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Old 08-09-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
candice
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Default First Timer... What next?

Hello all! This will be my second post here and I'm really looking forward to y'alls feedback since last time I got some great feedback! I am super new to brewing and got a wild hair one night and decided to give the cider a gander. So I looked up some easy looking recipes and threw them together and let my concoction sit for the last 2-3 weeks. I used unfiltered apple juice, sugar, and a few spices they said to put in along with the yeast. ( I don't remember how much of each lol) The recipe said to keep it for a few weeks and test. The OG was 1.071 and it's reading now at 1.000. I'm not really sure what to do next. It was kinda a hip/ pocket try at makin cider and now I'm stuck. I tasted it and it has no sweetness left (excuse my lack of knowledge on terminology, I'm trying to pick it up by readin what y'all put) and its almost carbonated it seems, well it is carbonated. I didn't think it would do that in the primary. I transferred it to another carboy just because I needed the other one. I'm headin out of town for the next 11 days so should I just let it sit as is or add anything? The flavor now seems to have diluted to just a hard alcohol flavor and that wasn't how I imagined the outcome. Any advice would be helpful to hopefully turn it into something worth keeping :-) thanks y'all!

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
WilliamSlayer
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No, you've got it right Candice. In fact, racking over to a 'secondary' was a great idea. My advice gives you two options. You've now made a 'dry cider' (no sweetness left). You can: 1-leave it the way it is. Let it sit for your 11 days, then rack over again to another carboy, putting small amout of Metabisulfite (approx. 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons) in to stabilize it. Once it clarifys, enjoy!

Or 2- let it sit for your 11 days, then rack over again to another carboy, putting small amout of Metabisulfite (approx. 1/4 tsp per 6 gallons) in to stabilize it. THEN add Potassium Sorbate to halt yeast reproduction and backsweeten your cider with something (usually more cider, but that's up to you). This will give you more of what we Americans think of as 'hard cider'. Let it clarify for a few weeks and enjoy!

Hope it turns out great!

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
candice
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I like the second option as I want to bring back some sweetness. But I have some other questions after doing some reading. I want to bottle and keep for awhile so I'll need to halt the little buggers in there, is that the chemical you mentioned? Would pasteurizing it once bottled be an alternative option? If so, in what order do I go and how long should I leave it in the bottles before its good? People talk so much about aging, how long does it need to sit before its too long? And if I add sweetener would I bottle it at the same time?

Thanks!!

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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Yes the method I described is known as 'suss reserve' (a German wine making technique), and the Metabisulfite is used to stop the yeast, but should be used only after racking to remove most of the yeast from your cider. Pasturization is a method I have never used, but works according to the folks I have talked to. If you go that route, i'd still add the Metabisulfite to stablize your cider for aging, but don't bother with the Potassium Sorbate. Aging is a subjective thing. Some folks believe it allows all the ingredients to mix ttogether, some think it's not needed. I like my ciders both young and aged!

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Old 08-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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The method I described is a German sweet wine technique called 'Suss Reserve' (we call it backsweetening). It works well for me. You can go the route of pasturization also, though I have never used it myself. If you pasturize, there is no need for the Potassium Sorbate, but I would add the Metabisulfite as a preservative to help increade your shelf life.

As far as 'aging / conditioning' is concerned, its a personal taste thing. I enjoy my ciders young and aged!

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:40 PM   #6
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I forgot to say that bottling is not something you need to do right away. You certainly can, However, if you decide to 'bulk age' in a carboy be sure to completely close it up, or use one of the S type airlocks (some folks call them Double Bubblers) as your airlock can 'breath' in and out with pressure/temp changes.

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