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Old 11-08-2011, 12:19 AM   #1
mrfrost05
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Default First Hard Cider Questions

Ok...New to the cider thing, i have done a lot of research and i think that i have devised a plan for my first batch.

Here is what i am looking for in my first batch:
1)Clear not cloudy
2)Above 10% Alchohol
3)More sweet than tart
4)Smooth

Here is what i am planning on using:

1) 5 gallons of local pasteurized cider, no preservatives
2) 5 cups of brown sugar
3) Pectic Enzyme
4) Champaign Yeast

1)Pour 4 gallons of cider in glass carboy,
2)Heat one gallon on stove to 150 degrees dissolving the 5 cups of brown sugar
3)Allow gallon to cool to below 70 degrees, pour into carboy
4)Hydrate yeast for 20 min as usual
5)Pitch Yeast
6)Install airlock

Allow mix to ferment in primary for 2 full weeks.
Rack to secondary

i would like to add more sugar and cinnimon to this, however i am not sure when i need to do it. does this happen at secondary or bottling?

i am going to get this going in the primary tomorrow. i know that it needs to sit in the secondary for a VERY long time. i also understand that you do not want to add any of the sugar or cinnamon during primary. any info or advise on how to do this or what you think it will turn out like would be appreciated.



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Old 11-08-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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Give this thread a read. It is a proven recipe for a 8-8.5% cider.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-i-love-apfelwein-14860/



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Old 11-08-2011, 04:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfrost05 View Post
2)Above 10% Alchohol
3)More sweet than tart
4)Smooth
In my admittedly limited experience I think you are going to have trouble reconciling these three goals.

I think once you get over about 8% alcohol you are really making wine, not cider, and I think your flavor expectations need to be adjusted accordingly.

You'll loose a lot of the apple flavor, some of it will come back with time (9-12 months) but I think you will find that even then the flavor will be more dry white wine with the smell and slight taste of apple, as opposed to a real cider.

Based on your goals I think you would be better aiming for 6-8% ABV and finishing semi-sweet using methods like the ones found on CVilleKevin's yeast experiments thread.

I don't have a lot of experience so take this with a pinch of salt, but I did make a batch of EdWorts ApfelWein last year and am in the middle of a couple of batches of cider this year so I have been through some of the learning curve myself.

Cheers

HW
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:36 AM   #4
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Easy. Get your cider sugared up until it has alcohol potential of 10%. I recommend honey actually, cyser is bomb. If it is really tart you can try you wait it out for a natural maltolactic fermentation, or you can introduce maltolactic culture. This will convert the malic acid (the tart stuff) to lactic acid. However you may find that you wish it had a little more bite, so you might just culture half of it, halt the culture with campden tablets, then blend it back with the tart stuff.

As far as smooth, well, the only way your going to have anything at 10% abv that's smooth is to give it a minimum of 6 months aging.

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Old 11-08-2011, 11:37 PM   #5
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Well i got it all going tonight finally, not sure if i did good or not, but you guys made some good points about my desires being almost un-obtainable. so i decided to start it like this:

Disolved 2.5 cups of brown sugar into the 5 gallons
Pitched the champaign yeast
installed airlock

you guys are right, i was probably looking at putting too much sugar in my primary.

i think i will let this bubble out for a few weeks, then i will transfer to the secondary for a few months.

what should i use to stop the fermentation process after i have reached the ABV i am looking for? after i do this, i can sugar to taste, add cinnamon or whatever i would like right?

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Old 11-09-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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I think you will be suprised how quick this can ferment out... the sugar could literally be gone in a day. So you want to serve this as a still sweet cider? You might have to give it a pretty heavy dose of campden, then sweeten it to taste and let it sit in primary for a few weeks to verify that there is no yeast activity. Or you could bottle pasturize

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Old 11-09-2011, 12:14 AM   #7
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I think most people add the cinnamon to the secondary. I would imagine that using some cinnamon sticks would be a better bet, then if you think it's getting to potent you can always pull them out easily. Try to find some Ceylon cinnamon. It's actually "true cinnamon" and is a little spicier than the regular baking stuff. I used to use it when I just heated up normal cider and it blew the regular stuff out of the water.

What was your initial SG? I just added 3 cups of white sugar to 3 gallons and only got up to 1.058. It will all depend how sweet your juice was to start whether you can even get to 10%. You probably wont' have to do anything to get it to stop, just let it ferment out. If you want to sweeten up after secondary, do to taste then pasteurize...

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Old 11-09-2011, 02:05 AM   #8
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No big deal but you could possibly have difficulty with getting it to fall totally clear.
When you heated up that one gallon, while the bulk of that gallon volume was brought to 150* degrees, unless you were in a double boiler with the water at 150*, you likely set the pectin in some portion of the must ... as the actual bottom of the pot you were using, with the flame under it, was much higher than 150*.
In the future one way around this would be to separately treat the 1 gallon amount with enzyme first for about 12 hours or so before heating it to 150.

But as it was only a portion of your batch there's a good chance that you may not run into any really noticeable problem.
The proof'll be in the pudding, as they say.

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Old 11-09-2011, 10:15 PM   #9
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Actually i have to be honest.... I didn't heat the one gallon up while i dissolved the brown sugar into it. i just took a half gallon, put it in a pan and stirred in the brown sugar until it was dissolved. i hope i didn't mess anything up by doing this. Also, do you think 2.5 cups of brown sugar is enough to get some kick out of this cider?? i can add more now if i need to. From reading earlier posts, i guess i want to be more like 8% when I'm all done. i know that i should've taken an OG reading while i was doing it, but i didn't. any advice will be appreciated.



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