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Old 08-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
Kashue
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Default First try at cider, questions!

Hi, all; long time lurker, first time poster. I just recently started with my first two batches of cider and have some questions about each. I'm following this recipe ATM, including the instructions for back carbonation. Yeast is Nottingham ale yeast.

Batch 1 is sitting in bottles now waiting to get fizzy. The flavor on it right now is VERY dry, which I was hoping for, and there is a kind of apple aftertaste, but it has a very beery nose to it and a bit of a brackish flavor. I think some of this is my stupid- for where water is mentioned in the recipe I used tapwater . For the back carbonation stage I dissolved the sugar in organic cider instead and used same to top it back up. Is water likely to be why it's so harsh? And if homebrew cider comes out a little harsh anyhow, is there a way to correct that? I don't want to sweeten it per se, just have a smoother drink.

Batch 2 only just entered its second rack, but at the time I racked it it had a great punchy apple taste- a bit like farm cider that's been allowed to harden. I was tempted to just bottle it at once, but figured it was better to follow instructions on my first outing. The only thing I've done differently with this cider is that I did everything, from dissolving my sugar to pitching my yeast, in juice instead of water. Should I have skipped racking it, or will that help smooth the flavor? And should I be topping it up after the first rack, or never at all?

So far this has been a tremendously educational process and I'm looking forward to batch 4 or 5 when it's a bit more refined. It also seems to me like doing EVERYTHING with juice is the way to go- is it? And does anyone have any pointers for stuff I might be doing wrong?

Thanks! It's awesome to be here.

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #2
Kashue
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Batch 1 carbed up nicely although the swingtop ripped off one bottle in the night and took half the neck with it. I didn't think that the week in the bottles would matter but the end result IS a lot smoother. It still has a very beery taste but with definite cider characteristics.

Batch 2 bottles next week; my plan is to top it up with some concentrate, use a bit more sugar, then stovetop pasteurize it (hopefully before all the sugars are consumed). I'd like a product about like I got on the first try only more apple-ey.

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