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Old 06-06-2013, 02:03 AM   #1
EVBrewing
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Default Graff Cider advise

I just finished up a batch of Graff Cider, using Brandon O's recipe. Im sure quite a few of you are familiar with that one. The batch turned out drinkable, but it fermented out too far and tastes like carbonated apple wine. I dont have the numbers off hand but it ended up being an 8% abv. Im looking for some advise on where i mad my mistake. The only thing I can think of is I fermented at a higher temperature than recommended. I averaged about 70 degrees and had a couple spikes that hit about 76 degrees. No temp controller and I forgot to unplug my heat matt. OOPs. The only other thing I didn't follow to a T was I didn't transfer to a secondary and it sat on the trub for two weeks after fermentation. Three weeks total. Anyone that has any advice or input would be appreciated.

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Old 06-06-2013, 02:08 AM   #2
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Oh. One thing I forgot to mention is that I used unpasturized cider, fresh from the orchard. Could wild yeast have played a part?

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Old 06-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #3
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The DME should be balancing the young apple cider flavor. It will be a little tart in the beginning. But will mellow some as it ages. Keep in mind that the apple juice WILL ferment out completely and the theory is that you should get some residual sweetness from the DME addition.

Depending on the hops used, it's possible that could be contributing some to the "wine" flavors. I used cascade once and it was really bitter and the citrus was overpowering. It wasn't pleasant at all and at times I considered pitching it. It mellowed slightly after about a month in the bottle.

Three weeks in primary isn't going to be a problem. Your temps will produce some esters at 70º+ and it's possible the esters could be causing some hot alcohol flavors that make you perceive it as an apple wine.

You obviously figured out the temp problem on your own, so I would just give another batch a go and shoot for mid 60s if possible.

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Old 06-07-2013, 01:53 AM   #4
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Thank you for the input. Much appreciated. I am using a chest freezer to ferment in but didn' t have a temp controller and was adjusting manually. I ordered a johnson duel controller a few days ago, so i shouldnt have that issue anymore. In the mean time ill let the graff get some age on it and see how it changes.

I did however find a way to cheat and back sweetened the graff with a shot of the unfermented cider i used as the base. I poored a jigger in the bottom of a mug and topped it off with brewed cider. The results, to my suprise, were actually quite good. It sweetened it just enough to cut the tartness. Cheating i know, but resulted in what i was hoping for in the first place.

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