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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Didn't this go waaay too fast?
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:05 AM   #11
jaginger
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Originally Posted by mysigp226 View Post
First attempt at brewing anything...

- 6g of 100% natural apple cider, pasteurized, lots of suspended stuff
- Yeast Nutrient (1/2 teaspoon per gallon)
- Acid Blend (tartaric, malic and citric)
- Lalvin 71B-1122 Yeast

Day 1 : Pitched it all in a fermenting bucket, left the lid off and covered with a towel (SG 1.049)

Day 2 : SG 1.046

Day 3 : SG 1.040 (put lid on bucket, and attached airlock as it didn't look like the fermenting was risking a blow off)

Day 4 : SG 1.020 (yesterday, I freaked out that it was dropping too quick so I racked off to a glass carboy, leaving some "gunk" behind in bucket. Hoping that would slow it down.)

Day 5 : SG 1.008 (tonight, *shock*)

The cider is _VERY_ cloudy, like nothing has settled. It tastes just fine as far as I can tell. I prefer a carbonated sweet cider. I'm wondering what to do? Should I cold crash it in my garage and then rack it off again?

I have pectic enzyme on order, but I didn't think the SG would drop so quickly so I don't know if it will help to add that when it arrives in a few days. The guy at the homebrew shop said I was at least a few months away from bottling when I started so I don't have any bottling gear either!

Thoughts?
What's the easiest way to take the SG so often without contamination? Do you use a siphon tube to just pull out a bit quickly for the hygrometer? I am a little nervous about opening up my fermenter every day.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:22 AM   #12
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Get a wine thief or just use a turkey baster. However, make sure to sanitize anything that touches your brew.

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Old 02-27-2009, 03:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jaginger View Post
What's the easiest way to take the SG so often without contamination? Do you use a siphon tube to just pull out a bit quickly for the hygrometer? I am a little nervous about opening up my fermenter every day.
I got tired of constantly sanitizing and wasting samples, so i tied some floss around the hydrometer, sanitized, and left it in the carboy to float around. it keeps attracting bubbles that collect on the surface, but i can lift it out with the floss and deposit it back in a clear spot if need be.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:32 PM   #14
gratus fermentatio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysigp226 View Post
First attempt at brewing anything...

- 6g of 100% natural apple cider, pasteurized, lots of suspended stuff
- Yeast Nutrient (1/2 teaspoon per gallon)
- Acid Blend (tartaric, malic and citric)
- Lalvin 71B-1122 Yeast

Day 1 : Pitched it all in a fermenting bucket, left the lid off and covered with a towel (SG 1.049)

Day 2 : SG 1.046

Day 3 : SG 1.040 (put lid on bucket, and attached airlock as it didn't look like the fermenting was risking a blow off)

Day 4 : SG 1.020 (yesterday, I freaked out that it was dropping too quick so I racked off to a glass carboy, leaving some "gunk" behind in bucket. Hoping that would slow it down.)

Day 5 : SG 1.008 (tonight, *shock*)

The cider is _VERY_ cloudy, like nothing has settled. It tastes just fine as far as I can tell. I prefer a carbonated sweet cider. I'm wondering what to do? Should I cold crash it in my garage and then rack it off again?

I have pectic enzyme on order, but I didn't think the SG would drop so quickly so I don't know if it will help to add that when it arrives in a few days. The guy at the homebrew shop said I was at least a few months away from bottling when I started so I don't have any bottling gear either!

Thoughts?
FYI: the lalvin 71B-1122 (narbonne) will metabolize a good percentage of the malic acid into alcohol & raise your ABV a bit. You might find this useful: Winemaking: Strains of Wine Yeast Regards, GF.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #15
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I just finished a 3 gal batch of cider using the Narbonne, and it did turn out a little soft/flat, so I was going to use 3 tsp of Acid Blend, is that too much? My OG was 1.08, FG is 1.002 and I wanted it a little sweeter. Also, I concur that the Narbonne did take away a good amount of the apple flavor. Makes a nice dry white though. The apple taste is there, but very subtle, I'm planning to carb with about 3/4 frozen apple juice concentrate to get some apple back into it. So if I were to use a different strain, it would have left more malic acid and therefore, possibly ended more "crisp"?

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Old 03-02-2009, 06:32 PM   #16
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I ended up priming and bottling 2 gallons worth of Growlers and 2 gallons worth of various jugs/plastic bottles. 3 gallons went into the refrigerator and 1 gallon I pasteurized in Growlers using my canning boiler for longer term storage at room temperature. (I haven't tried the pasteurized stuff yet)
Does the pasteurizing kill the yeast, meaning you could sweeten and then pasteurize without getting carbonation?

I presume the real purpose in your case was to make it safe from bacteria for the long-term storage, no?
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:16 PM   #17
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Yes, pasteurizing kills the yeast. But it also drives off some of the flavor. The alcohol in the drink is enough to keep it bacteria-free.

If you want to sweeten it, then you need to stabilize it. 1 campden tablet, and potassium sorbate (don't know volume), per gallon, will prevent renewed fermentation.

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Old 03-03-2009, 01:09 PM   #18
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So if I were to use a different strain, it would have left more malic acid and therefore, possibly ended more "crisp"?
Yes, a different strain would've left more malic. You'll lose a certain amount of apple flavour with any strain of yeast though, the trick is finding which one suits your needs the best. (A great excuse to keep making cider!) You can add acid blend, but since it's made up of tartaric, citric & malic acids, you might lose some of that malic acid too. You might consider adding pure tartaric acid this time, at least you know the yeast won't eat it.

Check out Keller's list of yeast strains (the link is in my previous post in this thread) it's a good source of info on popular wine yeast strains. When adding things like acids or tannins, use small amounts (try 1/4 teaspoon per gallon) & taste; keep adding small amounts & tasting till you get it right where you want it. The theory here is that you can always add more, but once it's added, you can't take it out again. You should dissolve powders into a little water or must before adding to the carbouy, just adding dry powders to your must will cause the CO2 to come out of solution & foam all over.

You might draw off a sample, say a pint; and start adding acid to that & tasting. If you do the math on the measurements, you'll know how much to add to the carbouy. It's all about what you think tastes best. Good luck, GF.
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