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Old 04-28-2013, 09:14 PM   #1
RedneckEngineer
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Default First time making cider

I have been wanting to get into home brewing for a while and finally got some equipment to do so. I am first planning on making a hard apple cider first. I was wondering what everyone thinks about the way I am planning my first batch. If I should do something or not do something please let me know, everything I have will list I have read somewhere on the internet.

Ingredients:
5gal Apple Juice (Wrong time of year to get fresh pressed apple cider)
5cups Brown Sugar
Handful of Raisins (nutrients for yeast from what I have read.)
1 pkg. Champagne Yeast (only yeast I have besides bread yeast.)

First I will heat the juice and add the brown sugar. At the same time I will take a handful of raisins and boil in some apple juice. Once everything is cooled I will combine into a carboy and activate and add the yeast.
Wait around two weeks until done fermenting and siphon into another carboy and add some more brown sugar for sweetness. Let sit until clear and taste is good, then bottle. Both carboys will be air-locked.

What is your opinion on the process and how it will turn out? I read about a cup of sugar per gallon of cider, would this be a good amount or should I not have any sugar to begin with.

Thank You.

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Old 04-28-2013, 11:35 PM   #2
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No need to heat the juice, and may set the pectin by doing so (think apple jelly). You can dissolve the sugar in some warmed juice if you need to, but you want the whole batch to be +/- 70 degrees when you add the yeast. No need to boil the raisins- they are sanitary right out of the package.

It should be done in 5-7 days or so. If you add more brown sugar at that time, it'll ferment out and won't provide sweetness. To get a sweetened cider, the cider must be stabilized and then sweetened. Alternatively, the cider can be pasteurized, but I've never done that. We have a "sticky" that can help with that.

I don't like the taste of fermented brown sugar, so I don't use it in cider. Others seem to, though, and will use it. Sugar is only used to boost the ABV of the cider, as it ferments out completely.

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:09 AM   #3
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Champagne yeast will make it very dry too. I like it dry, but, some don't.

Are you shooting for a still or carbonated cider?

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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I wasn't planning on carbonating it. Right now i just want to get used to my new equipment is why I decided to make a cider. The dry ciders I have had in the past tasted good to me, and I figured this would make a dry cider.

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Old 04-30-2013, 12:17 AM   #5
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Sounds good! Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 04-30-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
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My suggestion would be to go easy on the sugar for your first batch. 5 cups is a lot of sugar and will boost your ABV so high that you will end up with a Dry White Wine taste. I would start with 2 cups in 5 gallons. That should probably put you in the neighborhood of 7% ABV. You can always add more in your next batch it 7% isn't enough.

4-5 pints at 7% and you start rambling incoherent things on public forums.

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Old 04-30-2013, 01:22 AM   #7
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Yep! When I first started, I'd add a cup of sugar per gallon. After a long day of work, one or two pints put me down fast, and I'm no small puppy at 6'5 and 280lbs!

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Old 04-30-2013, 01:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hehawbrew View Post
I'm no small puppy at 6'5 and 280lbs!
Dang hoss! I'm 5'6" (with my elevator shoes on) and maybe a buck fitty and already had 4-5 tonight. We need to get you out drinkin more! haha
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper View Post
Dang hoss! I'm 5'6" (with my elevator shoes on) and maybe a buck fitty and already had 4-5 tonight. We need to get you out drinkin more! haha
Ha, compared to me, you're a tank! I'm nearly up to 135 now. I drink mostly beer, though, but we polished off a bottle of wine with dinner. Now, I'm sitting by a roaring fire (it's cold here!) drinking a great IPA.

I think there are several things to note- one is that a "cider" is best at 5-6% ABV. That gives the best flavor and apple notes, so often I don't add sugar at all to the must.

For wine, I generally make them with an ABV of 12.5-13% so that does mean adding some sugar to most fruits (not wine grapes).

Using sugar in a cider increases the ABV, but also gives it a definite "wine" quality and flavor. That's great if that's what you want, but many cider drinkers want an apply flavor that comes with no "boozy" finish.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper

Dang hoss! I'm 5'6" (with my elevator shoes on) and maybe a buck fitty and already had 4-5 tonight. We need to get you out drinkin more! haha
Lol. A beer or two a night is good for me! Still working on my pipeline. My operation is too small at the moment to afford more than one or two homebrew a night. Since I've been brewing, I really don't have a taste for most commercial beer/cider.

Today I'll be bottleing my first hopped cider.....

Anyway- an ale yeast will also give you a sweeter cider since its not as hot as champagne/wine yeast.
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