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Firstnten 10-29-2008 09:57 PM

Cider questions
 
Finally found a site with good info. I'm a big time noob and love all of the info I've gotten from you guys already. I made my first batch of hard cider and am down to my last four bottles.

Here was the recipe I used:

Five gallons of fresh pressed cider from a local orchard.

I took three gallons heated it and added 4lb's of light brown sugar.

Then added all five gallons to a 6 gallon bucket with air lock and pitched white labs champagne yeast when the liquid was at 70F.

Four weeks later I sampled it and thought it was pretty harsh I had never heard the terms lees or racking.

I came across a post on another site that recommended throwing in one table spoon of splenda per gallon. (this was within 24hours of sampling) I then added the splenda and bottled. I let the bottles clear (somewhat) and boy what a difference I have no Idea what the ABV is but it's gotta be up there and the taste is smooth and sweet. I'm going to make a few more batches next bath I'm going to try white labs mead yeast.

I have a few questions. I found red star yeast at a much cheaper price. It is because you have to active it or is the quality that much less? Also I want to try the jucie concentrate way that has been discussed here being there is a gallon volume difference in the bucket would I still have to leave it open to the air before closing with the airlock?

Thanks in advanced I looked long and hard before I ran into this site and I'm here to stay...

gratus fermentatio 10-31-2008 04:29 AM

I've never used a liquid yeast, so I can't really compare the two, but Red Star & Lalvin both make what I think are good products when it comes to dry yeast, I've never had a problem with them. I don't do anything different when I use juice concentrate, thaw it, warm it (to room temp) & add it to the must with the rest of the juice. Hope you find this info useful. Regards, GF.

Nurmey 10-31-2008 04:39 AM

Welcome to HBT!
I've found the Red Star yeasts to be very good. I activate/hydrate all my yeasts (beer and wine) although you can throw them in dry. Hydrating yeast just wakes it up gently in warm water. It allows it to begin reproducing and eating earlier and healthier in the sugars.

One thing to note. Don't heat your fruit juices. It sets the pectin and they may never clear. If you are using store bought, they are already sanitary.

I would not leave it open if you are adding yeast. Just it up and put the airlock on.

Firstnten 10-31-2008 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nurmey (Post 927857)
Welcome to HBT!
I've found the Red Star yeasts to be very good. I activate/hydrate all my yeasts (beer and wine) although you can throw them in dry. Hydrating yeast just wakes it up gently in warm water. It allows it to begin reproducing and eating earlier and healthier in the sugars.

One thing to note. Don't heat your fruit juices. It sets the pectin and they may never clear. If you are using store bought, they are already sanitary.

I would not leave it open if you are adding yeast. Just it up and put the airlock on.

Nice to know about the pectin. I wonder at what specific temp range typically sets it?

I did heat up a gallon to 120F to dissolve the sugar.

I just started a new batch of Cider last night this time 4lb's of dark brown sugar and white labs mead yeast.

The room temperature is steady at 60F which is the low end of fermentation range of this yeast. I'm wondering how is will affect it. I pitched the yeast into the must when the must was at 73.4F.

Firstnten 10-31-2008 12:24 PM

Huston I may have a problem...

I just reread the tolerances for the mead yeast optimum is 70F and above. i will raise the room temperature when I get home. I'm now wondering how this will effect ABV and character/esters. I should have stuck with the Champagne yeast.

also I found this yeast:

WLP099 Super High Gravity Ale Yeast
Can ferment up to 25% alcohol. From England. Produces ester character that increases with increasing gravity. Malt character dominates at lower gravities.
Attenuation: >80%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-69F
Alcohol Tolerance: Very High

I'm wondering if I should try this. 25% ABV seems like some pretty tough yeast.

Firstnten 10-31-2008 01:57 PM

After a little research this is what I found:

Quote:

White Labs Super High Gravity Ale - WLP099

Yeast Type Ale
Yeast Form Liquid
Floccuation Low
Attenuation 80.0 %
Optimum Fermentation Temperature 69.0 F - 74.0 F
Description Flavors from this yeast vary greatly with the beer produced. The higher the gravity, the more winey the result. Beers over 16% ABV begin to taste less like beer, and more like fortified wines. With low gravity beers, this yeast produces a nice, subtle English ale-like ester profile.As the gravity increases, some phenolic character is evident, followed by the winey-ness of beers over 16% ABV. Most fermentations will stop between 12-16% ABV unless these high gravity tips are performed:

* Aerate very heavily, 4 times as much as with a normal gravity beer. Less oxygen dissolves into solution at high gravity.

* Pitch 3-4 times as much yeast as normal.

* Consider aerating intermittently during the first 5 days of fermentation. This will help yeast cells during a very difficult fermentation. Aerate with oxygen for 30 seconds or air for 5-10 minutes.

* Higher nutrient levels can allow yeast to tolerate higher alcohol levels. Use 2 times the normal nutrient level. This is especially important when using WLP099 to make wine and mead, which have almost no nutrient level to begin with.

* Do not start with the entire wort sugar at once. Begin fermentation with a wort that would produce a 6-8% beer, and add wort (it can be concentrated) each day during the first 5 days. This can be done together with aeration. This is mandatory if the reported 25% ABV is to be achieved.
To get the 25% ABV is beyond my current skill and equipment level.

gratus fermentatio 10-31-2008 03:56 PM

If you plan on making fuel, that's the yeast to go with, and I don't see anything that would be difficult or require specialized equipment to reach 25% ABV. It's just added areation, stepped nutrients & "feeding" the yeast, along with pitching a larger starter slurry. If you want to try it, go for it! It'll take a LOOOOONG time to age though, several years. If you're looking for more info on yeast strains, have a look at Keller's site: Winemaking: Strains of Wine Yeast Hope you find some of this info useful. Regards, GF.

Firstnten 10-31-2008 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio (Post 928480)
If you plan on making fuel, that's the yeast to go with, and I don't see anything that would be difficult or require specialized equipment to reach 25% ABV. It's just added areation, stepped nutrients & "feeding" the yeast, along with pitching a larger starter slurry. If you want to try it, go for it! It'll take a LOOOOONG time to age though, several years. If you're looking for more info on yeast strains, have a look at Keller's site: Winemaking: Strains of Wine Yeast Hope you find some of this info useful. Regards, GF.


Thanks!! the link you have is blocked here at work I'll have to check it out when I get home. White labs ranges from 4-6 dollars per vile and from the reviews like you said you need to pitch a larger slurry. Also It's aeration That I'm unsure about some people are using pure O2!?!?! At present I'm unsure how to aerate I've seen attachments for power drills??...this may sound silly but I guess I'm just not confident enough yet...

gratus fermentatio 10-31-2008 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Firstnten (Post 928528)
Thanks!! the link you have is blocked here at work I'll have to check it out when I get home. White labs ranges from 4-6 dollars per vile and from the reviews like you said you need to pitch a larger slurry. Also It's aeration That I'm unsure about some people are using pure O2!?!?! At present I'm unsure how to aerate I've seen attachments for power drills??...this may sound silly but I guess I'm just not confident enough yet...

Ya, I've got one of those stirring things you use with an electric drill, I don't use it much though; it all depends on what I'm making. I like to areate the must in the blender. Granted, I have to mix it up a couple quarts at a time, but it seems to work well for me & it's pretty easy; I can even puree fruit at the same time. I think it's the next best thing to pure O2. If I need to continue areation after fermentation has started, then I'd use the stirring thing, or a long handled spoon. Most of the time I don't go for such a high ABV, I usually try to stay between 10 & 16%, but I do have some 18.75% ABV cyser aging; it might be drinkable in another year or two. I've never used liquid yeast, I'm not against them, I'm just happy with the results i've gotten with the dry & at 75 cents a packet, it's barely even an expense. Regards, GF.

lapaglia 10-31-2008 09:59 PM

Other than "Because I can", I don't see why you would want that much alcohol in something that is supposed to be pleasant to drink. I have done Fuel mixtures at this ABV before and let me tell you it is not worth trying to drink unless you want to let it age for 5 or 6 years and carbon filter several time. Unless you are making fuel this is not worth trying.


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