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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > How to make cider?
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:00 AM   #1
bluefoxicy
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Default How to make cider?

Cider basically works by buying some sort of "organic" apple cider without any preservatives, and dumping in a packet of yeast, right?

What's it taste like? I'd imagine not like the spiced apple cider Ziegler's sells in the super market...

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:13 AM   #2
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It doesn't have to be organic. You can make cider out of any juice with no preservatives. Yes it can be as easy as you said, but it can also be as complex in design, technique and flavor as the best of wines.

It tastes like cider, not sure what to tell you since I dont know what Ziegler's cider tastes like. It can be dry or sweet; thin or full bodied; complex or simple; spiced etc etc. It is very much like wine, in that it can take on many attributes and there will always be something to please everyone.

*Edit I would suggest just keep loitering around the forums. Read up on tons of recipes, and see peoples mistakes, problems, advice, and troubleshooting. I hung around forums for a while before I tried to brew anything. You can really get a good idea on how it all goes down, by reading about others' experiences and recipes.

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tusch View Post
It doesn't have to be organic. You can make cider out of any juice with no preservatives. Yes it can be as easy as you said, but it can also be as complex in design, technique and flavor as the best of wines.

It tastes like cider, not sure what to tell you since I dont know what Ziegler's cider tastes like. It can be dry or sweet; thin or full bodied; complex or simple; spiced etc etc. It is very much like wine, in that it can take on many attributes and there will always be something to please everyone.
Hmm.

I prefer sweet things I can drink by the bottlefull. I've drunk a gallon of apple cider in 6 hours but it was super market stuff, not hard alcoholic cider.

I'll worry about this later.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:18 AM   #4
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Oh it doesn't have to be strong. Most commercial ciders, at least here in the states, are sweet and abv similar to beer. Most are around 5% and are intended to be drunk by the bottle.

My blueberry cider I have going now is 11.5% but I plan on drinking it by the bottle

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:29 AM   #5
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Oh it doesn't have to be strong. Most commercial ciders, at least here in the states, are sweet and abv similar to beer. Most are around 5% and are intended to be drunk by the bottle.

My blueberry cider I have going now is 11.5% but I plan on drinking it by the bottle
Ah!

I was under the impression that the juice had a lot of sugar, and it fermented completely, thus possibly being difficult to make sweet. I guess it stays around 5% if you use a fast-attenuating yeast that leaves much of the sugar? (I'm working on sweet mead next...)
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:45 AM   #6
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Well if you are looking for a sweet low abv brew, then I have a suggestion. I think the easiest way to do that would to use just straight juice and yeast. This will yield between 4 and 6%, depending on the juice you use. Then when fermentation is complete (it will be dry at this point) then kill off the yeast chemically and add either some form of sugar, honey, or juice concentrate to bring it to a sweetness you enjoy. The problem with this is that you can now only have it be still (non carbonated) or carbonate with a kegging system, since the yeast have been killed off.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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I can't just use a fast-attenuating yeast?

I'm not sure exactly what 'dry' means in terms of taste/texture. It's hard to imagine a dry liquid. Rum seems to be best described as "BURNS LIKE HELL!!!!!!" and I haven't had gin, which I hear is 'dry'.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:47 AM   #8
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I can't just use a fast-attenuating yeast?

I'm not sure exactly what 'dry' means in terms of taste/texture. It's hard to imagine a dry liquid. Rum seems to be best described as "BURNS LIKE HELL!!!!!!" and I haven't had gin, which I hear is 'dry'.
Dry means "not sweet". That's all it means.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:58 AM   #9
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Dry means "not sweet". That's all it means.
So many horrible jokes came to mind just now.

But thanks, that's very informative.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:51 PM   #10
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So many horrible jokes came to mind just now.

But thanks, that's very informative.



I do know that using flieshmans bread yeast and an extra can of concentrate per gallon (if i remember right) added to reconstituted Seneca apple juice concentrate will end up producing a pretty sweet flavored beverage... but the background flavors may not be to your liking, I found it cloyingly sweet personally.
the Bread yeast seems to leave quite a bit of sugar behind when it dies off (don't think it tolerates a high ABV maybe?)

some fellows here reccomend "backsweetening" the finished cider with a little bit of splenda sweetener (it's non fermentable) if it's too dry for your tastes.

you could also have a go at using an ale yeast, as I've read that they have a tendancy to be a little less dry than a cider made with a champagne yeast.

another thing you could do... but would require a little extra step on serving: is produce an edworts apfelwine, and bottle in 12 ounce bottles - then when you want to serve it, serve it in a chilled pint glass and blend with a good topshelf apple juice (like martinellis) to top off the pint glass
that would sweeten the beverage naturaly, preserve the apple flavor, AND drop the ABV a little (enough to have a go at 2-3 pints in an afternoon and not get 'faced before dinner)

one thing for sure, as a fellow Noob - I have learned from here is exparamentation is the word of the day - the best way to figure out a formula that suits you if you are unsure of what you want exactly is to have a go at making several 1 gallon batches using different brands of apple juice from different types of apples, using different yeasts, and using different types of fermentable sugars until you create the beverage of your dreams. then do a 5 gallon batch of the creation that suits you best.

I'm in the middle of doing my first 5 gallon batch myself. I bypassed the experamental stage and went with an adaptation of Edworts recipe
substituting Lavlin EC-1118 yeast and 2 pounds of Raw turbinado sugar.
I also went with an unfiltered juice so my finished product will end up a little cloudy, but it should end up pretty dry, tangy and delicious. fermentation is pretty much done now and it's been settling for a week, I'm going to let it settle for another week and then bottle it. It smells absolutely awesome, I've resisted the temptaion to pull the plug and sample it -afraid that if i do and it tastes half as good as it smells I'll guzzle it all down without bothering to set some aside to really get some age on it.

good luck, and don't forget to post up your first attempt formula.
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