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Old 10-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default How long does it take to make cider?

I have heard it takes anywhere from 3-4 weeks and other times I've heard it's about 4-6 weeks? Does it very depending on the recipe?

I have a few 1 gal batches I started without a hydrometer. How will I know when they are done? (I now have a hydrometer but no o.g to compare against) any advise would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 10-13-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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A cider should get down to 1.000, if not 0.996. From my notes, I had a starting OG of about 1.050 before adding any sugar, and a FG of 1.000 when it was done fermenting. It looks like I bottled mine 6 weeks after starting, with 2 rackings, and it was crystal clear.



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Old 10-13-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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I have a 1 gal batch (og unknown) that is 2 weeks old. Started with pasteurized cider, added 3 cups white sugar , 1/2 a pack of champagne yeast, 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient. Yesterday it's gravity was 1.000. Balling/sugar was -1% (not sure how that's possible) and abv 0%.

Is it possible this batch is done in only 2 weeks??
It has an alcoholic smell similar to cider but still smells a little yeasty.

Should I let it sit 4 weeks on the lees and see if that changes anything?

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
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Sure, in fact, most fermentations are already over with after 2 weeks. The long wait times are for clearing and stability. With the juice and sugar, you probably had an PABV of ~ 10 +/- 1 %. The reason you are reading the gravity to be 1.000 is because the liquid has the same density as water at this point. The other scales are just conversions of this fact. AKA it's reading 0% ABV because there isn't any(much) more potential to convert sugar to alcohol. Let it set until it's clear enough to read something on the other side, rack, wait a few more weeks, and if there is any sediment at that point, rack, bottle. If there is no sediment, bottle.

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Old 10-14-2012, 12:47 AM   #5
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I just visited a cidery yesterday. They ferment for between 6 and 18 months. 6 weeks? Wow!

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncaMarc View Post
I just visited a cidery yesterday. They ferment for between 6 and 18 months. 6 weeks? Wow!
The longest commercial fermentation I've heard of take around 6 mo, from an old orchard grown without fertilizer, with wild yeast and very very cold temperatures. Where did you visit that fermented for 18 months?
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:49 AM   #7
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If your using a champagne yeast, your cider will ferment out to .996 in about 4 days. The rest of the time you hear about is conditioning. You can have off flavors that will mellow out over the time you condition.

Add a cup of sugar per gallon and your OG will be around 1.064. Add pectin enzyme and let sit for a day before pitching the yeast.

At the end of fermentation add a potassium sorbate to kill off the yeast. Unless your not going to bottle, then skip this step and keep it cold.

You can also back sweeten after fermentation is done. I add 3/4 quart of simple syrup and a can of frozen apple juice concentrate to a 5 gal batch. If you back sweeten, you should definitely add the potassium sorbate or you will get a new fermentation kick in and bottle bombs.

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Old 10-14-2012, 03:41 AM   #8
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I'm trying to keep the recipe as affordable as possible. Is there something other than pectic enzyme I can add? Or is it at least inexpensive? Can I back sweeten with sugar or honey? Reasons I wouldn't want to? I'm sure I will get more into it as I go but for now these are my first batches and I don't have much money to put into it. It started as a surprise for family for the holidays

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Old 10-14-2012, 03:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsser
I'm trying to keep the recipe as affordable as possible. Is there something other than pectic enzyme I can add? Or is it at least inexpensive? Can I back sweeten with sugar or honey? Reasons I wouldn't want to? I'm sure I will get more into it as I go but for now these are my first batches and I don't have much money to put into it. It started as a surprise for family for the holidays
P.S. I'm not going to bottle. Just don't have the equipment and once it's finished I imagine it will be consumed pretty quickly
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by UncaMarc View Post
I just visited a cidery yesterday. They ferment for between 6 and 18 months. 6 weeks? Wow!
I bottled it at 6 weeks, but I still haven't sampled any, months later.


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