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-   -   First Try at Cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/first-try-cider-195636/)

pchriste 09-13-2010 08:49 PM

First Try at Cider
So Me and my roommate decided to try our hand at hard cider. The recipe we used was:

- 5 Gallons Fresh Cider- No preservatives and Ultraviolet light pasturized
- 2 lbs light brown sugar
- 1 packet Red Star Cote des Blancs yeast
- 1/8th teaspoon potassium metabisulfate

We started it a week ago today (Sept 6) and it started fermenting approx 18 hours after sealing it up. It's currently in a plastic fermentation bucket with an airlock and I have a glass carboy to rack it into. I have a hydrometer but did not take any readings before sealing it up. We have half gallon glass growlers to bottle with and want to have the cider carbonated.
My questions are:
1) When should I rack it to the glass carboy?
2) How long should the 2nd fermentation be?
3) Will I need to add more sugar before bottling to achieve carbonation?

Any other tips and or instructions will be greatly appreciated. Just so you know, this whole operation is taking place in a dorm room so we have limited access to kitchen appliances, ice and various other things

Pappers_ 09-13-2010 10:40 PM

Are you going to let it ferment out to dry, or do you want it semi-dry?

Edcculus 09-13-2010 10:55 PM

looks like if they are in a dorm, they have no choice but to let it dry all the way out since they don't have access to a chest freezer or even a stove to pasteurize the bottles. In your case, I'd keep it where it is until the gravity is close to 1.000. Its not imperative fermentation is 100% complete, but it wouldnt hurt. When your gravity is stable rack to the (clean, sanatized) carboy, top off with more juice to take up any head space and fit with an airlock. You are going to want to let that sit for at least a month. After about a month (its still going to be pretty tart at this point since it probably fermented all the way out) bottle. You will probably want to add about 3/4 cup priming sugar to the bottling bucket. Bottle in beer bottles with crown caps. Let that sit for another month to a year. They should be carbed in a week or so after bottling, but will probably be very tart and taste like jet fuel. Saying that because Ive brewed the "apfelwein" recipe. Its essentially the same (juice, 2lbs sugar and wine yeast) and really isn't drinkable until the 1 year mark.

pchriste 09-13-2010 11:09 PM

I would like it to have some sweetness to it. I do have a plastic tote that is big enough to put a carboy in with ice. Would that be an effective way to cold crash?

pchriste 09-14-2010 05:17 PM

The fermentation has slowed down a lot in the last day. The airlock is bubbling once every 6-8 seconds. Do I just leave it alone and let it do it's own thing or rack to a second fermentation? It seems abnormal for fermentation to be done after only 8 days so I wonder if it just needs to be woke up a little bit

Kauai_Kahuna 09-15-2010 10:34 AM

Do you have a hydrometer? If yes, take a gravity reading and it's done when it is the same for around 5 days. Ciders continue to ferment, but much slower towards the ending in my experience.
If not, I would just let it sit for at least 2 if not three weeks in primary, then rack to secondary. Then leave it in secondary until clear.

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