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Old 04-22-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
MrSpiffy
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Default First foray into cider!

I just threw together my first batch of cider! I'm really excited to see how it comes out, too. I used EdWort's Apfelwein recipe, since it was really simple and everyone seems to love it. Maybe it's technically more an apple wine than a cider, but whatever... close enough for me!

Does anyone have any advice for a newbie to cider? I'd love to get into it more, but don't know a lot about it, other than basics. I did read the info sticky. But the more info I can prepare myself with, the better!

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Old 04-22-2012, 05:47 AM   #2
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Hello MrSpiffy, and welcome to cider - it's pretty great!

http://www.makinghardcider.com/ -this is a good site that explains a lot about the whole process from juice to bottling.

And another very popular recipe is Brandon O's Graff. It may be it bit complicated for a new cider maker but there is pleanty of info in the thread, or just ask me and I can give you some pointers. The thing I love about it, besides the great taste, is that it doesn't take as long to age before it's highly enjoyable. Apfelwein, in my opinion, needs at least 3 -4 months, but isn't really good before 6 months.

Good Luck!

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Kegged: UpstateMike's Caramel Apple Cider, Strawberry Graff
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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you definitely want to do another more traditional hard cider recipe asap, the apfelweins need a long time to finish up, here's a basic recipe:

5 gallons 100% apple juice
2lb brown sugar
Nottingham or Safale S-04 yeast

put the sugar in 2 cups boiling water until it fully dissolves before adding it

as for yeast, empty a new water bottle, fill it 3/4ths with apple juice, and all the yeast, close it, give it a good shake, then open the cap slightly and let it sit for at least an hour, shaking every 10 min or so (screw the cap on when you shake it)

let it ferment for at least a month before bottling (6-8 weeks is best)

DONT PULL IT EARLY, i did this and achieved O'douls Cider


if you're gonna be adding extra fruit into it you might want to move it to another container before you bottle (get all the fruit chunks out) if your using additional fruit JUICES, you shouldnt need a secondary,

but if you go the secondary fermenter route, move it to secondary 2 weeks after primary, and let it be in secondary for at least 2 weeks (4-6 recommended) before bottling

hope this helped!

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Old 04-22-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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I agree with kewlio...gotta get another cider going! And kewlio's yeast recommendations are my favorites, as they tend to not strip the apple/fruity flavors as much as champagne/wine yeasts. And one big thing I've learned in my short time here is fermenting at cooler temps (if possible) like low 60's in my basement has left my ciders tasting better than at higher temps >70. Fermenting in the cooler temps does take longer, but someone on here put it this way...the faster the ferment, the longer it needs to mellow, and the slower the ferment, the sooner you can enjoy Plus, at a slower, more controlled rate, you can sample here and there and catch it where you like the level of sweetness. Good luck!

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Old 04-22-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JtotheA View Post
I agree with kewlio...gotta get another cider going! And kewlio's yeast recommendations are my favorites, as they tend to not strip the apple/fruity flavors as much as champagne/wine yeasts. And one big thing I've learned in my short time here is fermenting at cooler temps (if possible) like low 60's in my basement has left my ciders tasting better than at higher temps >70. Fermenting in the cooler temps does take longer, but someone on here put it this way...the faster the ferment, the longer it needs to mellow, and the slower the ferment, the sooner you can enjoy Plus, at a slower, more controlled rate, you can sample here and there and catch it where you like the level of sweetness. Good luck!
mine normally vary in temperatures, whatever temp is in my garage is brewing temp
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the advice! If a true cider batch will be drinkable faster, I may just have to try the more traditional cider recipe, too!

I haven't been brewing very long, so I only have three batches of beer under my belt, and now the apfelwein. But I've always put my carboys in the basement, where it's around 65°F or so. It seems to be a good temp for most ale yeasts, so I just roll with it.

As for the yeast strains, is it assumed that most wine yeasts take longer to age to a good product than ale yeasts? I know the apfelwein will take a few months or more to really become a tasty brew. But I wasn't really aware that ale yeasts are normally used for cider. So, they tend to be more like many beers, in that they have a shorter aging/conditioning period before they're good to go?

And how do you guys handle sweetness? I know if you let it ferment to completion, it'll be very dry. I tend to like a bit of sweetness. So, what's the best method to crash the yeast? I hear you can use preservatives, but I'm hoping there's some other, better method than sulfates (sulfites?).

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Old 04-23-2012, 01:05 AM   #7
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no need to crash the yeast, or use sulfates, which will change taste, once it has fermented out fully, you can backsweeten it by adding juice concentrates or more sugar (splenda if you dont want to pasteurize)

i havent backsweetened yet, but i remember it being 2-3 cans of concentrate (the frozen juice at stores, 100% juice) per 5 gallons, but add each can or add the sugar in slowly, and keep tasting it, once it has the right amount of sweetness, bottle it

if you add anything into your cider that's fermentable, you will have to pasteurize after you bottle, which is fairly easy, i do it by letting the bottled cider sit in the hottest temp faucet water you can get, then boiling a pot of water, once it starts boiling, remove it from heat and add the bottles into the water (make sure to allow space for the bottles before hand, spilling boiling water is very dangerous) and remove them after 10 minutes, then bring it back up to boiling before adding more faucet warmed bottles

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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Strange, I didn't get an e-mail saying I had a reply...

Anyway, I would imagine that the juice concentrate would have fermentable sugars in it. After all, juice from concentrate can be used for fermenting cider. So, I would need to pasteurize after I add the concentrate?

The pasteurization process seems pretty simple. I'm going to try the apfelwein as-is, since a lot of people seem to like it dry. But I have a feeling I'll be tinkering with cider a bunch, since it's so easy to make a batch.

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Old 04-25-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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yes you will need to pasteurize if you add concentrate, same sugars as the normal juice

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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I'm trying to make hard cider, it's so weak I can barely taste it, any tips on how to make it stronger?

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