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Old 11-24-2008, 09:22 PM   #11
BrewinJack
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Hard cider tasting "beery" is common effect, if you don’t like it then you are going to have to tinker with how you’re fermenting it. I personally am rather low tech myself, i use a carboy with a cork and an airlock made of vinyl hose and a glass of water, if that says anything. Adding a pound of brown sugar will boost ABV but also it darkens the color. I would say your "beery" taste has a lot to do with your wild yeast... i know some people who use champagne yeast and add a pound of brown sugar for ever gallon of juice and this produces a rather murky but potent apple cider wine, with the addition of priming sugar they made it sparkling and it sweeten it a little (total abv about 18%)... a 22 ounce bottle basically you didn’t know your own mother... I use bread yeast (i know sick) but actually it produces about 8%abv(but need to be racked off its yeast several times to get rid of the bread yeast taste, if the extra work is worth it i don’t know) and cuts down on the "beery" flavor... might also be a product of the apple which your cider or juice originated from.... Also you might want to rethink your time table, a batch of cider can take sometimes months to stop fermenting... my time from buy to drinkable bottle is about 8 weeks (five gallon batch) and it is quite good at that point, let it sit another month and you won’t believe how good it can be... Don’t go by initial flavor it changes with time, and the biggest point is that its unpredictable... you can fallow a recipe exact and do everything the same as you have done before and one thing can change things to something completely different. It all goes with preference... keep experimenting that what makes it fun...
Exactly how long have these batches been going?

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Old 11-24-2008, 09:40 PM   #12
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That is very encouraging. I can let it sit. And sit. And...

The cider was purchased the third week in October, and it's been fermenting actively for only a couple weeks. I can stick it away in the pantry for another month or so and try again.

I like this thing.

If I get back to the apartment tonight, I'll provide an update and maybe pictures of the two other batches... the more "apfelvien-ish" one (er, followed the recipe) and the "natural yeast off an organic apple" experiment.

Thank you.

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Old 11-25-2008, 12:55 AM   #13
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im not entirely sure when the stuff just turns to apple viniger but it eventully it will, i have yet to have a batch turn to over yet and i have brewed alot of hard cider but it never sits long, because i have an odd habit of drinking it... i wouldnt let it ferment until it has stopped fermenting or nearly and then bottle it... then drink it... sorry to sound like a broken record

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Old 11-25-2008, 01:35 AM   #14
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I would think that the batch w/ the natural yeast might do that first -- no telling what mixture is in there. The batch up north is burbling along nicely, w/ newly installed air-lock. Snuck a taste of the side batch (left over from the carboy bottle) and it tastes pretty good even w/ the yeast fizz. I will be excited to see how it progresses.

Yes, I think I'll have to break down and get a glass gallon jug for the next batch... it doesn't add appreciably to the cost of the gallon of juice, and you get the neat science lab to host it in!

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Old 11-25-2008, 02:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewinJack View Post
im not entirely sure when the stuff just turns to apple viniger but it eventully it will
I don't completely understand your comment, but if you mean to say cider turns into vinegar just over time, or by sitting on the lees too long, that is not correct. Vinegar is created ONLY by a bacteria. If you are sanitary and keep your brew under airlock, you won't have vinegar. It doesn't matter how long you leave it in the carboy, vinegar will not occur without the bacteria being introduced.

Also, not entirely sure what your last point was either. Always always let it ferment out completely, unless you are trying to stabilize an active fermentation (both chemically and thermally). And when it is done, it is recommended that you let it age and clear before you bottle. If you bottle right after your fermentation is complete, you will never have clear cider. And if you bottle right before it is complete, you have no idea what "right before" is and when it occurs, so you risk bottle bombs, because the yeast will keep working while its in the bottle, if there are still sugars to eat.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I don't completely understand your comment, but if you mean to say cider turns into vinegar just over time, or by sitting on the lees too long, that is not correct. Vinegar is created ONLY by a bacteria. If you are sanitary and keep your brew under airlock, you won't have vinegar. It doesn't matter how long you leave it in the carboy, vinegar will not occur without the bacteria being introduced.

Also, not entirely sure what your last point was either. Always always let it ferment out completely, unless you are trying to stabilize an active fermentation (both chemically and thermally). And when it is done, it is recommended that you let it age and clear before you bottle.

I didnt think it would turn while it was in the carboy, but i have heard people say they leave it sit with the cap open after bottleing and you get somthing that works great for a salad dressing... Its good to know that it wont go over if you let it sit in a controled inviorment, alwasy thought it had somthing to do with oxidation... i had wondered that thankx for clearing that up

As for bottleing before fermentation is complete... well i think that its actully a difference in opinion, and taste... if you add priming sugar arent you just starting some late to the game fermentation to carbonate in the bottle? It can also take literally months to have fermentation stop in cider, like the honey in mead the fermentables in cider is complex and takes time and more time... it works on its own timetable... way i learned is that after your airlock bubbles less then once ever minute or so...(shurggs) I dont get alot of bottle explosions, to date olny 2 which were acidental (I actully have made trick bottles for kicks with half crimped caps so they shoot off) and actully that was because my cider was in bottles which upon close examination were already showing signs of stress before bottleing... Also i clear my cider by racking through out the fermenting process and allowing yeast to fall out and then after a time reracking... i have been told this causes incomplete fermentation and a lower ABV, also i have i am ashamed to say resorted to filteration sevral times to clear cider as well as chemical clearing agents... your probably right about why i have to go through all this extra work but i think its more a question of style and not recamended proceedure... Thankx for the head up though, i dont mind a bit of constructive critism

Cheers
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:48 PM   #17
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You are right about priming sugar, but there is reasoning behind it. If you ferment to completion, you know there are no more sugars for your yeast to consume, so any priming sugar you add is all that the yeast have to eat. Therefore you can get nearly exactly the level of carbonation you want, without risk of bottle bombs. If you stop early, you really can't know how much sugar is left, because you don't know how dry the yeast will take that particular brew. Also, basing the completion of fermentation on airlock activity alone is quite inaccurate. You could have a stuck fermentation, that once racked could renewed with tons of sugar left to eat up in the bottle. Or as you said, cider and mead ferment very slowly. If treated properly, they can kick off real strong in the beginning, eating most of the sugars quickly, but can take months to take out those last few points. If it is taking months to finish fermenting, clearing there won't be much airlock activity.

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Old 11-26-2008, 04:25 AM   #18
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I am going to bury it in the pantry and just leave it for a while. It's still under the month mark, so I will learn to be patient and just relax. I will pick up a hydrometer later and test further in. My understanding is, it won't hurt to leave it in the fermenting container and let it age there, so that buys me lots of time and flexibility. I'll also keep an eye out for glass jub cider specials and pick up a gallon if there is a good sale on non-presevative cider.

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Old 11-26-2008, 04:32 AM   #19
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Ah, question that's been brewing in my mind... I was wondering that, if it would clear up again, wx it would be useful to agitate to stir up any undigested sugars. Is that an issue? From a couple of that I've read, I take it that agitation of some fermenting liquids is not desirable at this point -- but I haven't seen anything specifically that says for cider, "make sure you don't resuspend the gunk in the bottom" or "slosh the bottle/carboy around to get all the little yeasties woken up and digesting again".

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Old 11-28-2008, 12:42 PM   #20
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It isn't a matter of getting the yeast back into suspension, that isn't much of a bad thing. In time, they will just all fall back to the bottom. The reason you want to avoid agitation, is because you will add oxygen to your brew and that will lead to oxidation, which will make your cider taste like cardboard.

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