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-   -   First Cider... a few quick questions: (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/first-cider-few-quick-questions-152704/)

HOP-HEAD 12-19-2009 12:36 PM

First Cider... a few quick questions:
 
I'm about to brew my first cider this morning for the little lady. Before I do, I've been reading through the forum and elsewhere on the web and have just a few easy questions to close a few loop holes:

1. I've always added a campden tablet to my tap water before brewing beer. On the cider forums, I continually noticed people referrring to adding campden later in the process... is this to kill the yeast to stop fermentation? If so, why doesn't it kill my yeast when making beer? If not, what is it being added for?

2. How vigorous are cider fermentations? I plan to brew a 4 or 5 gal batch in a 6.5 gal carboy. Should I start right off with a blow-off tube or will an airlock do fine?

3. I have a bunch of Notty dry yeast laying around, so was going to substitute it for the champagne yeast called for in the recipe I have. From what I've read, this sounds like it'll work fine, and if anything just result in a less dry finish.... Thoughts?

Teromous 12-19-2009 01:09 PM

1. You don't have to add campden unless you feel that there is a real chance for bacterial infection or are overly cautious. Campden does inhibit yeast but doesn't kill it. People add campden after fermentation while the cider is aging to reduce the chance of infection. As before, you don't have to do this.

2. It depends on your yeast, but I brew about 5.5 gallons in a 6.5 without issue.

3. I would go with the Notty yeast over champagne yeast anyway.

fineexampl 12-19-2009 01:16 PM

If you're doing a full boil, you can leave out the campden. a full boil eliminates the need.

If you add any additional sugars and use an ale yeast, you might want to try a blowoff for the first week. IME it was needed. you may not need it, but the yeast all over my closet suggests it is a possibility you MIGHT need it.

I second using the Notty. You'll get that vigorous fermentation you are looking for and should theoretically finish nice. I used Windsor and am having awesome results so far. My first cider i racked on an old yeast cake and had no need for a blowoff and also was a Windsor based fermentation.

and thank you for reading up before making cooking up the cider! it's nice to see people taking time to research. :)

HOP-HEAD 12-19-2009 01:29 PM

One more:

The recipe calls for adding 1/2 lb of lactose before bottling. Is this to sweeten the cider? If that's the case, am i correct in assuming that lactose is unfermentable and so it won't just continue to add to the abv as the cider sits in the bottles?

HOP-HEAD 12-19-2009 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fineexampl (Post 1752458)
If you're doing a full boil, you can leave out the campden. a full boil eliminates the need.


By full-boil, I assume you're referring back to beer brewing, correct? I mean, there's really no advantage, and actually several disadvantages, to boiling for a cider, correct?

If you did mean beer, as I assume, I do perform all full boils. I have simply added the campden because I have a bottle full of 'em and haven't seen any down side to doing so... not sure that it's helped, but it certainly hasn't hurt. I've read many threads and other articles that state that chloramine will not boil out... and my water's got plenty of chloramine.

Teromous 12-19-2009 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HOP-HEAD (Post 1752470)
One more:

The recipe calls for adding 1/2 lb of lactose before bottling. Is this to sweeten the cider? If that's the case, am i correct in assuming that lactose is unfermentable and so it won't just continue to add to the abv as the cider sits in the bottles?

That's correct, just make sure that if you want carbonation that you do leave some fermentable sugars in the cider when you bottle.

gratus fermentatio 12-19-2009 03:13 PM

Boiling the juice will set the pectins & make for a VERY cloudy cider, it will also diminish the apple flavour. If the juice is pasteurized, no need for campden. Do you plan on using water in your cider recipe? The lactose is not fermentable and will both sweeten & add a little body/mouthfeel to your cider. Regards, GF.

HOP-HEAD 12-19-2009 03:22 PM

Here's the recipe:

5x 3 quart bottles of Great Value (Walmart) 100% Apple Juice
2x Old Orchard brand 12 oz. Frozen Concentrate - Apple/Raspberry
1x Old Orchard brand 12 oz. Frozen Concentrate - Apple/Cherry
1x Old Orchard brand 12 oz. Frozen Concentrate - Cranberry
1 LB Regular Granulated Sugar
3/4 Gal Water

I added the water, sugar, and frozen concentrate to a pot and heated just enough to dissolve... nowhere near boil. Added to carboy, than added the 5 bottles of juice. OG = 1.068

This seems pretty high? Should I consider adding additional water to bring it down closer to 1.060... or do you think she'll be fine?

I'm allowing it to warm a bit to get it closer to my fermentation temp of 65 before I pitch the packet of Dry Notty.

At bottling, the recipe calls for adding:

1/2 Lactose
4 oz. Raspberry Flavoring
4 oz. Priming Sugar

Teromous 12-19-2009 03:29 PM

That sounds like it'll taste pretty good. The OG is just fine, no need to add water.

HOP-HEAD 12-19-2009 04:01 PM

So........ anyone have much experience with Lactose? I mean, how much really is 1/2 lb in about 5 gallons? .... dessert wine sweet...? Or more like one of those carbonated smirnoff drink things kind of sweet?

The wife likes these types of things on the pretty sweet side... but being first go around on this cider thing, I'm not sure how much to expect out of each ingredient.

Also: Are there other commonly used unfermentable sugars for the same purpose? I'm lactose intolerant.... and though it for her, I'll have to have a few myself.


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