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Old 11-19-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
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Default Just pitched for my third batch of cider. Tried to keep it simple.

So I just started my third batch of hard cider. Pitched the yeast tonight and am already anxious to see some activity!

I think I could have done some things differently now that I think about it. Mainly, I'm not sure if I should have added the tannin, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrient all at once and dry. I'm thinking I should have dissolved in some of the wort or something. Guess I'll look into that later.

Feel free to read my recipe (not much to it) and brewing process and leave some comments, suggestions, or questions!

Oh, and a quick question:
I've read that letting it sit in primary for 2-3 months will improve the quality. If I did this I'm assuming it would just ferment to complete dryness. Will I still be able to carbonate the cider by priming it even if it sits for up to three months?

Hard Apple Cider

S.G. - 1.062@63 degrees Fahrenheit

Recipe:

5.5 Gallons Boa Vista Orchards (Northern California) unpasteurized apple cider

11g Fermentis Safale S-04

5 Campden tablets (crushed)

0.5 tsp Tannin

0.5 tsp MicroEssentials Yeast Nutrient

2.5 tsp Pectic Enzyme


Preparation:
Sanitized all equipment using IO Star.

Pour 5.5 Gallons of Apple Cider into Glass Carboy.
Crush 5 campden tablets and pour into carboy. Swirl for one minute.

Cover the carboy mouth and let sit for 48 hours.

Add tannin, yeast nutrient, and pectic enzyme to wort.
Take hydrometer reading and record result.
Vigorously swirl wort for aeration purposes.
Pitch Safale S-04 directly into wort
Fill airlock with 80 proof rum and place airlock & stopper into carboy mouth.

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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Just thought I'd give an update to this batch.

Today (12/9/12), the batch has been fermenting for three weeks. I took a gravity reading, which is at 1.002 @ 61 F.


I moved the primary indoors due to the garage being too cold for the S-04. I checked the other morning and it was about 50 F according to the stick-on thermometer, although I think it's probably +/- 3 F. When taking a gravity reading, the stick on thermo read ~58 F, but my probe thermometer read 61 F.

I'm hoping that the indoor temperature will stabilize to around 72 F. Since I'm already at ~8% ABV, I plan on keeping it in primary for another week and then bottle.

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:38 AM   #3
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Looks like a solid, simple recipe. I did a lot of small cider batches and a few 5gal batches before I got into beer brewing. Sometimes the recipes get too complex (brown sugar, spices, citruses, etc.).

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:48 AM   #4
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Agreed. Though I don't personally think it was necessary to use rum in the airlock.

Adding your tannin and pectin enzyme upfront and dry should be fine. I prefer to taste and adjust my bittering agent when I move to secondary, but that's just personal preference. That's also when I add spices if I'm making a spiced cider.

The pectin enzyme directions do say you should add it 1 hour before pitching, but I haven't noticed it makes any real difference. In the hour or so it takes for the enzyme to break the pectin into sugar the yeast just doesn't have much of an opportunity to do much.

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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By brewing history began with a Mr. Beer Kit. I then moved onto a kit I received as a gift that included the glass carboy and a 6 gallon plastic bucket with spigot.

Brewed a couple terrible (although drinkable) beers first and then moved on to cider. I enjoy cider. There isn't much of a craft industry for it and I want to do some experimenting.

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:15 AM   #6
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Would anyone happen to know if adding a half gallon of flash pasteurized cider at the time of bottling would be enough for carbonation?

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Would anyone happen to know if adding a half gallon of flash pasteurized cider at the time of bottling would be enough for carbonation?
Probably way more then enough. I'd fill a plastic bottle of about the same volume to use as a tester and then stove top pasteurize when you have the pressure in bottle you want. Otherwise you could end up with bottle bombs...

EDIT: Here's a priming sugar calculator. http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html At 2.25 volumes you only need 3.6 oz of table sugar. Typical gravity of apple juice/cider is 1.050. 1 lb of sugar in a total volume of 1 gallon of water gives you a gravity of 1.046. So, assuming your primary increase in gravity of the juice is the result of sugar in the juice you'd have the equivalent of about 8 oz of sugar. Even with the increase in liquid volume that's more then you need. At the same number of volumes you only need about 4 oz for 5.5 gallons.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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Agreed. Though I don't personally think it was necessary to use rum in the airlock.
I noted that too. Spent like five minutes figuring out why the airlock was already dirty but it was the rum. Pirate brewers wouldn't approve.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:17 PM   #9
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I'm really curious as to what your cider blend is. Any idea what they used for your cider batch?

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:55 AM   #10
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I noted that too. Spent like five minutes figuring out why the airlock was already dirty but it was the rum. Pirate brewers wouldn't approve.
But....Why is the rum gone?
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