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Old 03-21-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
kewlio250
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Default first time hard cider maker

this is the first time we have tried to make a hard cider, we bought a 6.5 gallon bucket and placed a spigot 1.5" above the bottom (so we can pour to bottles directly without having to filter after the yeast has settled) and are using 5 gallons of Mott's 100% apple juice (http://www.motts.com/products/family...pplejuice.aspx) because we could not find any cider around us this time of year.
we are using white labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast. we want to reach 6-8% alcohol content, should we be adding sugar to the batch, or is the sugar content in the apple juice enough?

also, what should we expect for the fermentation time, and how long should the bubbles be apart before we bottle the concoction, and how long after bottling are they safe to drink?

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Old 03-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
MarkKF
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That described my last batch! I added 5 lbs of white sugar and 48 oz of Craisin's. So good!

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Old 03-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
LeBreton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kewlio250 View Post
we want to reach 6-8% alcohol content, should we be adding sugar to the batch, or is the sugar content in the apple juice enough?

also, what should we expect for the fermentation time, and how long should the bubbles be apart before we bottle the concoction, and how long after bottling are they safe to drink?
Google "potential alcohol table" and find the SG needed to get 6-8%. Add sugar until you reach this, you will need a hydrometer. Fermentation time varies from just a few days to months depending on a variety of factors, once again wait until you hit your target SG for the style of cider your want (sweet, semi, or dry). Cider is safe to drink before, during, and after fermentation.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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I would suggest getting a hydrometer first to check the Specific Gravity of the juice before adding any additional sugar to it. Typical store bought juice will run around 1.050.

The yeast you have chosen should at least attenuate 80%+. This would give you an ABV of 5 or 6%. (at a final gravity of 1.010 or so) More than likely it will go closer to 1.000 and you will end up with a more dry cider with an ABV closer to what you mentioned.

Adding large amounts of sugar will require you to age the cider longer to mellow out the "hot" alcohol flavors. While this isn't a bad thing...I'd suggest for a first batch to go with straight juice. If the ABV isn't high enough on this one, then add it on your second batch. No sugar will give you a nice baseline for starting out.

As for fermentation times, if you only have one bucket and don't plan on racking it to a secondary vessel...I'd probably leave it in there for at least a month. (only a hydrometer reading will tell you when it's completely done)

If you have another bucket, leave it in the primary for at least a couple of weeks and then transfer it to the other bucket and let it age for at least another month. You won't be able to go by airlock activity alone.

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