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Old 07-13-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
ax89
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Default Good cider recipe?

btw we in britian call cider, fermented AJ and in the US you call in hard cider also you call cider what we call AJ. I think this is generally a US forum.

I have honey, brown sugar, elderflowers, apples, apple concentrate (AJ), tea. I suppose i should add them all.

I was looking at using 5L of AJ but not sure whether to peel/dice an apple and add that as well.

I just measured the specific gravity of AJ at 1.55 which is quite high.

Any tips here?

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Old 07-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
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My first piece of advice is not to add sugar to cider. I've done several ciders with store juice and just don't like how they turn out with added sugar. Be it honey, brown sugar, table sugar or dextrose. First, keep it simple. If you look in the recipe section, Freezeblade's "Grahm's English Cider" is a good place to start with store juice. He uses steeped tea to bump up the tannin and lime juice to increase the acidity (both of which are lacking in typical desert apples used for apple juice). I'd skip adding an apple. Unless you can find some crab apples to pulp and juice, there really isn't much of a point. Apple juice will fall into the 1.045-1.055 range (depending on if you use concentrate). That really is a good place to start for cider, especially if you want to drink it before 1 year.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:11 PM   #3
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Thanks, i won't add the apple then.

Couple of other questions if you can be bothered reading, tks if you can.

1. When you talk about racking, this just means siphoning the fermented must/wort etc into a new fermenter and stopping short at the bottom to prevent the sludge going into the secondary fermenter, if i'm right, shouldn't this be called filtering and isn't there a better way to filter/rack, i.e through a filter?
2. Am i right in saying that it's finnings you use at the end of fermentation to get the yeast to settle at the bottom, so this question is related to the previous, i think i read that pectolase was good, so many chemicals in brewing though, i get lost.

In other words what's the best way to remove the yeast after fermentation.

Oh and btw how many apples must be produced worldwide to meet the demand of cider, must be insane!

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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Racking does simply mean siphoning into a new, clean and sanitized container. The point of racking is not to remove anything in suspension, but to get it off of the yeast mass that collects at the bottom after fermentation is finished. Prolonged exposure to the yeast (called lees in wine/cider making) has the potential to cause off flavors. You have a little less to worry about with cider since the final alcohol content is much lower than wine. At this point, there really isn't any point in filtering. Racking will get it off of the yeast mass. Long term bulk aging will eventually clear the cider.

As to your other question - time is the BEST way to remove yeast! The cider may stay cloudy for ~1 month, even after racking. Over time, more yeast will drop out. There isn't too much need for constant racking unless you are keeping the cider above 27 degrees C. Warm temperatures break down yeast faster and will cause off flavors (over time). Another great way to remove yeast is cold storage. Since I brew beer too, and keg the beer, I have the liberty of racking my ciders to a keg, sticking it in the kegerator and waiting. Cold temperatures will drop yeast out very quickly. There are a bunch of chemicals out there that are designed to stun yeast. I'd stay away from them unless you know exactly why you are doing it. I see a lot of people post that they added a metric ton of chemicals to clear their cider, and it still didn't work. Finally, there are some finings that will work. My favorite is gelatin. You can use any unflavored gelatin found at the store. Use about a tablespoon for 5 gallons. Proof it in warm water for 30 min. Heat it up to finish disloving it, but do not exceed 180F (82C) or you will end up with jelly. From there, dump it in the fermenter. Gelatin works best a cooler temps, but it will still be effective at room temperature.

Pectinase is an enzyme used to break down pectin found in fruit. If you are using store bought juice that is already clear, there is no need for it. If you are using fresh pressed juice, it won't hurt to use it. If the pectin in the fruit is not broken down, your cider will never clear.

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:20 PM   #5
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Great answers, thanks.

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Old 07-14-2010, 12:01 AM   #6
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+1 to all of Edcculus' info, but to add just one more thing, another reason to siphon off the cider and not push it over a filter is filtration will expose your brew to a good amount of oxygen and it can oxidize, also causing off flavors.

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