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Old 04-01-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
artyboy
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Default Easy cider. Tips for making it better?

So one of my local grocery stores has started stocking 1 gallon jugs of organic apple cider. They're in glass jugs so I figured I could at least use that for small batches of whatever if the warnings that everyone told me were true that I couldn't make good cider with pasteurized juice. Basically, I bought a couple of jugs of cider, pitched 1/4 packet of champagne yeast in one and 1/4 packet of dry wine yeast in the other, attached airlocks and then bottled a couple of weeks later. Both batches tasted like sour apple juice but I think that the champagne yeast batch turned out slightly better. I liked them both. They were gone in a few days. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for improving on the recipe or process. Does hard cider improve if I let it age in the bottle? How long should I let it sit? I'd experiment myself but if I don't have the incentive of knowing that it can get better then I might as well just drink it as fast as I can make it. For around $7 a gallon (plus the free glass jug) this stuff is awesome and by far the easiest homebrew that I know how to make.

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Old 04-02-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/edwo...felwein-33986/ this thread will do you lots of good. From my understanding the only difference from cider and apple juice is juice is filtered. I use Pasturized juice for my apfelwine all the time and it is great...

The longer you let it sit the better it will taste, I have let mine age 3 months or so but lots of people to 6 months to years.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #3
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Oak cubes....

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Old 04-03-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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Cider + yeast + Temp + time = "Good hard cider".
Good Cider +Temp + yeast + time = "Really Good hard cider".
Even if I wanted to be a cider snob, the better you like the taste of the cider or juice, the more you will like the hard cider.
Some of us are limited by the Cider we can get, but still make good cider given time+.

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Old 04-03-2010, 10:57 AM   #5
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Now that you've got a couple batches of hard cider under your belt, you might try the apfelwein. Now while apfelwein ain't bad, I think Brandon's Graff is MUCH better http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/graf...-cider-117117/
Regards, GF.

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Old 04-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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What you did with just pitching the yeast was just fine. Those other recipes add sugar, which increases the alcohol and therefore hides the taste of the cider.

Yes, pasteurized juice isn't as good as raw juice, but what else are you really going to do in April? It is nowhere near harvest time. Besides, the best ciders come from cider apples that are horrible to eat (think about how some apples are better for pies than others), and those are also hard to come by.

What you are lacking in your formula is time, which you kind of suspected. With a gallon glass jug, I would go about 2-3 weeks in primary, and another 2 weeks to a month in secondary, though it is fine if you forget about it at that point. Bottle, and wait at least 3 months, but the longer you wait, the better it gets.

Another thing to note... I have a cranberry cider that I chilled the first bottle on and then opened and didn't much care for it. As it sat out, warmed up, and got air, it got better until I was wanting more.

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Old 04-04-2010, 11:46 PM   #7
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which factor is more important when trying to get a sweeter and less dry cider, the juice used or the yeast used?

I am new but want to brew a batch that is not too dry and sweeter

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Old 04-04-2010, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgr52 View Post
which factor is more important when trying to get a sweeter and less dry cider, the juice used or the yeast used?

I am new but want to brew a batch that is not too dry and sweeter
Neither (but kind of sort of not really unless you do it just right the yeast). Yeast will eat all the sugar out of cider. Your option then are to stabilize it with sorbates and add back in sugar or more juice. There is a technique called cold crashing, but you should probably have a batch or two done the more traditional route to understand what is going on before you attempt that to understand how and why it works.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CandleWineProject View Post
Neither (but kind of sort of not really unless you do it just right the yeast). Yeast will eat all the sugar out of cider. Your option then are to stabilize it with sorbates and add back in sugar or more juice. There is a technique called cold crashing, but you should probably have a batch or two done the more traditional route to understand what is going on before you attempt that to understand how and why it works.

I am going to be ordering the mr.beer cider kit and will brew it by their directions for the first few times just to get a basic handle of it. Once I feel comfortable with that I will branch off but just getting a feeling for the brewing process.

I have read a lot but haven't read a clear yes or no answer as to if brewing a woodchuck esq tasting cider is possible.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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As others have said, rack your cider to a second jug after fermentation is complete (2 1/2 weeks or so) and let is sit a while. Longer is better, but another 3 weeks will make for a pretty smooth drink.

After that, you can rack it again and bottle/pasteurize/cold crash the results. You can backsweeten or charge for carbonation at this time. Note that once you add more sugar you will need to use heat, chemicals, or cold to arrest fermentation. If you want the cider fizzy AND sweet, you must add more sugar than is essential for carbonation and halt fermentation before all of it is consumed but AFTER bubbliness is achieved.

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