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Old 11-05-2011, 04:42 AM   #1
StophJS
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Default Going to attempt hard cider for first time

I'm hoping that someone can give me a quick run down of what I am going to want to do for some hard cider, since I am seeing different information everywhere and have some level of established trust with the people on this forum. Tomorrow I'm going to go pick up 5 gallons of UV pasteurized cider from a mill in Grand Rapids, MI. I have a 5 gallon better bottle which I plan on making about 4.5 gallons of hard cider in, or as much as I can get away with. What is going to be my process here to make some good hard cider?

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Old 11-05-2011, 05:22 AM   #2
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Go with edworts apfelwein recipe, as it is a proven good strong version of hard apple cider. The differences with this recipe are the addition of sugar and the choice of yeast.

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Old 11-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:11 PM   #4
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Another point is will cider you can fill up the 5 gallon bottle because it tend to have very little head on top. That way you don't have to worry about a blow off or making a mess like you do with a lot of beers.
+1 for apfelwein I always keep a batch in my rotation

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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I think I'm going to want to keep my cider above 1.08 or so because I don't want it to be quite that dry and still a little sweet. I want it to retain more of the apple flavor as well. Should I use a different yeast. Should I maybe leave some of the unfermented cider out and add it at the end to back sweeten?

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyChurch View Post
Another point is will cider you can fill up the 5 gallon bottle because it tend to have very little head on top. That way you don't have to worry about a blow off or making a mess like you do with a lot of beers.
+1 for apfelwein I always keep a batch in my rotation
+1

My 6 gallon carboy with 5 gallon of fresh cider and 4 pounds of corn sugar did need a blowoff tube for a day (within 6 hours of starting). I thought I had pleanty of head space. Just glad I kept an eye on it.

I would start you cider on a day that you can keep an eye on it and have what is needed to make a a proper blow off setup.

The pic gives you an idea of what I thought was enough head space.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:48 AM   #7
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Four pounds of sugar in a five gallon batch is a ****-ton of sugar. I have gone two pounds of brown sugar in a similar setup and had no problem with headspace. And after three 24 oz bottles you would have trouble finding the bathroom in your own house! That stuff was quite potent!

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Old 11-06-2011, 03:03 AM   #8
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Here's my EdWort's apfelwein AFTER a hydrometer sample. (It's the one on the far right.) Seriously - it was up to the neck of the bottle. Never had even a minute of worry about blowoff.

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Old 11-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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Four pounds of sugar in a five gallon batch is a ****-ton of sugar. I have gone two pounds of brown sugar in a similar setup and had no problem with headspace. And after three 24 oz bottles you would have trouble finding the bathroom in your own house! That stuff was quite potent!
It should end at about 10% ABV...If goes as planned and I rack it at 1.010 and crash it, even if I let it ferment all the way and the tolerance kills th yeast it should be no more than 11 or 12%. This is a trial batch.

Lets just say yeast holds and leaves 3% sugar before the alcohol % kills the yeast. Thats only 1.92 oz in 5 gallon, perhaps a bit more with the natural sugar in the cider. Certainly no more than what my ice tea is sugared to.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #10
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Here's my EdWort's apfelwein AFTER a hydrometer sample. (It's the one on the far right.) Seriously - it was up to the neck of the bottle. Never had even a minute of worry about blowoff.
Did you begin with Apple juice or Cider? I think the thicker local cider may have some to do with a larger krausen. In my case it only lasted less than a day then I was back to a regular airlock.

BTW what is the darker brew going there?
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