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Lunarpancake 10-07-2009 02:00 PM

How Long till Cider?
I have been reading the forums quite a bit and it seems that the cider making process is pretty quick. How long should I expect (a guesstimate is fine) my cider to take if I started it today?

I am using fresh squeezed juice and adding yeast.

My local brew shop seemed to think I wouldn't have a cider 'till around Christmas, but I was hoping for more like Thanksgiving.


Elfmaze 10-07-2009 02:12 PM

it can ferment quick, but you may taste it :( and toss it back in the closet. 3-6 months are probably needed ymmv

Lunarpancake 10-07-2009 02:20 PM

thanks for the heads up.....too bad it wont be ready for Thanksgiving. Also too bad you are over an hour away from me in Marlton. Im in Ocean Township NJ

Happy Brewing :D

spriggan486 10-07-2009 02:28 PM

It is possible to have a tasty cider in 2 -3 weeks. From what I gathered from the advice I have received is that if you let the cider ferment all the way out, it will be good in about 6 months. But if you stop the fermentation at around 1.010, It will be good in 2 - 3 weeks.

CvilleKevin 10-07-2009 02:29 PM

if you dont add sulfites and cold crash, you can be done in 3 weeks. I've got five kegs from juice that was pressed on 9/14/09 which I tapped last night with the local brew club. They all taste great, with sgs ranging from 1.004 to 1.026. I also have 3 other keg batches that are still sitting in secondaries and not really drinkable. SGs are 1.002 and when they get this dry, they take some time to age while the acids mellow a bit.

Lunarpancake 10-07-2009 02:37 PM

I would be looking for a good middle range for alcohol content and taste......any recomendations on SG?

jabumbo 10-07-2009 04:10 PM

I am getting some stuff at a group pressing next Saturday (the 17th).

So you are saying it is not unreasonable to have something ready to roll out in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with?

CvilleKevin 10-07-2009 04:41 PM

Yes - if you stop the cider before the yeast ferments out all the apple sugar, you can drink it in three weeks no problem. This is most easily done by using an ale yeast like S04 and cold crashing. Keep in mind that if you do this, it wont bottle carbonate - you will need to drink it still or keg carb.

If you let the sg drop below about 1.002, you will still have some good apple taste, but it will be dominated by the acids which will require weeks to months to mellow.

As far as the best SG for stopping it - its really a matter of what you like, as well as the acids present in the apples, type of yeast, etc

I would start tasting around 1.020, and when you think it tastes about right, crash it.

Commercial ciders are usually around 1.020, which is pretty sweet for my taste - but I suspect that is based on focus group testing that tells them this is what the majority of people like. My brewing friends tend to like it dry - down around the 1.004 - 1.006 range. My girlfriend and most of her friends like it sweet - that's why I stopped one batch at 1.026. I'd say the majority of my friends like it around 1.010, give or take a couple points, which is about where I like it.

cheezdog 10-07-2009 05:47 PM

It might be a good idea to look into Brandon O's graff. There are ingredients in there other than just apple juice which may make it mature more quickly. From what he is saying, you should be able to turn a batch of that around in 5 or 6 weeks. I currently have my first batch fermenting and I am right around the 2 week mark. I am planning on crash cooling and kegging either this weekend or next.

Lunarpancake 10-07-2009 08:35 PM

ok well i have already bought the Safale S-04 CvilleKevin writes that it "cold crashes well with any juice" so when I get to the point where I want fermentation to end I can just rack into the keg and shove it in the fridge right?

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