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Old 10-15-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
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Default How/When to spice a cider

I'm currently brewing my second cider ever, for my wife's birthday in mid January. Started it two weeks ago (roughly oct 1st)

My plan was a three stage brew, just like my first batch, but longer with each stage.

So
Stage 1: 2.5 pounds of apples, 1 cup of sugar, 5 gallons of apple juice
wait 3 weeks
Stage 2: 2.5 pounds of apples, 1 cup of sugar
wait 3 weeks
Stage 3: 1 gallon of apple juice
wait 3 weeks
Bottle

Which would have the cider bottled in the first week of December, giving it a month plus in the bottle to age.

Now she wants me to spice the cider, but I've no idea how/when to add them. Any advice would be great. Sounds like cinnamon and cloves at least, but any/all suggestions for flavoring are welcome.

Thanks!

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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i've only done a few gallons of cider, but after 2-3 weeks fermentation i add my 1-2 sticks of cinnamon. even tried a small amount of nutmeg. turns out good.

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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basic mulled cider contains cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Cinnamon has a mildly spicy, warm flavor that is a classic pairing with apple. Nutmeg is a zesty, bitter spice that adds warm flavor and depth when used sparingly. Cloves have a bittersweet flavor similar to that of black licorice; in small amounts, they highlight the sweet flavors of cinnamon and apple. Allspice is a dried berry with a similar flavor to cloves and the same warm notes as cinnamon or nutmeg.

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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whole spices, steep after fermentation if you can be arsed.

quickly, dissolve ground spices in a little water and stir in just after fermentation. by the time you rack, they should have dropped out.

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Old 10-15-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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I have had good luck adding the above mentioned spices as well as orange peel and ginger to secondary.

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Old 10-15-2013, 04:44 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! How important is it to wait for the fermentation to stop? Could I add stuff in my secondary or tertiary, even though I'm also adding more apples/sugar?

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squegeeboo View Post
I'm currently brewing my second cider ever, for my wife's birthday in mid January. Started it two weeks ago (roughly oct 1st)

My plan was a three stage brew, just like my first batch, but longer with each stage.

So
Stage 1: 2.5 pounds of apples, 1 cup of sugar, 5 gallons of apple juice
wait 3 weeks
Stage 2: 2.5 pounds of apples, 1 cup of sugar
wait 3 weeks
Stage 3: 1 gallon of apple juice
wait 3 weeks
Bottle

Which would have the cider bottled in the first week of December, giving it a month plus in the bottle to age.

Now she wants me to spice the cider, but I've no idea how/when to add them. Any advice would be great. Sounds like cinnamon and cloves at least, but any/all suggestions for flavoring are welcome.

Thanks!
This isn't addressing the question you just asked, but I have to know, why in the world do you stage your sugar additions that way? Why not just add all your sugar up front?

Adding sugar in stages restarts fermentation every time it's added and prolongs clearing (assuming you want a clear cider). Also, your original gravity and final gravity hydrometer readings become less useful in calculating ABV, again assuming ABV is something you'd like to keep tabs on. You can still figure it out but it's just not as simple.

I don't claim to know everything about cider, but an obvious reason for doing this isn't jumping out at me.

OK, sorry for the digression, but now to your question. Probably the easiest thing to do is to make a spiced tincture with vodka or rum and add it right when you're ready to bottle/keg. To figure out the correct amount of tincture for your taste, pull a sample of the cider and divide it up into equal portions. Add varying amounts of tincture to each sample portion until you find the one you like. Then just scale it up for the whole batch and write down how much you used so you can duplicate it in the next batch!

Hope you find this helpful. And please let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasWine View Post
This isn't addressing the question you just asked, but I have to know, why in the world do you stage your sugar additions that way? Why not just add all your sugar up front?

Adding sugar in stages restarts fermentation every time it's added and prolongs clearing (assuming you want a clear cider). Also, your original gravity and final gravity hydrometer readings become less useful in calculating ABV, again assuming ABV is something you'd like to keep tabs on. You can still figure it out but it's just not as simple.

I don't claim to know everything about cider, but an obvious reason for doing this isn't jumping out at me.

OK, sorry for the digression, but now to your question. Probably the easiest thing to do is to make a spiced tincture with vodka or rum and add it right when you're ready to bottle/keg. To figure out the correct amount of tincture for your taste, pull a sample of the cider and divide it up into equal portions. Add varying amounts of tincture to each sample portion until you find the one you like. Then just scale it up for the whole batch and write down how much you used so you can duplicate it in the next batch!

Hope you find this helpful. And please let us know what you decide to do.
I got the recipe from a friend. It's how he does his ciders, and their really good. I've never really payed attention to specific gravity until I started ciders, but I just add .5% to the final calculation and tell people, close enough.

It's prob. terrible form to post to another forum, but his recipe is based off of this link http://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/16xloy/the_big_cider_making_post/

Thanks for the spicing advice.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squegeeboo View Post
Thanks guys! How important is it to wait for the fermentation to stop? Could I add stuff in my secondary or tertiary, even though I'm also adding more apples/sugar?
It's better to wait if you can, they're generally added afterwards because fermentation will blast off some of the flavour. But then, there's a dozen ways to do it, and they're all correct.
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