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arringtonbp 08-10-2011 02:23 AM

cider noob here with a few questions for the masters
I read up on the makinghardcider.com website. I just have a few questions.

1. Is there anything not on that website that I should know? (I.E. brewing temperature, smells to watch out for, etc...)

2. How important is brewing temperature? (my apartment will be @ 76, maybe 72 F if I'm lucky, for at least another month)

3. I want a medium sweet, carbonated cider. How can I prevent bottle bombs when back sweetening?

Thank you!


Pappers_ 08-10-2011 03:07 AM

Depending on what I'm making, I usually ferment anywhere from 58 - 68 degrees. I take a large plastic bin, put the carboy in it, fill it with water, and put in a floating thermometer and a frozen 1/2 gallon juice bottle. Its an easy and simple way to lower the fermentation temp.

As for your question about backsweetening, as she says on the makinghardcider.com website, the key is to backsweeten with something that is not fermentable. She gives some recommendations on how to do that.

Another option is to use the stove-top pasteurization method as described in the sticky thread above, and here http://www.singingboysbrewing.com/Apple-Cider.html

oldmate 08-10-2011 03:22 AM

1. Brewing temperature is usually dependent on the yeast you use and will usually be written on the packet/manufacturer's website.

2. That temperature will be fine for most yeasts. The temperature you brew at is pretty important, the higher you get out of your yeasts tolerance range the more long-chain alcohols are produced as well as certain off tastes.

3. Read up on stove-pot pasteurising which is stickied at the top of this forum. Sweet and carbonated is very hard to do!

arringtonbp 08-10-2011 03:34 AM

Thank you guys for the great information. I am using nottingham ale yeast for this batch. I'm only doing 1 gallon to start with just to get the process down. This yeast says best to ferment under 70 F, but 74 or so is not thaaaaat far off.

Also, how much of an odor will 1 gallon of fermenting cider give off, and should I cover it to keep light out or anything?

thanks again

oldmate 08-10-2011 11:52 PM

The worst that it'll do at that temperature is take a bit longer to age out. I don't think it will make too much of a difference. I doubt you will notice any odour at all, but if you start getting a 'rhino fart' smell then it might be a good idea to purchase some nutrient and dissolve it in warm water and add it to your cider. Keeping it out of light is usually a good idea, although it is not like beer and won't cause it to 'skunk' as it has no hops in it.

JoeyChopps 08-11-2011 12:44 AM

I don't want to hijack the thread but it may also help.the op how important is it to secondary or would it be fine to just leave it in the primary?

oldmate 08-11-2011 01:33 AM

I secondary everything I do just because I don't like excessive amounts of sediment in the bottles/like to get another batch on straight after primary. I like to bulk age my brews for anywhere from 3 months to 2 years, but it is still perfectly acceptable to leave it in the primary until it clears then bottle. Hell, look at Edwort's Apfelwein recipe, that is left in primary until it is clear and turns out amazing.

JoeyChopps 08-11-2011 01:34 AM

Cool I ask cuz all my fermentors are full and i am unable to secondary

arringtonbp 08-11-2011 03:51 AM

Thanks for that information oldmate.

I have a question about the sediment that is left at the bottom after primary.

1. Does that sediment come out? (i.e. is it hard or can i rinse it out?).
2. Is the sediment just yeast? If so, can I re-use it for the next batch?

oldmate 08-11-2011 06:40 AM

1. The sediment is not hard and is usually not compact unless you stick it in the fridge. In fact you will find that if you try and move the carboy when it's clear you will disturb some of the sediment at the bottom.

2. The sediment is just dead yeast/proteins from whatever you're brewing. With apples and apple juice it is usually a mixture of dead yeast and a protein called pectin. As for using it for a new batch, some people do if you're looking for a harder ferment (eg. a lemonade etc.). They will usually pitch it on the trub or lees accumulated at the bottom to get it off to a quick start as well as acquiring some taste characteristics. I don't know how valid this method is as by the end of a fermentation you have raised the dissolved CO2 level pretty high which causes the pH to drop, stressing out the yeast (not to mention the increase ABV). Stressed yeast are notorious for causing off-tastes which is why we use nutrient, especially in meads. I can't really comment on it, I have only ever done it once and it came out with an acceptable result. I think it's a bit hit and miss and you're better off just pitching some fresh yeast :)

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