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Old 12-17-2005, 03:48 AM   #1
Brewmaster-D
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Default Conditioning cider?

Hello all

I have seen some posts mention the idea of conditioning cider. I am new to cider brewing, I was wondering if someone can add some details to what the purpose of conditioning cider is? I am assuming it is akin to keeping a beer in the secondary fermenter to let it 'age', but flavour-wise, what does the conditioning do? Does it let for example an acidic feel, mellow out, over time?

I just came off brewing my first batches of cider. I did 3 different types ; regular ; berry-flavoured (using a bag of frozen berries) ; and a 14% juiced up cider. All came out tasting very dry, though quite nice, I must say . One of the complaints was that the cider was too dry. Besides using a non-champagne yeast, could any wine-additives be added in the secondary fermenter to quell some of the acidity?

Thanks in advance

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Old 12-17-2005, 03:35 PM   #2
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I've found my ciders are better after a month or so, more if there is any honey in it. You could sneak in some lactose to sweeten the cider or use campden tablets to stop the ferment. Please note that some members consider it criminal to not ferment every gram of sugar in a batch.

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Old 12-18-2005, 12:17 AM   #3
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I'm just getting into cider making too...Dont confuse conditioning with maturing, the conditioning period of a beer/cider is the period it takes to naturaly carbonate. Maturing is the period where flavours mellow or develop to bringing out the best possibles flavours of a certain brew.

As a compitent beer maker but rookie cider maker, I reckon its possible to find a yeast that will produce a sweet cider without lactose or artificial sweetners.

(A champagne yeast will ferment more sugars than a regular wine yeast and therefore produce a dryer beverage).

I have a friend who produces fantastic cider and uses the natural yeast that occurs on apple skins, infact he adds nothing at all to his brew except apples. He changes his brew by changing the type of apple used but refuses to give away his secrets (presonaly I reckon there is no secret just good fortune and good ingredients).

I reckon the trick to cider making is avoid adding sugar and if you want a sweet cider avoid champagne yeast and if you want a cider with a really high alcohol content boil down your apple juice and concentrate the sugars.

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