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Old 10-25-2010, 05:45 AM   #1
lotbfan
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Default First cider, need help on sugars.

Just finished getting 5 gallons if freshly pressed cider into a fermenter with some campden tablets and some pectic enzyme. The acid is right on target at .70 but the gravity is a little lower than I had hoped at only 1.062

I know that the EdWort Apfelwein recipe uses dextrose, and a few that I have seen use honey. I am trying to get closer to 1.080-85 so I can shoot for about 10% abv when all is done.

My wife, who will be the primary drinker of this prefers a sweeter finished product, so I was thinking maybe a mix of fermentable and unfermentable sugars may be the way to go, and since she is in love with mead, my first thought was to use honey, but since this is my first batch, I thought I may be able to find some guidance from folks who have gone along this path before.

If it makes any difference, I was planning on stopping the fermentation with campden and then kegging the final product, not sure if that will affect any advice anyone would have for me.

Thanks in advance for any help you may have to offer!

Oh, planning on using Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast, please stop me before I pitch it tomorrow night if that is a horrible plan!

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Old 10-25-2010, 05:55 AM   #2
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I'm a bit of a newbie but I have 3 batches of cider under my belt and have used brown sugar in my last two. I also made some caramel syrup and added that. I got just the slightest hint or caramel in my cider.

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:36 AM   #3
lotbfan
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Well, we shall see how it goes, added 2 lbs. of raw agave, 2 lbs. of brown sugar, and 1 lb. of apple honey. Also added about 4 inches of organic cinnamon bark. O.G. is up to 1.084 so my goal of around 10-11 should be doable... now I just need to wait it out.

As an aside going to make the exact same recipe using treetop apple juice this weekend (need to keg a carboy to make room in a fermenter) to see if the $3.00/gallon juice is that far off of the $10.00/gallon cider once done

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:14 PM   #4
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in my latest batch of cider (one 5 gal carboy, 3 one gal jugs) the OG was 1.06 before any sugar. Added 1.5 lbs light brown sugar to the five gallons, and 2lbs light brown sugar to each of the one gallon jugs. i also use wyeast cider yeast, and about 1 tsp of yeast nutrient per gallon. in my past experiments using light brown sugar has been the best. when i don't have fresh cider i use preservative free apple juice. using 2lbs dark brown sugar per gallon made a really good finished product... after about three months. one gallons are the best way to perfect your recipe. i usually split a wyeast pack for three gallons to support the higher gravity i am trying to attain.

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Old 10-28-2010, 01:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotbfan View Post

If it makes any difference, I was planning on stopping the fermentation with campden and then kegging the final product, not sure if that will affect any advice anyone would have for me.

Thanks in advance for any help you may have to offer!

Oh, planning on using Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast, please stop me before I pitch it tomorrow night if that is a horrible plan!
Campden tabs won't stop a fermentation. You will have to cold crash it, rack it off the lees (yeast cake), then add the campdens. If you are force carbing, you should add potassium sorbate as well. And keep it very cold. Red Star is a good choice since you are going for a 10% ABV, but it's also a very hardy yeast and several thousand cells are bound to survive your stabilization attempts. Keep it cold.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:26 AM   #6
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Ahh thanks, potassium sorbate, I knew there was something i was missing from the equation.

I have more carboys than I know what to do with, will a mid ferment racking into a secondary help, or will that just slow it down? I would rather not have it sitting on the cake for 3 months if I can avoid it (my limited winemaking experience tells me this begs off flavors).

I am more concerned about flavor than over carbonation, since i am going to be kegging it and force carbing at some point i can always bleed any left over gas till it is ready, maybe doing a secondary in a keg wouldn't be a bad idea?

At any rate, thanks again for the advice!

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