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-   -   Cold Crashing Cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cold-crashing-cider-46017/)

roofman70 11-26-2007 08:32 PM

Cold Crashing Cider
 
Please Define

Why?
When?
What to do?

CvilleKevin 11-26-2007 10:10 PM

Cold crashing is when you chill the cider down to the point where the yeast goes dormant and drops to the bottom. Some people to use it to clear other sediment as well, my experience is only in using it to stop fermentation. IMHO its the best way to control the amount of final sugar, because fermentation stops very quickly, you are not introducing any new chemicals and you dont need to introduce any other sugar into your juice to get a sweet cider.

You do it when you like the sweetness level in the taste. After primary fermentation has stopped, give the juice a few days of secondary fermentation and then check SG and taste every couple of days, unless you want it dry in which case let the secondary finish unperturbed.

To cold crash, rack the juice, replace the airlock with a stopper and put it in the fridge for a couple of days. Rack it again when you take it out. Depending on the yeast (most drop out of solution) and your siphoning skills, you with end up with juice and a negligible amount of yeast. The only drawback is fridge space and since you are brewing 5 gal, it might not be your best option because shuffling 5 gal around is a pain. I only do it only for smaller batches now. If you have a way to easily chill your brew, I would recommend it.

If you are going for a sweet cider I would recommend racking as soon as it is at point that you like, regardless of whether you cold crash. I've found that with the yeast I mainly use (Nottingham), bumping the juice with sugar to at least 1.064 allows fermentation to be stopped just by racking. I'm not sure why but I think there is something about the extra sugar that encourages the yeast stay near the bottom during secondary fermentation. I'm not sure if this is true for WLP300, but should be able to tell you in a few days because I have a couple of test batches that are getting close. So how does your's taste?

roofman70 11-26-2007 10:53 PM

I sampled at hydro reading and it reminded me of lemoade
I started my 5 gallon batch on oct 29 using raw apple cider, wlp300, and table sugar.
og was 1.054
gravity today was .986 if i read it correctly.

I did rack to clearing vessel today.

CvilleKevin 11-27-2007 12:17 AM

That's mighty dry. Well, does it taste like good lemonade? A lot of people like it dry. If you want it sweeter, you might want to add some more or the original juice. You could try adding a little bit and see if fermentation starts back up. If so, I would add enough to take it up to 1.015 or so and then let it ferment back down to taste. Or if you got all the yeast out when you racked it, just add juice to taste. It shouldnt take much, maybe a quart or two in 5 gal. I just checked out my WLP300 batch with no sugar and it still has a ways to go at 1.024. It tastes very good though. I crashed a few others that I started at the same time (11/15) and were further along in fermentation WLP302 at 1.004, Nottingham at 1.010 and Safale S04 at 1.010. Of the six yeasts I tested in this last round the WLP300 took the longest to start.

opzo 03-26-2009 03:23 AM

Hi CvilleKevin. This information is fantastic..!! I have just two questions for you.

#1 do you ever use methods other than sulfites to kill the wild yeast in fresh cider? I know some people (you?) have mentioned you didn't like boiling due to haze(?) or something.

#2 What in the world do you do with all this hard cider? I can't manage to drink more than 2gal a week without screwing up my job performance ... LOL

nickmpower 03-26-2009 05:35 AM

What do you do? well, I am a college student and i bottled 11 gallons a few minutes before leaving for spring break, cant wait to get back to say the least. Will be a good time for me and my friends!!!

opzo 04-09-2009 01:52 AM

I am trained as microelectronics engineer ... but my job has me as a working to in more of a process control mode. The college degree is totally useless for what I do ... but I couldn't have nabbed the job w/o it. ...Regardless of what I do if I drink more than 40oz or so there is no chance of me getting out of bed on time in the morning.

Also, I just found out that I can get fresh pressed cider nearly year round in my area so I am off to get a 6.5 gal carboy and fresh pressed (real cider) next week. I am very excited about this.

CvilleKevin 04-11-2009 03:17 PM

Hi Opzo - Boiling the cider will set the pectin and you'll never get it to clear. It will also affect the flavor. I'd recommend skipping the sulfites, or if the juice isnt very tart, add half the recommended dose. Otherwise you will be waiting a long time for it to mellow out enough to drink (or else drinking it rough).

That's great that you can still get fresh pressed juice. All the presses I know of in central VA have stopped until next season. As far as what to do with it: what Nick said! I made 29 keg batches this year and still have 13 left, which should get me through to next fall if I slow down a little bit. I doubt I could drink 40oz without passing out, but I've never had any problem finding help to empty a keg.

I'm an EE also. Mostly writing firmware for embedded systems, with a small bit of circuit design now and then.

atlanta800 07-08-2009 11:45 PM

By cold crashing and/or fining, yeast and other sediment drops to the bottom, correct?

How does this effect carbonation? Will there still be enough residual yeast leftover at bottle time to ferment the priming sugar and naturally carbonate the cider, or will it have to be carbonated through other means?

CvilleKevin 07-09-2009 12:07 PM

You will have to carbonate by other means - you dont want to have any residual yeast left or else the fermentation could pick back up.

I do think that it may be possible to bottle condition a sweet cider by starving the yeast of nutrients, but this would take some trial and error. Check out the thread on making a JK Scrumpy clone.

After learning a little more about the role of nitrogen in fermentation, I suspect that not adding extra nutrients and multiple rackings are at least partially responsible for the success I've had with cold crashing


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