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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Light Cider
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:29 AM   #1
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Default Light Cider

Sorry if this has been posted before. The search feature isn't working for me.


Ed adds dextrose to his apflewine to make it stronger. I've done the same, as well as adding honey and frozen concentrate. Has anyone gone the other direction and added water to get a really light cider with about 3.5 to 4% abv? I love the stuff, but when it is 8 to 12% its tough to come in from mowing and chug a few bottles.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:11 AM   #2
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On the first batch I made awhile back, I used concentrate and didn't properly calculate how much apple juice it was supposed to make, and ended up watering it down almost twice as much as it should have been. I still ended up drinking it, but I didn't think it was very good...then again I was still new to it and was expecting something much sweeter. A couple bottles of it still got me , so it was all good.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
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Personally I like using Motts applejuice mixed 2 to 1 with some unfiltered juice or cider, and using nottingham ale yeast. The og is 1.050 without any sugars added, and it usually ferments down to 1.008 within a few weeks. Makes for a nice clean cider, a "session" cider, if you will

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Old 03-02-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MikeRLynch View Post
Personally I like using Motts applejuice mixed 2 to 1 with some unfiltered juice or cider, and using nottingham ale yeast. The og is 1.050 without any sugars added, and it usually ferments down to 1.008 within a few weeks. Makes for a nice clean cider, a "session" cider, if you will
I've done this with US-05. Very nice and mellow. I find following the apfelwein recipe while good is a bit too winey for me.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:55 PM   #5
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I know where you're coming from.

I've done several experiments. One notably, when fermentation was complete it was over 12%. That's way too high to be enjoyable by many people.

I added an appropriate amount of potassium sorbate for 5 gals to retard further fermentation and let it sit for a day or two.

I racked it to a bottling bucket then added 2 cans of frozen concentrate (no water) and 1 gal of AJ and mixed it well. The % went down to under 9% and was much more drinkable as well as had an enhanced apply flavor.

You could do the same with yours or do it to only 2.5-3 gals for the effect you're looking for. There's no need to "water" it down with real water.

If you want to sweeten it you could use Splenda, but not too much. IMO a 1/2 cup is too much for 5 gals.

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Old 03-03-2009, 03:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I know where you're coming from.

I've done several experiments. One notably, when fermentation was complete it was over 12%. That's way too high to be enjoyable by many people.

I added an appropriate amount of potassium sorbate for 5 gals to retard further fermentation and let it sit for a day or two.

I racked it to a bottling bucket then added 2 cans of frozen concentrate (no water) and 1 gal of AJ and mixed it well. The % went down to under 9% and was much more drinkable as well as had an enhanced apply flavor.

You could do the same with yours or do it to only 2.5-3 gals for the effect you're looking for. There's no need to "water" it down with real water.

If you want to sweeten it you could use Splenda, but not too much. IMO a 1/2 cup is too much for 5 gals.


This would work if I didn't want to carbonate it.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:17 AM   #7
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This would work if I didn't want to carbonate it.
True, once you use PS you can't carbonate NATURALLY (in the bottle). You can still carbonate in a keg though.

Why don't you just mix it with 50/50 soda like Sprite?

The Germans do it with beer. It's called a Radler.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
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I made one cider at 12.7 ABV, and I had to rename it to "brain dead cider". Man you want to talk about being kicked in your head.
8 to 6 ABV is OK for me, as long as I remember it's not beer, and limit my intake.
If you come up with a nice smooth light recipe, please post it here, I would like to try it out, good for a nice hot day.
You got me thinking now, that is always dangerous.

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Old 03-04-2009, 01:08 AM   #9
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At this point I'm planning on using 4 gallons of juice and 1 gallon of water and pitching Lalvin EC1118 or something like it.

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Old 03-04-2009, 04:20 AM   #10
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At this point I'm planning on using 4 gallons of juice and 1 gallon of water and pitching Lalvin EC1118 or something like it.
If you're looking for a more cider-like result, with a little higher FG, I really suggest against the EC1118. Try some ale yeast, more specifically some s-04, which from my experiments with using ale yeasts in ciders leaves the most apple flavors, and usually ends around 1.002, I think that your EC1118 would push your light cider down to 0.998 or so, which would be really dry without much to back it up, flavor-wise. YMMV.
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