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Old 09-21-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation Complete...Now what?

I just recently started my first attempt of making a cider. The recipe I used was very simple. 5 gallons of cider, 1/2 gallon of water heated with 1 pound of honey, 5 cinnamon sticks and I pitched champagne yeast into a fermentor. I have left the cider to ferment for about two weeks and the air-lock has finally stopped letting gas out. I have read that in doing this I will have produced a dry, not very sweet cider. I am curious what to do from this point? Should I rack it into my secondary and treat it like beer? ( I do want it to be sparkling). Would I prime it with dextrose like beer and let it condition in the bottles? I have read of horror stories of bottle bombs and other nasty things that I dont want to deal with. Anybody who has had any success with a recipe similar to this please let me know what direction I should go in at this point to once again enjoy another great homebrew! Thanks

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Old 09-21-2011, 07:56 PM   #2
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If you want to make a semi-dry (not bone-dry), sparkling, and bottle conditioned cider, take a look at www.makingcider.com and the stove-top pasteurizing sticky thread for two ideas on how you might proceed.

If you are fine with the cider being completely dry, or still, or will be force carbing, then you have many more options.

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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followed the link to makingcider.com and it was no longer an active site....

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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I'm a beer noob but have a couple of successful ciders under my belt.

I personally would let it sit in primary for another week or two. You will notice it getting clearer and clearer every day. If you want even better clarity put it in secondary for a week or so. If you don't care about clarity than this is totally optional - but a clear, aged, tasty cider is impressive. =D

Cider always tastes better when it's aged for 6+ months, in my experience. My uncle has made cider my entire life and we don't even see his until it's at least 6 months old - the best stuff is a year or older. This is particularly true for really dry ciders, after 6 months all the flavors blend together very nicely, the "young" sour taste fades and becomes a lot less dominant, it sweetens up quite a bit and becomes very drinkable compared to a young cider.

If you bottle test this out by opening one up after a few weeks.. Good luck, cider is nommy!

ETA: I thought I'd mention this; My girl has patience issues.. She is often caught pilfering cider from the cellar. It's hard to wait when it's your first batch, but if you can save at least a few bottles for 6 or more months you'll see how much difference it makes.

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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so you think its my best bet to transfer into secondary fermenter to clear up the cider. But what about bottle conditioning? Can you carb with sugar and let the cider mature in bottles for the 6 month period?

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Old 09-21-2011, 09:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers_
If you want to make a semi-dry (not bone-dry), sparkling, and bottle conditioned cider, take a look at www.makingcider.com and the stove-top pasteurizing sticky thread for two ideas on how you might proceed.

If you are fine with the cider being completely dry, or still, or will be force carbing, then you have many more options.
I think he meant makinghardcider.com
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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Yes, thanks!

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Old 09-21-2011, 10:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasgorff
so you think its my best bet to transfer into secondary fermenter to clear up the cider. But what about bottle conditioning? Can you carb with sugar and let the cider mature in bottles for the 6 month period?
Yes, transfer to secondary. Personally, I would let it sit there for at least a month. Cider will get crystal clear when left alone. You can always add gelatin finings to help with that.

And yes, you can add corn sugar (or table sugar or brown sugar or syrup or honey...) to a batch and bottle it as per beer to carb. The ratio of priming sugar is the same as beer, but I personally prefer a highly carbed cider so I typically add more priming sugar than I would for beer. Whichever you choose, after bottling is done, let it wait out the remainder of the six months.

I usually don't let it go that long, but it's sound advice. I just usually don't follow it
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You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cimirie

Yes, transfer to secondary. Personally, I would let it sit there for at least a month. Cider will get crystal clear when left alone. You can always add gelatin finings to help with that.

And yes, you can add corn sugar (or table sugar or brown sugar or syrup or honey...) to a batch and bottle it as per beer to carb. The ratio of priming sugar is the same as beer, but I personally prefer a highly carbed cider so I typically add more priming sugar than I would for beer. Whichever you choose, after bottling is done, let it wait out the remainder of the six months.

I usually don't let it go that long, but it's sound advice. I just usually don't follow it
So this is my first time with cider, and i am just curious what kind of timeline to follow. I used store bought organic juice with with a champagne yeast, and two pounds dark brown sugar in a five gal. All is Well a week into it. Also this being a college house project the fastest timeline is desired, but i am willing to stand up for some quality! What kind of alcohol content should be expected? Once again COLLEGE! On another note aré there any additives come bottling time that enhance flavor like cinnimon or nuttmeg? Thanks
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by davedave4420

So this is my first time with cider, and i am just curious what kind of timeline to follow. I used store bought organic juice with with a champagne yeast, and two pounds dark brown sugar in a five gal. All is Well a week into it. Also this being a college house project the fastest timeline is desired, but i am willing to stand up for some quality! What kind of alcohol content should be expected? Once again COLLEGE! On another note aré there any additives come bottling time that enhance flavor like cinnimon or nuttmeg? Thanks
Roughly speaking, without your particular starting gravity, I'd say you'd be looking at roughly 7-7.5% abv. Maybe more, but without gravity measurements, I can't say for certain.

Primary fermentation will finish up (typically) within 10 days, but it can take longer to get those last few gravity points. The reason those are important, is that if you decide to bottle and fermentation isn't done, your bottles have a good chance of exploding. Always good to spend a few bucks on a hydrometer to be sure.

So, if you want a super quick turnaround and you don't need it carbed, you could get in and out in 2-3 weeks. In order for it to clear up, you'll need at least a month. Add another 2 weeks if you are carbing in bottles. So for a clear cider carbed in bottles, expect 6 weeks total time. However, in cider (as in most fermented beverages) waiting longer is better. Having said that, as you are probably used to bud light, coors light, and the like (based purely on your assertion this is a college house project) 6 weeks should be fine.

You absolutely can add cinnamon and nutmeg. Especially with it being autumn, those would be good adds. However, for some people, those flavors are good for a few drinks in a sitting, but get tiresome all night long. I don't fall in that category, but I'd guess most do.
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Originally Posted by StuporMan View Post
You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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