-125852/

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheA

Cheers to another JKs lover! That IS the best cider that I've had. And I've had a bunch. No sulfites either in it. I'm glad that it's made it's way down to TN (if that's where you bought it?). That cider is basically what made me want to start brewing cider ($6/bottle adds up quick!).
So in regards to adding sugar, I usually don't add any. If anything, I will add some 100% juice concentrate to bump up the OG. Usually 3-4 cans per 5 gallons will get me to 1.06 or above.
One of the JKs guys (Bruce Wright...is what comes to mind) chimed in on one of these threads years ago and didn't give up too much info, but the main point he made was that organic apples have low nitrogen content which I think comes into play with bottle conditioning cider. I tested the gravity on a couple of JKs bottles and one was at 1.04 and another at 1.05! That was just out of the fridge cold. No wonder that stuff tastes like apple juice!
Yes, there's a place in Chattanooga that sells it, and other store just over the border into Georgia sells it and also a decent Michigan here selection too. Hmm, I'll have to try taking a gravity reading the next time I buy a bottle. That seems awfully high, especially since they are 6% alcohol. I wonder what the OG is on them.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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i very rarely add sugar. only when using predominantly sour apples with low sugar content. then i add enough white sugar to boost to 6-8% abv. my normal apple blend from the local orchard gives me 1.054-1.058 juice, no need for sugar. i'm sure the same goes for many other cidermakers.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:59 PM   #8
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+1 to not adding sugar to ciders unless you have a problematically low OG. Even in that case I will only add enough to get it into the 'normal' cider ABV range (5%-8% here in NY).

Once you become aware of the difference in taste between an apple fermentation, concentrate fermentation, and sugar fermentation it becomes hard to ignore the different body and flavors between them. All the time on this forum we see this issue arise when newcomers post "Why doesn't my 5 gal batch with 5 Lbs sugar taste like apples when fermented dry?

Pure brown apple juice simply makes the best cider, fresh is best, local whenever possible.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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Local cider is very possible for me. I could walk to the cider mill from my house if I so desired. It would be hard to carry 6 gallons all the way home though

I just might pick up a gallon today, throw in some of my existing cider yeast cake and see what happens.

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Old 09-02-2012, 12:25 AM   #10
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I have kind of a spinoff question from this. I recently started a batch of cider using a recipe that has worked before (1 gal of apple juice, 1/4 cup sugar, yeast, nutrient, horrible horrible waiting) but I switched to a local cider (pasteurized, no preservatives) from whole foods apple juice. I figured cider would have more stuff for the yeast to feed on but it's been 2 days now and almost no action. Is this normal? Should I crank up the sugar? Or does less bubbling not necessarily mean less fermenting?

There is something happening- roll the bottle a little and fresh CO2 bubbles up- but it's much slower than I experienced with the same recipe and juice.

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