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Old 02-18-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
JLem
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My first attempt at cider is underway. Nothing fancy. Just apple cider, yeast, and yeast nutrient.

Specifically:
3 gallons of pasteurized, but preservative free organic apple cider from a local farm (via Whole Foods)
~3 tsp of yeast nutrient
1 vial of Burton Ale Yeast

O.G. 1.050

I'm trying to make something not too dry, hence the lack of additions and the ale yeast.



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Old 02-18-2009, 11:25 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are going about this all right. Congrats. I always think people should start with juice + yeast + time. A lot of people say try apfelwein first, but its best to try true cider first. You may need to backsweeten depending on how sweet you are going to want it, but the ale yeast has a good chance of leaving it in the 1.000-1.008 range



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Old 02-19-2009, 12:49 AM   #3
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Thanks. I knew I wanted a cider - not the Apfelwein. I also don't really care what the ABV is. 5% is plenty for me. I know that I can't duplicate the sweetness found in commercial ciders, but I wanted to avoid drying it out completely. I'd like to carbonate it some too, so I'm not sure if I'll back sweeten.

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Old 02-19-2009, 01:04 AM   #4
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if you use an ale yeast, it should leave some residual sugar. If you'd prefer a woodchuck or hornsby like sweetness, you could add just a bit of nonfermentable sugar. That way, say your ale yeast finishes it at 1.005 and you'd prefer it at 1.015, you could add splenda/lactose/stevia/etc to bring it up just that .010. You're end up with a nice light and sweet cider, that you can still carbonate and isn't depending solely on nonfermentable sweeteners.

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Old 02-19-2009, 04:43 AM   #5
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Not sure I want something as sweet as Woodchuck. Maybe more like Samuel Smith's. I'll see where it finishes and how it tastes and then decide.

About how long should I plan on leaving it in the fermenter? I wasn't planning on racking it.

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Old 02-19-2009, 04:58 AM   #6
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I prefer to use at least a secondary, if not a tertiary, as in racking once if not twice. But you don't have to if you choose not to, you will find a lot of the homebrew "facts" are actually just guidelines and personal preferences. But, I would suggest if you're not going to rack it, have it in your mind that it will be staying in there for 3 months. The most important thing to consider before bottling is that fermentation is complete. That is, it has reached a logical FG and is remaining there, as confirmed by consistent hydrometer readings. The second most important thing is that it is crystal clear, as in you can read a newspaper through it clear.

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Old 05-24-2009, 01:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
The most important thing to consider before bottling is that fermentation is complete. That is, it has reached a logical FG and is remaining there, as confirmed by consistent hydrometer readings. The second most important thing is that it is crystal clear, as in you can read a newspaper through it clear.
I'm not sure that the 2nd thing is all that important. It's basically aesthetic only and doesn't affect taste, IMO.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
I know that I can't duplicate the sweetness found in commercial ciders, but I wanted to avoid drying it out completely.
Yes you can, next time take a .5 lbs of crystal 60 L and steep it in a half gallon of water at 155 for 30 mins. Add that to the juice and pitch your yeast. It will sweeten by balancing out the tart you get from juice and yeast.

If you want it to have more body you can always use some carapils/dextrine for the steeping part.


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