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Old 03-11-2011, 10:03 PM   #1
brando
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Default First Cider EVER. Is this the right thing to do?

Greetings,

This evening, I'll be embarking on a new journey to create the first Cider of my homebrewing career, based loosely on Edwort's Apfelwein recipe.

1 gallon store-bought, pasteurized pink lady apple juice, no preservatives listed.
1 packet red star montrachet wine yeast
6.4 ounces sugar, half corn sugar, half turbinado (maybe less, don't want rocket fuel)

Questions:

-Should I dissolve the sugar in water before pitching?
-No boil needed on cider, right?
-Can I just cold crash after I reach 1.020 so I don't have a bone dry cider, or do I need to throw the cider in the dishwasher in a growler on rinse to kill the yeast?
-Any other words of wisdom? Your help is greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #2
fendermallot
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The recipe looks fine. I don't think you're going to have anything near rocket fuel. Make sure you take specific gravity readings and post them.

I'm guessing you'll be between 4.5-5.5% abv.

Put half the juice in your growler, add sugar. Shake til disolved. Add rest of juice. You can hydrate yeast in some juice for awhile if you want, if not, pitch yeast. Make sure juice is room temp.

You can cold crash your cider whenever you want. If you want the fermentation to stop, you have to keep it cold or kill the yeast. If I were you, I'd just keep it cold since you're only doing a 1gal batch. That should fit in the fridge easily compared to 5gal of juice...

If you want to know about pasteurizing, there's a great sticky at the top of the cider page.

Were you going to bottle/keg or just pour it off the top into a glass?

if you are bottling, you have to kill the yeast and bottle it uncarbed. You can kill it by pasteurizing or chemically. Cold crashing does not kill yeast.

If you keg, just put it in the keg, force carb and call it a day.

remember, at our current temp, even a gallon of cider will probably take at longer than the recipes say, unless you can afford to keep your house at near "tropical" temperatures.

Nice to see another oregonian!

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Old 03-11-2011, 10:44 PM   #3
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for your first time you will find it much easier to let it ferment to dry, then embark on one of the various backsweetening strategies. just my opinion
1.020 is almost sickly sweet; another of my opinions.

fact and opinion often differ, as you no doubt have seen, and facts change with cider consumption

other opinions currently harbored: one shouldn't boil cider ever, one shouldn't put one's cider anywhere one wouln't in good conscience put a pet, excepting of course the fridge, thus leaving the dishwasher free for after dinner cleansing.

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Old 03-11-2011, 10:47 PM   #4
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I love Beer-ville USA!

Here's the game plan....Ferment 'till 1.015, cold crash for a day, siphon from growlers, rack to bottling bucket w/priming sugar, bottle, condition bottles at room temp for 1 week, pasteurize for 10 minutes on stove, chill and drink up!

I hear this juice is a good base for cider, I guess we'll see! Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-11-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
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you are in dangerous territory with all that sugar in sealed bottles with hungry yeast, i would not put the bottles near (aforementioned) pets, children, dry grains, computer keyboards, or anything else that might be offended by sudden moist glass shard innundations. maps, for example, suede, eyeballs, those kinds of things. unless you plan on opening a bottle every day or so to check carb level. they might carb up very quickly and there is no real way of knowing. gushers, although much safer than bombs, still waste a lot of cider and leave what is left in the bottle flat and odd. this is alll coming from unhappy experience

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:04 PM   #6
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Dinnerstick,

Should I try simply racking to bottles with no priming sugar? Perhaps there is enough residual to carb the bottles up?

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:18 PM   #7
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if you bottle at 1.015 there is a ton of sugar to carb. in most cases cider will ferment to below 1.000. if there is nothing to impede your yeast, such as them being dead or low on nutrients, 1.015 is way more than enough to explode a bottle. (death almost always stops a ferment)
you can bottle with gravity that high and live yeast but you really should start checking bottles the next day- they can carb up that quickly. but with a small batch it's a tough ask to check one every day. you can bottle one in plastic and see how quickly it gets rock hard

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:24 PM   #8
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Great, thanks for the info....here's to good cider....or more likely, bad cider on the first attempt, with the good stuff to follow.

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Old 03-17-2011, 05:55 AM   #9
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On the bottle carbing note... I just finished off a batch.
Like all so far, experimental.

1 Gal, local unfiltered unpasturised Apple (farmers markets are great).
Safale 04.
SG 1.054

Took 4 days to drop down to 1.024
5th day it was at 1.012 (at lunchtime)
That evening it was at 1.010

Bottled (fliptops). Decided to risk bottle carbing (cause I like to live on the edge).

Day 6. I cracked a bottle... Gusher. Cider everywhere. Tasted good though.
So I pasturised the rest of the bottles. Tastes good so far! (pasturised the remains of the gusher and drank it today).

But the next batch gets cold crashed before bottling (I was too impatient last time). Need to get the yeast content down to something sensible or bottle carbing becomes dangerous at 1.010
Plus I have a thick layer of dead yeast on the bottom of each bottle. And thats just unattractive.

Not checked my FG after bottle carbing but I think my ABV is in the 5% area.

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