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Old 02-19-2009, 11:05 PM   #1
DSeibel
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Default Have 5 gallons of fresh unpastuerized apple cider...what do do?

Guys,

I need recomendations. I have 5 gallons of FRESH unpastuerized apple cider. I have read conflicting reports.....however here is what I am doing based on my research....tell me what I'm doing wrong.

-Bring 5 gallons of cider and 2 lbs brown sugar to simmer (not boil) until sugar disolved.
-Transfer to fermenter, cool to pitching temp. Take OG reading
-Pitch yeast, using dry wine yeast
-Install airlock and let go for a month
-Bottle using 1 can apple juice concentrate for priming
-Let sit another few weeks.

Here are my questions.

-Should I use apple juice concentrate instead of brown sugar in the primary? If so how much?
-Should I heat it? Some say yes, some no?
-Is dry wine yeast OK, if so what temp should I pitch at.
-Is it OK unpastuerized? THe farmer I am getting it from says alot of people buy his to ferment.

Thanks

Dave

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:18 PM   #2
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Brown sugar vs concentrate is a personal preference, clearly they will create different flavors. Just think about whether you want to add the molasses flavor that comes with brown sugar, I've used it and I enjoyed it. I've also used concentrate and enjoyed it, it allows you to increase the sugar without adding other flavors.

I would definitely not bring it to a simmer. Personally I don't heat juice at all, but if you're going to do it to dissolve sugar you don't need it to be very hot at all. In fact you can dissolve the sugar without heating it at all.

Wine yeast will take it to dryness, so if that is what you are going for, then your good. If you intend to bottle carbonate, you could look into using an ale yeast and no added sugars. This will leave just a little bit of residual sugars and will still allow for bottle carbonation. I personally thoroughly enjoy a good dry cider. And dry yeast is fine, I prefer it, it's cheaper, works well, and comes in a variety of strains for many different uses.

You might want to dissolve 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon into the juice. Let it sit for 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast. This will kill off any wild yeasts or bacterias you might be afraid of.

Oh and letting it go for a month can be a guideline, just don't be determined to stick to it. If it isn't completely fermented or if it isn't crystal clear, then it isn't ready for bottling.

Other then those pointers, sounds like you are on the right path to some good brew.

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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Where would I get campden tablets? BTW I do not have a local homebrew store in my town.

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:41 PM   #4
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And how much of the concentrated apple juice would I use instead of brown sugar?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:43 PM   #5
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Do you have a hydrometer? That really helps to judge how strong you want to make it.

Most ciders, in my opinion, are best without added sugar. I like just the cider, with some ale yeast, to give me an ABV of around 5-6%.

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