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Old 05-29-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
vegas20s
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Default First cider attempt questions/advice

I have been brewing beer for about a year, mostly all mini mashes.

I have a 6 gallon secondary carboy that I have not been using. I thinking of doing a cider sticking it the carboy and putting it in a closet I don't use very often. I'm don not want to try anything fancy or complicated for my first batch. Also know that I'm lazy and cheap.

I have read that many use Nottingham as their yeast for cider. I have a batch of porter finishing up. I was planing on buying some bulk frozen apple juice from sam's club and pitching apple juice directly onto the yeast cake ( something I've read about others doing). Then after a month transferring to the secondary and let it sit for a year or so.

Questions:

1. Nottingham needs below 70 temps but my closet will probable stay around 72-75, should I just go with a different yeast?

2. If Notty will work should I remove some of the yeast cake before I pitch?

3. Is the one transfer enough? Should I plan on a third? I could manage that in between beer batches.

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Old 05-30-2011, 12:58 AM   #2
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1) Temp should be fine. Any fruit flavors will actually complement the cider.

2) Use about a quarter of the cake. If you use too much, you can stress the yeast (they do not reproduce well, therefore you have less 'new' yeast to do the work).

3) One transfer should be fine. If a lot of sediment forms, you can rack a second time.

4) Check the ingredients of SAM's juice. Their cloudy juice (cider) has preservatives in and will not ferment.

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:23 AM   #3
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What are the names of the preservatives
I should look for?

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:29 AM   #4
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Ascorbic acid is OK, it's vitamin C. Citric and malic acid are OK, but rare.

Almost anything else is not. Any kind of Sorbate or Metabisulphate is a preservative, and should be avoided.

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:44 AM   #5
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I was reading here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/resu...riments-83060/ he says you want to stop fermentation to keep some flavors and that I can do that with multiple racking.

It was also mentioned that unlike beer cider doesn't age well so how long should I let this sit after final racking? When I bottle off how long will it last at room temps?


Another question, I was thinking of adding some honey, maybe 2 lbs will this change the fermentation and racking times?

Also many people add spices to there recipes will this change any thing as far as the process goes?


Thanks for any replies I do appreciate all the help

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:49 AM   #6
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potassium sorbate is the creation from he@@ for brewers

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Old 05-30-2011, 06:22 AM   #7
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cider doesn't age well??? that's like saying horses don't gallop well! i generally don't drink mine before 6 months. whatever you add, apparently honey is slow to ferment, just check the gravity periodically and rack when it's about done (at or below 1.000, should be unchanging over a few days). then you can clear and age for a few months to a year in the secondary, assuming you are going to allow it to ferment dry.

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Old 05-30-2011, 03:35 PM   #8
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I do not own a hydrometer. I do things by time or taste. My plan was to put it in the primary for a month or so then stick it in a secondary for at least six months. If I notice quite a bit of trub building up then rack back to the primary for a month and then back to secondary.

My goal is to leave some sweetness in it cause this is for my wife who doesn't like beer, wine or any other for of alcoholic beverage. Hence possibly more racking. I don't plan on drinking this as much as beer so I want to know how long it will last. Beer is good at room temp for 6 months to a year depending on ABV and hops, can I expect this out of bottled cider?

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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racking isn't going to retain sweetness

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Old 05-30-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
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Search for apfelwein (Ed Wort's) on the forums lots of info there. If you really want it sweet and carbonated the only safe option is to back sweeten with sucralose (splenda), lactose, or xylitol.

This does get better with age, if you push the abv then you'll need to let it age even longer (in the bottle is fine). I'd say let it go 6 weeks, bottle and wait another 6 weeks. If it tastes too hot or not apple- ey enough give it more time.

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