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Old 10-23-2011, 11:03 PM   #1
AndrewTodd
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Default Hello all, new brewer, cider questions

Well I have my brewing supplies on the way and am about to jump into my first batch of cider. I have a couple of questions.
I feel like first day apprentice..


I have two options for my first batch of 5 gallons

Both start with fresh local sweet cider that has been ultraviolet pasteurized. My yeast will be Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead. I can go with either Mountaintop honey or corn sugar. The first being more of a Cyser option. Or I can opt for both honey and sugar.

I have yeast nutrient coming so as I understand that the honey needs that. Any other things I might need to take into consideration?

I want to possible add some citrus to this, orange or lemon peel. I'm not set on that yet. And I'm not sure if I should add that after racking.


I have a very rudimentary knowledge of what I'm going to do so any help is going to be a plus.

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Old 10-24-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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I'm missing the question here... I will tell you that I've had experience with that yeast 4184, and it is a slow starter. My most recent yeast took 3 days before I saw any evidence of fermentation - by hydrometer tests.

If you don't have a hyrdometer, you need one.

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Old 10-24-2011, 02:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACbrewer View Post
I'm missing the question here... I will tell you that I've had experience with that yeast 4184, and it is a slow starter. My most recent yeast took 3 days before I saw any evidence of fermentation - by hydrometer tests.

If you don't have a hyrdometer, you need one.
My kit will have a hydrometer. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/b...arter-kit.html

I guess I need a little guidance to know how much sugars to add and what temp I want to try to maintain for this particular yeast. I think I cn muddle through after I get a good start on my primary. Also any particular peculiarities I might have to deal with in the mead yeast?

I can pour concrete, weld steel, plumb and carpenter but I feel like an idiot trying to get started in this. LOL

I should have paid more attention in chemistry...
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACbrewer View Post
I'm missing the question here... I will tell you that I've had experience with that yeast 4184, and it is a slow starter. My most recent yeast took 3 days before I saw any evidence of fermentation - by hydrometer tests.

If you don't have a hyrdometer, you need one.
I will have a hydrometer with my brewing equipment coming Tuesday. What would you recommended for starting amounts of honey or sugar, nutrient and temp to start at?

I will have both a 5 gallon carbouy and an 6 gallon one.

I'm intrigued with the alcohol tolerance of this yeast.

I will add that I am shooting for a sweeter product than a dry one.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:51 AM   #5
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so....you want a sweet product.

well that can be achieved a couple basic ways

1) your yeast tolerance is 11% so add enough fermentables to the primary to get to >11%. Residual sugars will not be fermented and add to the sweetness of the final drink.

2) don't add too much sugar and backsweeten at bottling (this can be done whether you want natural carbonation or not and can be done with wine stabilizers/non-fermentable sweeteners or regular ole' sugar) or in the glass at consumption (i dislike this method personally....if i have gone through the trouble to brew, i want to crack a bottle and enjoy...not have sugar around)

by my estimation, you would have to add about 1lb of sugar per gallon to max out the yeast for option 1.

the real questions you have to ask yourself are:
1) what is your target abv?
2) how sweet do you want it...ie like Mott's Apple Juice or as sweet as your favorite beer, or do you want to become diabetic from just one glass?

When you can answer those, you can begin to calculate the sugar you will have to add...until then, its a bit unknown. Just decide and post back.

FYI...ultimately, i'm sure you realize, that just because one recipe works for one guy, doesn't mean it will taste the same for someone else...i might define "a sweeter product" differently than you or anyone else.

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Old 10-24-2011, 09:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtism View Post
so....you want a sweet product.

well that can be achieved a couple basic ways

1) your yeast tolerance is 11% so add enough fermentables to the primary to get to >11%. Residual sugars will not be fermented and add to the sweetness of the final drink.

2) don't add too much sugar and backsweeten at bottling (this can be done whether you want natural carbonation or not and can be done with wine stabilizers/non-fermentable sweeteners or regular ole' sugar) or in the glass at consumption (i dislike this method personally....if i have gone through the trouble to brew, i want to crack a bottle and enjoy...not have sugar around)

by my estimation, you would have to add about 1lb of sugar per gallon to max out the yeast for option 1.

the real questions you have to ask yourself are:
1) what is your target abv?
2) how sweet do you want it...ie like Mott's Apple Juice or as sweet as your favorite beer, or do you want to become diabetic from just one glass?

When you can answer those, you can begin to calculate the sugar you will have to add...until then, its a bit unknown. Just decide and post back.

FYI...ultimately, i'm sure you realize, that just because one recipe works for one guy, doesn't mean it will taste the same for someone else...i might define "a sweeter product" differently than you or anyone else.
I'm looking for finshed % around its tolerance of 11% ABV (closer to a mead than a cider) with a relatively sweet finish say as sweet as a lager or even a amberbock which I consider both sweet.

I'm also would like some guidance in what temp this yeast favors, I know it advertises as 65 to 75 deg I believe but I'm sure someone here has found a sweet spot that yeast favors.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:15 AM   #7
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Adventure begins. Air lock is perking slowly after about 10 hours.

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Old 10-30-2011, 02:36 AM   #8
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Activity is ramping up nicely.

I think this is going to be potent stuff. My OG on my sweet cider was 1.051 and decided to go for the tolerance of the yeast and upped my sugar to SG 1.081. I know its gonna be sweet. I'm guessing this will be a sweet Apple Wine with target of 11% potential alcohol.

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Old 10-30-2011, 04:49 AM   #9
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Had to go to a blowoff tube. Thought I had pleanty of head in the 6 gal carboy. O well.

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Old 11-01-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Nice fruity aroma inside the closet where I have the carboy.

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