Howdy, I'm new here, but odds are I'll be around a long time.
I'm in the process of testing out a new apple blend that, assuming it tastes as good fermented as it does now, is going to be great.
I've always had a love for Cider since I was little and my parents would go on "apple runs" to an apple growing region in our state (Wisconsin).
I did everything by hand- including using a blender to 'juice' the apples I cut into slices.
I let that sit in the fridge for two days, then used a sterile (or as close I could possibly get) unused square from a T-shirt I never wore as a filter- just poured the blended apple mush in the center, pulled up the corners and squeased the hell out of it, collecting it in to a pyrex basin.
It was actually pretty easy. With 24 apples I had enough juice to fill about 80% of a 96oz-capacity apple juice bottle (that had been sterilized by pouring boiling water in, draining it, and then microwaving (with the water that remained in) for 2 minutes.
I then froze my juice for a day or two, and now it's slowly thawing in the fridge, in expectance of the yeast I had to order.
I thought I had some Cider yeast around here, but it turns out I don't. Apparently I grabbed champagne yeast by accident when I was at the local homebrewery supply (well, it wasn't that local), and I don't particularly enjoy dry cider.
I have a few questions-
how long am I to leave the juice fermenting- until it stops entirely, or just when it's slowed to a near stop?
I'm going to be bottling in champagne bottles and wire-tied corks and I want carbonated cider, so, if I'm to leave the fermenting to a complete halt, do I simply add a small bit of sugar to get it going again? Probably not, right- if I'm going for a sweeter wine, there'll be a measure of sugar remaining anyway, correct?
I figure that I need to add some more yeast instead, but how much to avoid a dry cider- and should I also some sugar? What kind?
Anything else would be greatly appreciated. I'm a total neophyte here. I've only made dandelion wine in the past as a cheap way to obtain alcohol while underage, but that's not something I enjoyed or'll try again.