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JaCoobraCobraMonster 11-27-2012 10:52 PM

First cider
Hey all,
New to forum and brewing, just have some questions and would like to get some opinions. I got some fresh pasteurized cider from my local mill the other day, 5 gallons. I am doing a hard apple cider, looking for a sweet cider with with an abv range of 6-8%. Here is my recipe and idea's, let me know what you think, thanks in advance for the advice.

4 3/4 gallons cider poured into 5 gallon primary carboy, left some head space.
I used Safale S-04 yeast (dry ale yeast). Hydrated yeast at 90 Degrees aerated and pitched into carboy, with cider at 61 degrees, stirred slightly, and capped with an airlocker. No activity yet, though it has been less than 24hrs. My starting or specific gravity was 1.044, is this low for a cider??? My potential abv was 6, not bad i guess. I plan to let it sit in the primary for a week and half than rack to, two secondary separate (3 gal) carboys with different adjuncts. I am going to use honey and rasins in one and the other i haven't determined. Any opinions/suggestions welcomed on that, what might be good, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves??? How long should i let the secondaries sit, would 3/4 weeks be good??? will be monitoring air locker bubbles and SP of course. Also to carb or not, i know its preference but would like to know what everyone thinks. Just trying to make a nice sweet hard cider, so any info that keeps it from tasting like vinegar/wine or all together crap, is greatly appreciated.

theciderkid 11-28-2012 12:05 AM

Did the cider contain sodium bicarbonate?

BadgerBrigade 11-28-2012 12:08 AM

Well I'm a really new brewer but You may want to check with the guys about your choice of yeast... Again not too seasoned at this yet but a lot of guys say to use a white wine or champagne yeast
When I did my first (& only) batch I used EC-1118 and the brew guys told me it can out Exceptionally well.

Double check that and I bet you're good to go.
Sounds like you been doing this a while...

JaCoobraCobraMonster 11-28-2012 12:20 AM

The cider did not contain sodium bicarbonate, i made sure. i also checked all my adjunct's, got organic, and went to trader joe's for my adjunct's. Preservative free.

BadgerBrigade 11-28-2012 12:56 AM

What is the temperature of the wort? If it gets too cold it Makes the yeast go into hibernation I think

JaCoobraCobraMonster 11-28-2012 01:25 AM

Hovering around 61 degrees. i think it's still to early to worry about the fermentation, it's been less than 24hrs. The yeast should be ok, i would think as long as i don't get to much outside of 60-70.

groundling 11-28-2012 02:19 AM

I use brown sugar. Also cinnamon. And a wee bit of clove. If I want it sweeter I add lactose to taste in the bottling bucket.

bigego236 11-29-2012 03:43 PM

I back sweeten with AJC after primary. Bottled half my batch and racked the other half. The bottles had a little carb mainly cause the temp dropped but good none the less for my first time, and the other half I let ride for another week. It came out flat but really good. Since it was my first time I learned a lot and was pleased with my results.

temple240 11-29-2012 05:29 PM

I just started to drink a batch that was made almost exactly like yours (i used nottingham) and it is much better carbed (compared to tasting a few flat bottles). I'm sure it's partially due to aging during carbonation but i prefer carbed cider either way.

Here's what i did:

I poured 5 gallons of apple juice in the bucket with 4 or 5 cans of defrosted ajc and mixed well. Pitched my notty dry (yeah, i know) and let it bubble away at 64F for three weeks before priming with 2 cans of defrosted ajc to carb and back sweeten. After about two weeks, i stove top pasteurized half the batch and put the rest in the fridge for quick consumption. My og was 1.06 and it finished dry at 0.996. Turned out to be stupid easy to make and it tastes great. No boozy taste even at 8%.

Sorry for poor grammar, posting from my phone.

JaCoobraCobraMonster 12-01-2012 03:15 PM

Thanks for the information everyone, so I've decided i'm going to carb. Should i let both my batches ferment all the way out and then prime with sugar in the bottling bucket, or stop close to finish ferment and see if the bottles will naturally carb out, since i will have some sugar adjunct's going, does that work? I don't want to create bottle bombs.

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