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-   -   Help out a first attempt at Cider, couple of easy questions (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/help-out-first-attempt-cider-couple-easy-questions-52271/)

Drscott266 01-23-2008 12:57 PM

Help out a first attempt at Cider, couple of easy questions

I talked to my local homebrew store to get started, but there are a couple of questions for you with more experience out there to help with. My recipe at for the cider was:

-4 gallons Motts, pasturized from concentrate juice
-2 lb brown sugar
-1 pack of Wyeast Ale yeast (its all i had at home when the idea struck me)

I poured the juice in, adding sugar to each of hte bottles before pouring, then pictched the yeast as I successfully have done with beer.

My questions are, is the choice of Ale yeast an OK one? Is there a preffered yeast for cider? Also, how long to I leave it in primary fermentation for? I wasnt sure an O.G. would be accurate as it wasnt a kit.

Can i carb this stuff with the normal 3/4 cup of sugar? If the cider is too dry, what is the process for sweetening?

Thanks for the help, i know that is more than a couple questions...

Brakeman_Brewing 01-23-2008 01:11 PM

As for the yeast, I have read people using all sorts of things, some people like the outcome of ale and hefeweizen yeasts as apposed to wine yeasts. For specific results I would do a forum search.

It sounds like a good recipe, with the brown sugar it may be a little on the tart side if you dont let it condition and clear for a few months before bottling.

Again for back sweetening and carbing I would do a forum search.

All in all everything seems fine as far as the process, so good luck!

Yooper 01-23-2008 01:16 PM

Well, I think all the answers to your questions is "Yes!".

The ale yeast will be fine, even though I've tended to use wine yeast I think you'll be very happy with the ale yeast. There is actually cider yeast available, mead yeast, etc. There is a thread on the different yeasts in cider as an experiment one of the members is doing, and it really is an interesting read on the differences in the finished products.

An OG is ALWAYS appropriate- that's how you tell where you started, so you know when it's done! Leave it in the fermenter until it's finished, and then you can rack it to a secondary if you'd like.

You can sweeten with a nonfermentable sweetener if you wish to carbonate your cider (do that after it's finished!). Or if you are not carbonating, you can stabilize the cider to inhibit the yeast, and sweeten with honey or sugar. We'll be glad to give you the "how tos" on that when you're ready.

sirsloop 01-23-2008 01:46 PM

Splenda is non-fermentable... I'd take a sample and mix up a small batch of sweetened cider once it finishes. I think you'll probably end up using between a half cup to two cups of splenda per 5-6 gallons. Prime and bottle as usual.

If you are kegging this stuff and force carbonating, after fermentation stops and the cider clears, rack to secondary, put in campden to kill some of the viable yeast still in suspension, put in potassium sorbate to prevent the remaining yeast from multiplying, add in whatever sugars you would like back into the cider. It may be a good idea to take a couple samples through this batch so you can get an idea of what gravity you would like the end product to be. So if you take a sample at 1.010 and it tastes perfectly sweet, you will be able to calculate how much sugar to put back in after you stop the yeast as described above.

Drscott266 01-23-2008 01:59 PM

Thanks for the help, is there any target F.G. I should shoot for? I know that is kinda a bonehead question as I didnt take an O.G., but i just didnt know it would matter without a predetermined recipe.
Let me just ask a clarifying question, the cider will definitely be dry once fermented? So in order to taste like commercial cider, i need to add splenda when i bottle along with the priming sugar? Do i have that right, just making sure.

Yooper 01-23-2008 02:05 PM

Well, it will probably finish dry. As you know, it really depends on where you started, and the attenuation of the yeast. But most often, unless you are making a very high ABV cider, it'll finish dry.

If you are bottling and want it carbonated, you can use splenda or lactose to sweeten to taste. (But a word of advice here- make it slightly LESS sweet than you really want it- it seems to taste sweeter as time goes on). And then add your priming sugar and bottle. What I do is take a small sample and try it until it tastes "right" and then sweeten the whole batch to that level.

Drscott266 01-23-2008 02:11 PM

Should i just wait for bubbles to stop or slow, and then take readings every few days and wait for a stable one. Also, aging seems to be a consensus on a long time... If I am carbing, how long have peopel aged for before tasting?

sirsloop 01-23-2008 02:13 PM

You can figure that your juice was between 1.050-1.055, and adding in two pounds sugar to 4 gallons of that juice will bring you up to right around 1.075. That likely going to ferment down to .998-1.002 leaving you with cider thats between 9.5-10% ABV. If you can, I would add another gallon of juice to that cause its gonna be STROONNNNNNGGGG!!

HP_Lovecraft 01-23-2008 02:20 PM

EDIT- LOL... typed too slow!

The OG should be around 1.068 with that recipe. (assuming a 4-gallon batch).
The FG, with a dry ale yeast, should stop around .990-1.000, unless your yeast quits from the high alchohol (around 9%?)

Cider ferments a bit different then Beer. The yeast works slower, but eats up a higher percentage of the sugars. A good rule is to wait AT LEAST 4 weeks. You will see the cider start to clear, and that tells you the yeast has finally stopped.

For my first cider, I was very impatient, and bottled after 10 days. I ended up with glass grenades, and it was very unpleasant!!


Drscott266 01-23-2008 02:38 PM

You guys are a great help. It was an Irish Ale Yeast that I used, if that matters. But basicically, I will wait how ever many weeks it takes for the cider to clear then test it.

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