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Old 01-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #1
Ladybug
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Default First Batch - Need Help.

I would like to start my first batch and I don't know what recipe to use. I would like something that when it is completed is sweet with a nice apple flavor and a bit fizz. Looking for a batch the right size for a 5 gallon carboy. I don't have any local apple orchards so I'm going to have to go with store bought juice/cider. Any suggestions on which recipe to use is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help, I hope this will be only the first of many batches.

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Old 01-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
UpstateMike
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Perhaps this one. 5 Day Sweet Country Cider

It was for 4 gallons, but with minor modification I adjusted it to 5 for you.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

1 pack Nottingham yeast
5 gallons unpreserved apple juice
1.5 lbs brown sugar
2.5 cinnamon sticks

1) Pour 4 1/2 gallons of juice into fermenter
2) Heat remaining half gallon with cinnamon sticks and brown sugar until sugar dissolves properly. Let cool to room temp.
3) Combine mixtures and mix vigorously to oxidize.
4) Hydrate and Pitch yeast.

-Let ferment for about 2-3 days, or until it hits 1.040.
-Bottle it. No need to rack of clear, this stuff is going to be cloudy no matter what you do to it, as it hasn't really fermented that far. it may help, however to give it a day in the fridge to get rid of excess yeast. I didn't do this though.

Let it sit in bottles for a day or so to carb, then bottle pasteurize. I did this by using my sanitize/rinse setting on my dishwasher of 10 minutes, but you can also do it on the stove (see stove-top pasteurization sticky).

Result:
A sweet, hard cider at about 5% abv that keeps a lot of original cider flavor, and is just a tad more tart and dry than the unfermented version. Definitely looks "rustic" due to its cloudiness. Cheers!

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Oh, and get a hydrometer. Psychic brewing is great and all, but hard numbers get rid of MUCH of the guess work.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." ~ 1 Timothy 5:23

Currently Fermenting:
Skeeter Pee
Blueberry Cider

Bottle Conditioning:
None

In Bottles / Drinking:
Cranberry Cider
Citron Cider
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #3
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Ok cool I will try this one, is there a particular brand that is better as far as the juice goes or should i just get whatever is on sale and doesn't have preservatives?

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Old 01-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug
Ok cool I will try this one, is there a particular brand that is better as far as the juice goes or should i just get whatever is on sale and doesn't have preservatives?
Find something that doesn't have anything at all added. Sometimes they even add vitamin c (ascorbic acid) which can throw off the flavor.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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No preservatives is the main thing to look for.

As Mike suggested, pasteurizing is one method to get what you want (semi-sweet, carbonated, bottle conditioned). If you don't want to pasteurize, though, you can try this method EASY RECIPE: How to make Homemade Hard Apple Cider - Make your own Hard Apple Cider

And welcome to HBT!

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Old 01-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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I see your also in Florida so i would recommend using either Publix brand Cider or Apple Juice,i just finished a batch using thier cider and have 2 more going now with thier cider and aj. Its pretty good stuff even compared to fresh stuff from a orchard.

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Old 01-14-2012, 12:12 AM   #7
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Ok, I put everything together earlier today and it has been sitting about 6 hours. I haven't seem any activity in the airlock, should I be worried at this point or is it to early to tell?

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Old 01-14-2012, 12:45 AM   #8
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No...don't worry. As long as you used fresh yeast and preservative free juice...just give it some time. My ciders usually mock me on the first day and then they crank up Quiet Riot when I go to sleep.

WTH? I know, right? What's with the cheesy 80s big hair bands!?!

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Old 01-14-2012, 01:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
Ok, I put everything together earlier today and it has been sitting about 6 hours. I haven't seem any activity in the airlock, should I be worried at this point or is it to early to tell?
Depending on temperature, it may take up to 48 hours before you really see anything. I started a batch using Nottingham a few days ago, and it was 24 hours at 62 degrees before I started seeing positive pressure forming in the airlock.

I also like to use lower temps when I can. I am a strong believer that low and slow is the way to go.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter View Post
Oh, and get a hydrometer. Psychic brewing is great and all, but hard numbers get rid of MUCH of the guess work.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." ~ 1 Timothy 5:23

Currently Fermenting:
Skeeter Pee
Blueberry Cider

Bottle Conditioning:
None

In Bottles / Drinking:
Cranberry Cider
Citron Cider
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpstateMike
-Bottle it. No need to rack of clear, this stuff is going to be cloudy no matter what you do to it, as it hasn't really fermented that far. it may help, however to give it a day in the fridge to get rid of excess yeast. I didn't do this though.

Let it sit in bottles for a day or so to carb, then bottle pasteurize. I did this by using my sanitize/rinse setting on my dishwasher of 10 minutes.
Just wondering on the bottle sanitation in the dishwasher...could you put the cider, in plastic 20oz soda bottles, condition it for a day, then cold crash it in the fridge for a day or two and finally putting them in the top rack of the 10 min. dish washer rinse?

Since the soda bottles are designed to take pressure. I have heard people putting it in plastic soda bottles, but didn't know how they would do in the washer.
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