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Old 06-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Hard Berry Cider Recipe?

I have been trying to find a recipe for hard berry cider, hopefully similar to Beery Burst Cider from BJ's. I have found a couple of recipes but I haven't seen a lot of info on it. I figure someone here is making it and would hopefully be willing to help.

Thanks in advance,
Dan

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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I'm about to do the same thing. I'll likely be doing it my next beer brew day.

My plan:

- 1 gallon of apple juice
- 1 bag of frozen mixed assorted berries (bought some fresh from a street-side vendor in California. Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. You can use any combo you see fit)
- Some yeast slurry from a Wyeast 1272 (American Ale II) starter I'll have made for that brew day

- Pour apple juice into 1 gallon glass container, leaving room for berries and some headspace for fermentation (you can do it in the bottle it came in... I just like my glass jugs)
- Pull the berries out of the freezer and dump them right in. Freezing them first not only "sanitizes" them but it breaks open the plant cells so you can get at all the juice available.
- Add yeast. I'll just be adding about two tablespoons or so of thick slurry from my starter. You'll be fine with half a pack of dry yeast (US-05, Nottingham) or liquid if you want to spend the few extra bucks (Sweet Cider, Wyeast 1056, Wyeast 1272, Wyeast 1099.) If you want strong, dry cider that's more like Apfelwine (German applewine) then use EC-1118 Champagne or another dry wine yeast.
- Let sit for a few weeks to a month if using the Cider or Ale yeasts. Let it sit for a couple months to half a year if using champagne or wine yeast.
- Bottle it up



I hope that helps. Ask any more questions you may have. People here are friendly and always willing to help.


EDIT: If you end up doing a 5 gallon batch just scale up. 5 gallons of apple juice, probably about 6 pounds of berries, and a full pack of dry yeast or liquid yeast with a 1 liter starter.

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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You are AWESOME! That is exactly what I need!

So leaving the berries in (primary only) for a few months will be ok? I assume it will settle to the bottom and stay there when I rack it for bottling...

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Old 06-11-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
So leaving the berries in (primary only) for a few months will be ok? I assume it will settle to the bottom and stay there when I rack it for bottling...
That is quite correct! And even if they don't settle (after a few months they likely will) you can rack from beneath them. And you'll probably only need a few months if you're using wine/champagne yeast but it's not necessary when using ale cider.... though it doesn't hurt.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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I'm making a "Very Berry Cider" that is super similar to this. I pitched S-04 into 5 gallons of store-bought apple juice 2 weeks ago, which I'll rack onto 5-8 lbs of Costco mixed frozen berries soon and let sit for another few weeks before kegging.. and carbing to the max. I'll let you all know how it comes out

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Old 12-29-2012, 04:15 AM   #6
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cider-carbonation-373701/

My apple berry recipe, contained in the above thread, is drinking well right now and will be even better with age.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:11 PM   #7
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It is not a bad idea to freeze the berries as it breaks them open. Just realize it doesn't sanitize them whatsoever.

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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Those berry seeds can release a lot of bitter tannins, you will get all of their flavor out in a couple of days. A little pectinase wouldnt hurt to help clear up later. Germs easily live through winter so freezing doesnt do anything but slow them down, but some KM knocks them down good, but if you are using a nice starter that will outcompete them quickly. WVMJ

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:57 PM   #9
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I've removed berries with little seeds like raspberries and strawberries after less than a week and still got a bitter taste 6 months later. That doesn't happen when I use Craisins.

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Old 12-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #10
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We have actually changed from the usual way of adding fruit. We freeze our fruit as we pick it, thaw it overnight, crush it, add potassium metabisulfite and pectinases and let that macerate overnight and then press out the juice and just ferment on the juice. Result - NO bitterness from the seeds. We do loose whatever the alcohol extracts from the skins and seeds, but we add more fruit to make up for that, and we dont get the bitter stuff so that more than makes up for it. WVMJ

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I've removed berries with little seeds like raspberries and strawberries after less than a week and still got a bitter taste 6 months later. That doesn't happen when I use Craisins.
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