Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Easiest way to get a good cider?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-19-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
eatria
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 25
Default Easiest way to get a good cider?

I've decided to try a cider for my christmas gift brew this year, but have had some confusion when reading the posted recipes.

I guess my questions would be:

1. What's the easiest recipe?
2. Should I boil or not boil the apple cider I use?
3. Can I use cloudy cider, or should I use clear cider?
3. If I add honey, how much should I add?
4. How do I bottle condition? Just like a regular brew (dextrose)?
5. If I wanted other flavors (ie cranberry, raspberry), could I just dump in some cran or ras juice?

any and all tips are greatly appreciated!

__________________
eatria is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 62,255
Liked 4777 Times on 3472 Posts
Likes Given: 951

Default

The easiest (and I think the best) recipe for cider is:
Cider
Yeast

You simply add a package of yeast (an ale yeast or wine yeast, or cider yeast) to your cider. In about 8 weeks, you'll have an approx 5-6% ABV hard cider.

Don't boil your cider! If it's fresh, unpasteurized cider, I like to add a crushed campden tablet (one per gallon) dissolved in a little cider, and then 24 hours later, add the yeast and put on an airlock. Make sure your cider doesn't have any preservatives, as that will stop it from fermenting.

Cloudy or clear- it doesn't matter. It will still all settle out and be clear eventually. I like to add 1 tsp of pectic enzyme per gallon 12 hours after adding the campden tablets, and stir well. This will help break up the cell walls, and give you clear cider.

It's up to you on how much to add- honey and cider is called a cyser. Remember that the higher ABV, the longer it will take to age and mellow. One to two pounds per gallon is most common.

If you want to bottle condition, you can wait until fermentation is finished and then prime with dextrose. That will give you a dry, carbonated cider. If you want to sweeten it, you could use a non-fermentable sweetener like Splenda or lactose.

You could add other flavors, but I'm not crazy about fermented cranberry or raspberry juice. It gets incredibly sour and tart when all the sweetness if fermented out of those fruits!

Check out all of the different ciders and cysers that others have made. I usually don't make much cider- I prefer apple wine and make that every fall. I like a dry apple wine with dinner, so that's what I make most often. Others are cider lovers, and can give much more input!

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2008, 11:44 PM   #3
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

Default

I was going to answer... But I think yooper covered every possible angle haha

__________________
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 11-19-2008, 11:51 PM   #4
eatria
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 25
Default

hey yooper, thank you so much for the info. where can i get pectic enzyme or campden tablets? brew store, i assume.

also, how long should I keep the batch in the carboy?

__________________
eatria is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2008, 11:59 PM   #5
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Assuming you don't have it already, you need to get a hydrometer. This tests the specific gravity of your brew. It will tell you how much sugar is in your juice prior to fermentation, and than when it is done, how much is left. This is how you calculate what the abv % is. You can get this along with any other supplies you need, such as pectic or campden, at your LHBS (local homebrew store) or at an online brew store as well.

__________________
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 11-20-2008, 12:17 AM   #6
mnadamn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI / Mankato MN
Posts: 371
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

with cider, I tend to let mine stay in the primary for a good 3 weeks. Since I prefer to bulk age, I usually rack to a secondary. Then I cold crash and bottle when I am ready to bottle (generally a good 2-3 more weeks). This is not at all something that is required, but I prefer my ciders to age a little bit and this seems to give me good results. Since you are wanting to do this for christmas as I will be doing tomarrow as well. I would not add much, if anything to my cider. The less that the yeast has to eat, the sooner it will be ready and generally the faster the green flavors will go away. I highly suggest Ed Wort's Recepie, that is frequently made at my house. This time around for the christmas presents, I will be dumping my cider in with some campton then I plan on using an American Ale yeast. For christmas, everyone on my list will be getting a bottle of the 6 gallons I will be making and for my close family and friends I will be giving them a pack of nottingham yeast, airlock, stopper, and most importantly, a gallon fo cider from whole foods (no preservatives and comes in a nice 1 gallon glass container). This way, if they like the idea of making ciders or wines they can with small batches.

Just so you know, the one gallon bottles of cider that I mentioned at whole foods are currently on sale. And like anything you get at whole foods, if you order by the case (4 gallons), you get 10% off.

__________________
mnadamn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2008, 07:30 PM   #7
eatria
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 25
Default

thank you all for the tips. I"m going to get started this weekend and hope for the best. I tend to stay away from specific gravity readings when I do my beers and just stick with about 9 days in the primary. It has never done me wrong. I worry about the risk of contamination by taking all the readings.

If I primary ferment for about 9-10 days and then bottle condition for a month, do you think it will be good enough by christmas?

__________________
eatria is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
Tusch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,381
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

Default

This is not beer, by any means. You can't really "eyeball" the fermentations. It may be done in 9-10 days and it may still have a lot of sugar left. And if you bottle at that point and add more priming sugar, then you have a good chance of bottle bombs. Using either sanitized siphoning equipment, a wine theif, or just a turkey baster, you can very much safely take samples to get SG readings.

Having said that, just juice + yeast will have a potential abv of about the average beer and will often ferment quickly, there is no telling for sure. Also your cider will probably still taste pretty young in just a month between starting primary and giving as gifts.

Just be careful, be sanitized, and have fun.

__________________
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
Peach Cider / Strawberry Cider: What's a good OG? Evan! Cider Forum 16 07-19-2011 05:35 AM
I need a good fall cider recipe ayrton Cider Forum 7 09-16-2009 02:35 PM
Need opinions on a good cider press to buy JohnMacMaster Cider Forum 1 07-29-2009 11:20 PM
Damn good cider beer Toppers Cider Forum 3 07-10-2008 03:33 PM
Porter was good, now tastes like cider! lgraham General Beer Discussion 2 07-11-2005 09:36 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS