Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Cider Quex
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-24-2008, 12:18 AM   #1
JoeSponge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Belly of the beast, DC, Torment
Posts: 180
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default Cider Quex

I am loving this mad-scientist experiment I'm calling "Cider".

I have essentially four batches going, in my own lo-tech way... two use local orchard organic squeezins', one in a low-temp slooow fermentation chamber (refridgerator), and it's brother w/ a pound of brown sugar to sweeten it up.

Two more batches in an apartment that I use during the week, using off-the-shelf apple juice w/ Montrachet and br sugar, and a micro-batch a la the "eat the weeds" technique to get some organic yeast going.

The off-the-shelf was burbling happily away when I left the apartment for the week. I don't expect the micro-batch to be active for another week. The refer batch is, well, slooow, and won't be sampled for months and months.

But the brother batch... that's where I have the questions.

I kind of flew my own recipe... brown sugar, the existing natural yeasts, and a 1/4 dose of Montrachet, split into two containers. It has been a slow ferment, and my wife would patiently give me reports while I was away. I had it on the floor, near the garage, hoping that the temperatures would be steady.

I noticed tho', that the temps were 57-58 degrees, and I was wondering if that was the reason for the slow ferment. I pulled them up to the table where the temps are 68 degrees, meaning to check the fermentation speed and them return them to the floor.

I couldn't resist, and I took a tiny sample of one of the splits, and while it tastes a little _beery_, it's still very appley. Interesting, and lots of fun for a first attempt.

When I put them up on the table, I didn't think about light entering the equation.

I have read that beer is sensitive to light, but is cider?

Have I dorked the process? I know I have deviated from any regular recipe (you shalt have one yeast), but I figure the first batch really is a newb brew.

Fermentation is pretty slow, but still there. I am tempted to rack it and give it to some of the guys I know for review. Heh. Guinea pigs.

That's all. I love this game. I am hoping that when I return to the apartment, I'll have something very good to tipple.

__________________
JoeSponge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 12:24 AM   #2
FatDuc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FatDuc's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Leland, NC
Posts: 1,624
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Light's really a problem with Hops. Since there's no hops in your cider you're not really going to have any issues (guess that's why Corona doesn't have any problems either....).

Be sure to do some write-ups about how each of these experiments finishes.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo View Post
Every brewer here would tuck in his junk to have this opportunity.
Quote:
A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention. Aldous Huxley
Fat Duc Brewing
Special Character cheatsheets
FatDuc is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 12:41 AM   #3
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Light won't skunk it, since there's no hops. But light can drain away a cider's color for sure, and even its flavors. Lower temperatures will lead to slower fermentations, though it's not necessarily a bad thing, it will lead to different alcohols and flavors. Also, how large are these batches, I am picturing 1 gallonish sized batches with jerry rigged equipment. But, adding brown sugar prior to fermentation will NOT sweeten the cider, unless you add enough to overpower the cider's alcohol tolerance. If you don't overcome the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, than the yeast will still ferment all the sugars you add, making it a higher abv% and even drier than intended.

__________________
Meads: Hababero and Sarrano Capiscumel, Show Mead possibly getting split and flavored, and 12 gallons of Bochet Deliciousness
Ciders:3 Ciders with differing additives TBD, Strawberry/Apple Cider
Wine: Black Cherry Vanilla Port
Tusch is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
JoeSponge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Belly of the beast, DC, Torment
Posts: 180
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default The darkside of cider...

> But light can drain away a cider's color for sure,
> and even its flavors.

They're not in direct sunlight, but I can find another place for them, or just put them back on the floor in the pantry.

> how large are these batches, I am picturing
> 1 gallonish sized batches with jerry rigged equipment.

Hey, no peekin'! Yep, it's a very low tech initial stab at it. I am hoping for something along the lines of JK Scrumpy... not high-test, but not apple juice. A little fizzy but also appley. That would be my preference. If I can get a tastey beverage at 5 or 6%, then I think it would be a successful experiment, and I can justify keeping a batch running every couple of weeks, and count the effort as both a hobby and a health adjunct.
HowStuffWorks "How can alcohol be good for your heart?"
Alcohol and the heart

> adding brown sugar prior to fermentation will NOT
> sweeten the cider, unless you add enough to overpower
> the cider's alcohol tolerance. If you don't overcome the
> alcohol tolerance of the yeast, than the yeast will still
> ferment all the sugars you add, making it a higher
> abv% and even drier than intended.

I am looking for sweet hard cider, and I was hoping that I would either have enough sugar left over after the yeast naturally stops, or maybe cold crash (I've never done it, so I am guessing at all of this).

I guess I could add (xyz) to stop the yeast while there's enough sugar left or back sweeten.

If I wind up doing this regularly, then I'll get a hygrometer, a better "carboy", etc.. Currently, my only guage for success will be: 1) can I drink it? 2) is it a successful ferment?

I'll attach pictures of the rigs, but remember, this is a harf arsed "hey, why don't I try this!?" deal.

__________________
JoeSponge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 04:27 PM   #5
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

I started out in a very similar boat, while you shouldn't be discouraged, you should be hooked enough into the hobby to look into better equipment. Not exactly sure what your setup is, but if you want to keep doing small batches, try checking out larger grocery stores or health stores for nice apple juice in glass jugs. You can buy some airlocks and proper bungs to fit them, and that is perfectly acceptable.

To get a sweet and still brew: If you just want 5 or 6%, don't add any sugar. Just ferment the juice, that should leave you with between 4.5 and 6% from most juices. When it is completely fermented, as confirmed with consistent hydrometer readings over several days, stabilize with potassium sorbate and k-metabisulphite. Then just add sugar to reach your desired sweetness.

To get a sweet and sparkling cider: Again, for your abv goal, no sugar added. When it is completely fermented, add enough nonfermentable sugars, such as lactose, splenda or stevia, to get your desired sweetness. Then add 1oz of fermentable sugars per gallon to provide enough sugar for priming or carbonating it. Bottle it right away, wait a few weeks for them to carbonate, and enjoy.

And just so you know, if your cider with the brown sugar is a 1 gallon batch, you will have 1 gallon of very dry and pretty strong cider, bordering on low alcohol wine levels.

__________________
Meads: Hababero and Sarrano Capiscumel, Show Mead possibly getting split and flavored, and 12 gallons of Bochet Deliciousness
Ciders:3 Ciders with differing additives TBD, Strawberry/Apple Cider
Wine: Black Cherry Vanilla Port
Tusch is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
JoeSponge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Belly of the beast, DC, Torment
Posts: 180
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default Rigs of the not rich and not famous...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
... you should be hooked enough into the hobby to look into better equipment. Not exactly sure what your setup is, but if you want to keep doing small batches, try ... apple juice in glass jugs. You can buy some airlocks and proper bungs to fit them...
I am attaching some pics of my southern rigs. One split batch supplimented w/ brn sugar and Montrachet, one part in a PET container, and 1 part in the original jug. One w/ a bung, and one w/ a lo-tech saran wrap cover. I'll be racking them soon, as the fermentation has stopped.



The remaining batch is in cold storage, and will be fermented w/ the natural yeasts for as long as my wife will give me room in the fridge.

I did get another bung today, but its destined for the northern batch (pictures another day).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
> stabilize with potassium sorbate and k-metabisulphite.
I was just there this morning and was looking at all the chems but I wasn't sure which I should get. Maybe I can pick some up this w/e.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
> Bottle it right away, wait a few weeks ...
I have been getting empty soda bottles from the guys at work, and scrubbing them w/ clorox & hot water. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep them, I know I'm going to want to sample.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
And just so you know, if your cider with the brown sugar is a 1 gallon batch, you will have 1 gallon of very dry and pretty strong cider, bordering on low alcohol wine levels.
I don't need strong, and I'll be happy if it's drinkable. If the dry is not too dry, and the apple is still apple, then I'll be content and try to do another in short order.
__________________
JoeSponge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 05:47 PM   #7
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Don't be discouraged if it isn't great the first try, especially in these circumstances haha. It will almost definitely be very dry, depending on the yeast, and if it is strong and dry it won't have a ton of apple flavor. It could be more reminiscent of a white wine than most commercial ciders.

__________________
Meads: Hababero and Sarrano Capiscumel, Show Mead possibly getting split and flavored, and 12 gallons of Bochet Deliciousness
Ciders:3 Ciders with differing additives TBD, Strawberry/Apple Cider
Wine: Black Cherry Vanilla Port
Tusch is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 06:18 PM   #8
JoeSponge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Belly of the beast, DC, Torment
Posts: 180
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Beery... I just had a sample of one of the batches, and it tastes more like beer than wine or cider. It still has an apple flavor, but not what I'm hoping for. Will this mellow out, or is this going to be pretty much how the finished product will be?

__________________
JoeSponge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 06:27 PM   #9
JoeSponge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Belly of the beast, DC, Torment
Posts: 180
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Oh, the batch that I have running up north had a much more apple cider flavor when I took a sample last Thursday. I have lots of hope for this batch, it is much more along the Apflevine recipe. I think I'll get a chance to see it tonight, then it'll cook for another week while I'm away for Thanksgiving.

That's the batch that I picked up the other bung for. It's got the punctured saran wrap skin as an air lock. I know I'm supposed to minimize exposure to air, but I am hoping that just swapping one out for the other will be OK.

__________________
JoeSponge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2008, 06:28 PM   #10
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

You can't get an idea of how it will taste till it is completely fermented and aged. Are you sure it is completely fermented. When did you start them? The only way to know for sure is to buy a hydrometer or other tool to measure its specific gravity and get consistent logical readings over several days. Be careful when not using a hydrometer, I bottled my first batch before I got one and it was not done fermenting. I used corks and they ending up blowing 4 corks and losing all that brew.

__________________
Meads: Hababero and Sarrano Capiscumel, Show Mead possibly getting split and flavored, and 12 gallons of Bochet Deliciousness
Ciders:3 Ciders with differing additives TBD, Strawberry/Apple Cider
Wine: Black Cherry Vanilla Port
Tusch is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blending Fermented Cider with Fresh Cider Scut_Monkey Cider Forum 8 03-21-2012 01:57 PM
Noob cider help... How long do you generally ferment Cider? unclejimbay Cider Forum 9 01-27-2012 09:20 PM
What is Cider, as opposed to Wine?/Quince Cider critique petes Cider Forum 16 08-31-2011 07:17 PM
Backsweetening cider with frozen sweet cider benjita Cider Forum 12 01-14-2009 03:11 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS