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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Felt good about my plan when I started but could use a peer review
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:21 PM   #1
theDarkPint
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Default Felt good about my plan when I started but could use a peer review

I've got 5 gallons of cider from the local orchard happily fermenting away. It's nothing but cider, yeast nutrient, and Wyeast 1098 (British Ale).

Using my refractometer, it is down to Brix: 8.4/Gravity: 1.034. I used some online calculators to adjust for alcohol and it says I'm down to a 1.016 grav. My original plan was to cold crash at ~1.014 as I want to keep the cider semi-sweet.

Here's where I'm starting to doubt myself/have confusion.

Right now it's sitting in the primary with a slimy/foamy top and about an inch and a half to two inches of sediment at the bottom (some apple bits, some yeast). It's full of floating matter. Should I:

A - Rack it to a secondary, let it ferment a little longer to 1.01-ish, cold crash it and then move it to a keg.

or

B - Don't worry about secondary, just cold crash it when it hits the gravity I want and then rack into a keg.

The other side of this is I'm new to kegging. I just put my white house honey porter in a keg and think I may have made a mistake by not cold crashing first. Lots of stuff still floating in the beer. Hoping the cold sinks it - although won't that make my dip tube pick up the crud? Basically, I'm trying to figure out how to hit my target gravity and rack it without a ton of stuff left floating.

Also, is there any problem with conditioning the cider in a keg? Say I rack it to the keg, pressurize and remove oxygen and just let it sit for a month or so.

Sorry for the noob questions. Been searching and reading and just seeing lots of conflicting info. Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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All good stuff there. I would just let it sit in primary with everything in it. Cold crash, then rack to keg. Bulk aging in any vessel is fine, most people just don't have extra kegs laying around. After your crashed, the yeasties should be pulled up the dip tube in the first couple pints. No big deal.

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Old 11-10-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ColbyJack View Post
All good stuff there. I would just let it sit in primary with everything in it. Cold crash, then rack to keg. Bulk aging in any vessel is fine, most people just don't have extra kegs laying around. After your crashed, the yeasties should be pulled up the dip tube in the first couple pints. No big deal.
The fewer words it takes to answer my question(s), the more noob-like I feel.

My last few batches of beer have struggled so my confidence is a bit shot. I'll just relax and let it do its thing.

I did taste it today after pulling an ounce to test. Still a bit of sulfur in there and no bite. I'm thinking I should let it ferment under 1.01. I want some sweet, but I also want that nice sharp tang to it.

Thanks for the info/feedback!
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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Haha. Cracked me up! RDWHAHB!!! Lots of people on here are getting sulpher aromas. My take it that most of us are pushing for higher gravity ciders, and the yeast ate stressing out. That's a ton of simple sugars for them to consume, and not a well balanced diet. I have been upping my amount of yeast nutrient, and even using about a cup of LME or DME to give them something else to chew on. Seems to work well. Good luck. I'll try to be more long winded next time!!!

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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What do you mean by adjusting the gravity for the alcohol thearkPint?

I thought when I took a hydrometer reading of my cider it was pretty accurate!

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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What do you mean by adjusting the gravity for the alcohol thearkPint?

I thought when I took a hydrometer reading of my cider it was pretty accurate!
Hydrometer yes, refractometer no.

Alcohol refracts light differently than a sugar solution. This is fine pre-fermentation to establish an OG since there hasn't been any alcohol produced yet. Once fermentation has started, you have to use a formula to convert the reading to take alcohol into account. The easiest way to do that is through an online calculator.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Thanks, had no idea!

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