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Old 10-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
chef_toby
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Default first timer, looking for advice

I finnally found a place that sells apple cider that can be made hard and placed an order for 5 gallons. However I've never tried to make hard cider before so I'm unsure of how different it is than brewing. The cider will come treated already (no preservatives or heat sterilization) and should be good to go. This process in question seems to use an electric current to kill anything bad in it.

Talking with a few of the cooks at the restaurant they seem to favor the open lid and let it go method. I'm gonna go with the 6gal carboy and yeast method. But looking around the cidder forum I keep seeing "campden tablets." Are they a cidering inside trick or what?

In any case my plan of attack was to simply get the cider to room temp; take a reading; aerate it a while, pitch the yeast and put an airlock on it, then see what happens for about a week. I am planning to bottle it so the next question is should I use the 5oz of priming sugar or not considering how much sugar is in fruit?

I have a few days before the cider gets pressed, but when it comes in I'm gonna do it asap.



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Old 10-24-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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Read this:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/edworts-apfelwein-33986/

Brent



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Old 10-24-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Take a SG of the cider, add sugar to get it to where you want it (if it's not already there), aeration could be accomplished simply by pouring each gallon into the carboy through a funnel. Add some yeast nutrient to the must, then pitch the rehydrated yeast in. I favor Lalvin strains for anything that's not beer. I have a batch of hard cider going right now (started a week ago Sunday) that I pitched a rehydrated packet of 71B-1122 into. I made a 4 gallon batch (in my 5 gallon carboy) and it was in full active fermentation (with foam on top) in under 24 hours. I did simmer a 1/2 gallon of the natural (Mott's) apple juice and 1/2 gallon of cider with some cinnamon sticks and used that to dissolve the turbinado sugar I was using (~2#)... My fermentation has already slowed way down, doing so at the tail end of a week. I still plan on letting it go until it's cleared to the level I'm happy with, before bottling it up (plan to carbonate it too)... Depending on the FG, I could be looking at about 9% with my batch.

For priming, assume the yeast will eat through all the sugar in the batch before you bottle it up. So you'll prime it just as you would beer. Use the sugar amount to get your desired CO2 volumes level. I would also make damned sure fermentation is complete before you bottle it up.

BTW, I didn't use any campden tablets in my batch. The juice was pasteurized, but not preserved with anything, and the cider was simmered for long enough to do the same. The ONLY reason I actually simmered what I did was to get better extraction of the cinnamon sticks and to get the sugar dissolved.

Also, if you pour half of each jug of cider into the carboy, and then shake what's left to get everything from the jug, that should be enough to get the job done. Don't hurt yourself shaking 5 gallons of cider trying to aerate it. If you're bent on getting it even more aerated, use an O2 setup.

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Old 10-24-2011, 09:11 PM   #4
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For further reading check out:

http://makinghardcider.com/

Lot's of good information there!

Welcome to the cider-side.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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I suppose I should probably be eating crow right now. I forgot an important step in making the cider on Saturday (oct 29). It completely forgot to take a gravity reading!

So can anyone give me a ballpark figure for 5.25 gallons of cider plus 18oz of carmelized table sugar (sugar + water cooked until almost burnt)? The fermentation is slowing after 3 days but am I right in assuming I should let it sit for another 10? Cloudiness is not an issue for me but I would like to make sure its done.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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in common practice you only need the og for alcohol % since most juice-yeast partnerships will ferment all the way dry. if you are stable at/below 1.000 you are done. but let's have a crack at it- 18 oz is about 500g... assuming 1.055 (might be close, might not) + your sugar (26 g/L, 2.6 brix) could give you ballpark of 1.066 og, whatever your yeast is it will chew through that so i'd look for it to finish in the mid to low 0.990's. flaming of my crappy math is always welcome! now- get drunk



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