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Old 01-31-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default Information Overload! I need a 101...

Alright, so I am looking to do a cider (preferably this weekend), but I am seriously confused. I have spent a considerable amount of time reading here, and looking at various other online resources, but I am, to say the least, confused...

Let me add here that I am NOT an avid cider drinker, and I have only had a couple different varieties over the years, but I do drink Woodchuck Granny Smith and tend to enjoy it.

I am basically looking for the most basic (or a fairly simple) recipe that I can make at home using the equipment that I already have. I like the Woodchuck from above, so if I could replicate that (or something relatively similar) I would be more than happy! My girlfriend is not much (ok, not at all) a drinker, but I think if I could make a "sweet" cider that she would possibly enjoy it. She will drink very fruity mixed drinks now and again? Also, I am looking to bottle this in glass beer bottles, just as I do my beer recipes.

Can anyone offer some advice to get me going, or a link to a good recipe with ingredients that I could buy at the local food store and LHBS? Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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This is very easy, and definitely a crowd pleaser. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cara...-cider-292770/ I stovetop pasteurized this, as I wanted a sweet, carbonated cider. I did half carbonated and half still. I actually liked the still ones much better.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:30 PM   #3
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Oh sorry, that is not really like a Woodchuck's, but trust me, it is delicious. Everyone who I gave one to talked it up and said they really loved it.

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendj1 View Post
Oh sorry, that is not really like a Woodchuck's, but trust me, it is delicious. Everyone who I gave one to talked it up and said they really loved it.
I appreciate it, and I will take a look through! Honestly, I drink so little cider that I probably couldn't tell one from the other, especially in a blind taste test! I have never had a bad one, and anything with alcohol tends to get better after a few

I am confused by what your mean cabonated vs. still? I take it one is bottle carb'd like a normal beer and still is not carb'd at all?

Also (forgive me if this is in the link you provided) how do you go about doing the stovetop pasteurization?
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
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You'd be able to tell the difference. This is much better! We did use real fresh cider instead of juice though. I'm not sure what (if any) difference that makes.

Right, still just means uncarbonated. I really preferred the still with this recipe and so did anyone who I gave both to.

It was in there, but no worries. Here is the link to the how-to's of stove-top pasteurization. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/ The gist of it is when bottling, use a plastic soda bottle on one bottle. Once it is at the correct carbonation (you can tell by squeezing) you put all your bottles in 190 degree water for 10 minutes. This will kill the yeast and stop fermentation so you don't get some bottle bombs.

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Old 02-01-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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What exactly does adding the 5 cans of concentrate at bottling time do?

If I do everything listed there, rack on top of the 5 cans of concentrate when FG is reached, wait 24 hours, bottle, and then stovetop pasteurize when ready, is that it? Seems like besides the yeast and caramel, it is very similar to EdWort's recipe, no?

I guess my question, what exactly does adding the concentrate do? Does this create a very sweet cider like Angry Orchards Crisp Apple, or something totally different? Since I will be adding the concentrate, so I still have to add priming sugar upon bottling to carb, or is the sugar in the concentrate what will carb my bottles? I am NOT looking to create a still cider this time around.

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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5 cans of concentrate act as your priming sugar. Most apple juices are ~28g or sugar per 8oz serving. So if you add the concentrate you're just adding sugar and apple flavoring.
My understanding is you want to add the concentrate at the time of bottling and wait 24 hours after it's in the bottle. That is if you're goal is to create sparkling(carbonated) cider. The stove top pasteurizing is done after 24h in the bottle so that some carbonation has built up but not enough to create bottle bombs.
I haven't made the caramel apple cider but I believe the goal is to create a sweet sparkling cider, whereas Edwort's apfelwein is creating a dry crisp sparkling wine similar to a style in Germany.
Most Dry ciders take a few months of conditioning before they start tasting great. The caramel apple cider is something meant to be drunk young, the sugars cover up some of the flaws created during fermentation.

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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The concentrate is for back-sweetening and adding more apple flavor back. When cider dries out you lose some of that appley flavor.

Yes, that's it. After stovetop pasteurizing it is ready to drink. It is similar in ingredients, but not in flavor. Apfelwein is very dry since it is not back-sweetened, whereas this is a very sweet cider.

You do not need to add priming sugar. The sugar from the caramel and the concentrate is more than enough to carb. I would suggest you do what I did and split the batch, and carb some and make some still. You may be surprised. I can't think of any commercial product that this is like, but we didn't nickname it the panty dropper when I made it for nothing.

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:38 PM   #9
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Also, the waiting 24 hours thing is just to make sure the caramel is cooled. You aren't really doing anything before that, except making the caramel.

When you bottle, you fill one plastic pop bottle and use that as your carbonation gauge. Once it is good and hard, then you stovetop pasteurize the rest. I think it took mine about a week to carb, but you want to check it every day and be prepared to pasteurize, otherwise you risk bottle bombs.

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendj1 View Post
Also, the waiting 24 hours thing is just to make sure the caramel is cooled. You aren't really doing anything before that, except making the caramel.

When you bottle, you fill one plastic pop bottle and use that as your carbonation gauge. Once it is good and hard, then you stovetop pasteurize the rest. I think it took mine about a week to carb, but you want to check it every day and be prepared to pasteurize, otherwise you risk bottle bombs.
Instead of the caramel syrup, could I just use normal priming sugar along with the 5 cans of concentrate, or possibly just 2 cups of brown sugar (not boiled/mixed with water and cinnamon)? I would rather not have to deal with that step... I am trying to keep this as simple as possible!
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