The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > First time cider brewer

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-15-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
Rusty_Shackleford
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Default First time cider brewer

Hello, I've only been brewing for a little while and I thought I would give cider a shot. However I think I may have done something wrong.

I used about 2 gal. of "Simply Apple" juice (because it was nice and cloudy, more of a cider really) and one gallon of normal apple juice. neither of which had any preservatives and they were both pasteurized. The normal apple juice had some added absorbic acid (vitamin C) but from what I read that should be fine.

I took a half gallon of the Simply Apple and brought it to a boil then added a few bags of tea and some cinnamon for additional flavor. I let that boil for 10 min and added it with the rest of the juice. Gravity at this time was about 1.045.

I pitched the yeast (Wyeast labs Cider yeast) at 74 deg. 3 days ago and I've yet to see any activity in my air lock!

I am using a 5 gal bucket so there is a lot more head space than what I normally have. I'm hoping that is the reason for lack of activity. Did I do something wrong here? Has anyone else ever done 3 gal in a 5 gal bucket? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

__________________
Rusty_Shackleford is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
DanH
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
DanH's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,003
Liked 79 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Maybe the lid isn't completely sealed and the co2 is escaping from there, rather than from the airlock.

__________________
DanH is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 08:04 PM   #3
Rusty_Shackleford
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Default

It seems to be sealed off just fine

__________________
Rusty_Shackleford is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
ColbyJack
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Eagle River, Alaska
Posts: 337
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

My brew buddy had the same experience with bucket fermentation. We fixed the situation by weighting down the lid of the bucket. It was indeed fermenting, but leaking around the edge. Path of least resistance.

__________________
ColbyJack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #5
Rusty_Shackleford
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Default

I put four 5lb. weights around the lid still no change. I pulled out the air lock to peek through the hole in the lid. there seems to be a layer krausen so im just gonna let it keep doing its thing and hope for the best! Thanks for the help, I'll let you know how it turns out.

__________________
Rusty_Shackleford is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
fc36
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 341
Liked 18 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty_Shackleford View Post
Hello, I've only been brewing for a little while and I thought I would give cider a shot. However I think I may have done something wrong.

I used about 2 gal. of "Simply Apple" juice (because it was nice and cloudy, more of a cider really) and one gallon of normal apple juice. neither of which had any preservatives and they were both pasteurized. The normal apple juice had some added absorbic acid (vitamin C) but from what I read that should be fine.

I took a half gallon of the Simply Apple and brought it to a boil then added a few bags of tea and some cinnamon for additional flavor. I let that boil for 10 min and added it with the rest of the juice. Gravity at this time was about 1.045.

I pitched the yeast (Wyeast labs Cider yeast) at 74 deg. 3 days ago and I've yet to see any activity in my air lock!

I am using a 5 gal bucket so there is a lot more head space than what I normally have. I'm hoping that is the reason for lack of activity. Did I do something wrong here? Has anyone else ever done 3 gal in a 5 gal bucket? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The reason for your cider's "under activity" during fermentation can be traced directly back to your use of simply apple juice and normal apple juice. I'm sure it'll ferment out just fine and kudos for taking the cider plunge. It's super easy and helps tide one over during periods of homebrew droughts.

In the future, I would suggest getting either Whole Foods apple cider (the one conveniently in a 1 gallon glass fermentation jug) or Trader Joe's apple cider (you'll have to pour it into another fermenter or just poke a hole in the plastic cap and add an airlock). I've had great success with Whole Foods apple cider and it's fairly cheap. I didn't like Trader Joe's as much, but it was what I used for my first cider batch and it worked just fine.

I've found that with ciders, the fermentation is not nearly as vigorous as with wort, unless you add some yeast nutrient. But I've also used Jewel, Dominick's and Meijer apple juices and found them to be way less effective than Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I think it has something to do with how high their temperature of pasteurization is. Anyways, enjoy the journey that is cider and try a few of your local brands of apple juice and see what works best for you.

My final suggestion is to find an apple orchard near you. Talk to the management and see if there's any way you can pick up raw cider from their mill for cidering. A lot of times you don't even need to add yeast and you'll get some bad ass natural cider from the yeast present on the skins of their pressing apples.
__________________
fc36 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 12:05 AM   #7
Rusty_Shackleford
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks for all the info fc36! I'll definitely check out the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's cider. I love the Simply Apple but it was pretty pricey. There used to be an apple orchard in my home town but unfortunately they shut down. I think the nearest one now is about an hour away.

I just did a gravity check and it was at 1.005 so it definitely was working. I noticed the rubber seal for the air lock is a little busted up. I'm thinking that was the main problem here.

Gonna check it again in a few days and see where its at. I think its pretty much done now tho.

__________________
Rusty_Shackleford is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 12:33 AM   #8
NewBrewB
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
NewBrewB's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: N. Kingstown, Rhode Island
Posts: 741
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Subbed because I opened my test bottle of my first cider attempt and it was clear that I need an education.

I got the cider from a local orchard (not pasteurized) and put it in a cleaned and sanitized cheeseball tub. I poked a hole in the lid and inserted a stopper. I pitched a pack of dry safale s05 (I think). A couple weeks later I boiled water, added 1/3 pack of bottling sugar, and bottled like normal. This morning I put the sample bottle in the fridge to try it. It wasnt horrible, but it was light greenish/almost clear in color, mildly bitter, and not carbonated enough.

Should cider be pasturized pre-fermentation?

Does cider need more bottling sugar than beer, in order to reach sufficient carbonation?

Should one add spices/sweetener after fermentation to mellow the bitterness? How can you add sweetness without creating bottlebombs from over-carb?

NewBrewB is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-19-2012, 03:49 PM   #9
fc36
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 341
Liked 18 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBrewB View Post
Subbed because I opened my test bottle of my first cider attempt and it was clear that I need an education.

I got the cider from a local orchard (not pasteurized) and put it in a cleaned and sanitized cheeseball tub. I poked a hole in the lid and inserted a stopper. I pitched a pack of dry safale s05 (I think). A couple weeks later I boiled water, added 1/3 pack of bottling sugar, and bottled like normal. This morning I put the sample bottle in the fridge to try it. It wasnt horrible, but it was light greenish/almost clear in color, mildly bitter, and not carbonated enough.

Should cider be pasturized pre-fermentation?

Does cider need more bottling sugar than beer, in order to reach sufficient carbonation?

Should one add spices/sweetener after fermentation to mellow the bitterness? How can you add sweetness without creating bottlebombs from over-carb?
Let me give you my two cents

1) Cider actually benefits from not being pasteurized pre-fermentation. Something about the pasteurization heating changes the proteins present in the cider (kind of a slight hot break) and actually renders your finished product cloudier than a similarly unpasteurized batch. Search around and you'll find lots of posts about this phenomenon in the forums. One thing that I and others successfully do when working with pasteurized apple juice stock before adding yeast is to remove about 8-12 ozs of juice and replace it with a pound or so of honey and actually make a cyser. This has a twofold effect of first upping the OG and giving the cider an extra kick in the pants and secondly something about the honey allows the pasteurized cider to clear better and reduce the haziness of the final product.

2) The cider does not need any extra sugar for priming. Cider is hard to carbonate properly to begin with and having it finish sweet and not dry is another big challenge. See #3 for that.

3) The bitterness you're tasting is probably the dryness of full attenuation that is a "problem" of non-commercial home ciders. Cider is like wine, it wants to naturally finish dry and unlike beer, there's not a whole lot of other flavors in there to stand up to that dryness. Another possibility is the flavor of the apples that they milled for you (cider apples are traditionally the more tart apple varieties) or potentially some slight vinegarization, if that's even a word. Do a search for help on stopping fermentation and/or backsweetening cider and you'll find a million topics to help you with trying to recreate the sweet kinds of cider out there. You have two options. First, you can halt the fermentation before it dries out and reaches full attenuation by crash cooling and adding Kmeta and/or sorbate and leaving the residual sugars as your source of sweetness. Second, you can let it dry out and then crash cool, add Kmeta and/or sorbate to stop fermentation from reactivating, and add more sugar to taste. The next challenge is carbonation. It's nearly impossible to bottle prime a sweet carbonated cider without producing bottle bombs. Most successful sweet and carbonated ciders are done by either of the two above methods and then using a keg setup to force carbonate.

Now don't be discouraged. Cidering is great and allows less adventurous folk to enjoy some of your alcoholic creations if they're scared of hops and barley homebrew. Plus ciders are super easy to make and can tide you over betwixt brew seshes. Just know that recreating the Crispin's and Magner's of the world takes a little extra measure of work. Good luck!
__________________
fc36 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 01:02 AM   #10
NewBrewB
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
NewBrewB's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: N. Kingstown, Rhode Island
Posts: 741
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Thanks for the advice! I'm sure I"ll be referring to that in the future!

__________________
From what I hear, my wet bar thread "delivers" hah
NewBrewB is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
experienced brewer, first time cider questions MattHollingsworth Cider Forum 18 08-17-2012 03:14 PM
Cider question first time brewer donka Cider Forum 3 12-18-2010 12:36 AM
Cider questions from a first-time brewer Calavera Cider Forum 9 10-15-2009 03:16 AM
NY Brewer and First time Cider cwhill Cider Forum 17 09-16-2009 03:37 AM
First Time Cider Brewer Darwin18 Cider Forum 10 11-03-2008 10:46 PM