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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > A few Cider Questions
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:14 AM   #1
bdub
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Default A few Cider Questions

I am new to the world of brewing, and want to try my hand at cider. But, of course, I have a few questions.

My goal is the common cider. I dont want something as dry or strong as Eds ApfelWein(i am making this as a 21st bday gift for a friend who prefers things more along the lines of magners, ill make me some apfelwein one of these days.)

that in mind,
1. What recipe should i use?
A. Should I add Sugar, and if so, which type?
B. What sort of yeast should i use?
2. How long should this process take? I dont need it until April, so i figure i can let it sit for quite a while, but i dont want it to sit in the primary too long.
3. Is there any other equipment that i need to make cider besides a single carboy and bottling equipment?

Thats all i have for now, but any other advice you have for me is greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
zoebisch01
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It all depends on who you talk to, but my suggestion is that if you want to make unadulterated cider it is a very simple process. It is basically Apple Cider, you let it ferment naturally and that's it. Ok, so most people can't get fresh unpasteurized, non-chemically treated cider. And in the former case the threat of vinegar is always lurking and you have to take steps to ensure this doesn't happen. In the latter case then it would be Apple Cider and Yeast. Pretty much, I am finding that using Ale yeast or Wine yeast seem to produce similar final gravities and qualities, at least this is how it seems so far...but I need to age my current Cider to prove it to myself.

The process takes about oh, 2 to 3 weeks at least for fermentation. The clarification phase continues up into the several month range. Usually by about 3 to 4 months most Cider is clear and ready to be bottled.

You don't need any other equipment than what you mention, save a racking cane and tubes, and a second place to put the cider if you secondary it for clearing. You could just use your carboy, rack to a bucket, clean and sanitize the carboy and then rack back into the carboy for secondary conditioning.

Cider is traditionally a flat beverage, like wine. Priming cider is common though, and I am still not certain which way I prefer my cider. This year I have both.

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Old 01-30-2008, 01:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdub
I am new to the world of brewing, and want to try my hand at cider. But, of course, I have a few questions.

My goal is the common cider. I dont want something as dry or strong as Eds ApfelWein(i am making this as a 21st bday gift for a friend who prefers things more along the lines of magners, ill make me some apfelwein one of these days.)

that in mind,
1. What recipe should i use?
A. Should I add Sugar, and if so, which type?
B. What sort of yeast should i use?
2. How long should this process take? I dont need it until April, so i figure i can let it sit for quite a while, but i dont want it to sit in the primary too long.
3. Is there any other equipment that i need to make cider besides a single carboy and bottling equipment?

Thats all i have for now, but any other advice you have for me is greatly appreciated.
From everything I have read (and so far tried), I would recommend NOT adding any additional sugar, especially if you want something of a more moderate alcohol level.

Just get some preservative-free apple juice from the store shelf (I've used Mott's with good success), and add some yeast nutrient and pitch your yeast. Apple juice will completely ferment out (FG of 1.000 and often lower), but I've heard people say that using ale yeast, or wheat yeast in particular, leaves a more appley flavor to the cider. Wine yeast, particularly Montrachet, leaves the cider very tart and dry (tastey, but not what it seems like you're trying to make).

Let it sit in primary for at least 2 weeks (longer if you can), and then you can move it to secondary to clear up and condition a bit more. If the cider is not sweet enough when you want to bottle, you can backsweeten with some Splenda or lactose. If you use Splenda, add slowly and taste as you do it. It will take a bit of lactose to gain any noticeable sweetness, but I've used it for mine and it worked well.

Then, for carbonated cider, prime with the normal amount of dextrose that you'd use for 5 gallons of beer (3/4 cup).

Good luck!
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