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Old 06-16-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default The Minute Maid Apple Cider Mini-Experiment

This is a spin-off thread from this topic on bread yeast and apple juice: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/appl...-yeast-123970/

When I read about adding a small amount of bread yeast to a bottle of apple juice, I thought it would be neat to try this out myself. I took it a step further for both fun and my own knowledge and decided to try this with a beer yeast and wine yeast to see how each turned out. The idea was to see if I could (cheaply) create a pre-bottled, drinkable apple cider with minimal effort.

The basic setup is this:

There are 12 bottles of 450ml Minute Maid Pure Apple Juice (Apple Juice Concentrate, Vitamin C and Mineral Water). Each bottle had 45 grams (3 tablespoons) of dextrose dissolved into them.

I purchased a package of Coopers Ale Yeast (7g) and a package of 1118 Champagne Yeast (5g), plus has some Fleishmans Bread Yeast at home (about 7g).

I split the bottles of apple juice into three groups (one per yeast type) of 4 bottles and evenly split the yeast packages across each bottle, which worked out to about 3/4 of a teaspoon per. I capped each of them off with a balloon, poked a couple holes in them and put them away.

The OG reading was 1.066.

I plan test one bottle from each group 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks apart. I will take the gravity readings only at that time and provide an update on just how palatable the 'cider' turned out. Because I only plan to do a taste test at each interval I will probably cap the bottle after taking the reading/tasting (unless it is really tasty and it just happens to get consumed).

I will put up some photos tonight.

On a side note, I set this up last night and checked in on them this morning. They are all bubbling away, though the bread yeast and 1118 yeast much more then the beer yeast. The bread yeast is very cloudy. I cannot wait to see how these turn out (unless they all turn into hooch and I go blind ) as I think this will be a good lesson in my brew-du-cation.

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Old 06-16-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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Default Cool experiment

I'm interested to see how they compare. Cool experiment!

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Old 06-16-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
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sub the dextrose for honey or DME and you will get a better tasting drink IMO.

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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Sounds advice and definitely something I will be doing with my future ciders, but I had neither DME or honey available at my house and I was trying to keep costs down. I think the total cost per bottle works out to about $1.50 a bottle including everything (bottles, dextrose, balloons, yeast).

In hindsight the cost is almost as much as a bottle of cider from the store goes for, but for the sake of educating myself in the ways of brewing I still feel its worth it.

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Old 06-17-2009, 01:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradinator View Post
Sounds advice and definitely something I will be doing with my future ciders, but I had neither DME or honey available at my house and I was trying to keep costs down. I think the total cost per bottle works out to about $1.50 a bottle including everything (bottles, dextrose, balloons, yeast).

In hindsight the cost is almost as much as a bottle of cider from the store goes for, but for the sake of educating myself in the ways of brewing I still feel its worth it.
Sounds good. Once you know which works best larger bottles/jugs of juice are much cheaper by volume, so it pays out in the long run.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradinator View Post
Sounds advice and definitely something I will be doing with my future ciders, but I had neither DME or honey available at my house and I was trying to keep costs down. I think the total cost per bottle works out to about $1.50 a bottle including everything (bottles, dextrose, balloons, yeast).

In hindsight the cost is almost as much as a bottle of cider from the store goes for, but for the sake of educating myself in the ways of brewing I still feel its worth it.
save those bottles and buy your AJ in bulk next time and I bet you more than cut your costs by 75%
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:00 PM   #7
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Great idea! I was going to recycle them but saving them makes much more sense and you are very correct on the cost savings of bulk juice. I can bulk buy a 4L of Apple Juice (not concentrate) for around $5 which is enough to fill 8-10 of those bottles easily. Yeast would probably be $3 (for two packs) and $1 for balloons/sugar. That works out to around $1.00 a bottle, possibly less if the bread yeast turns out drinkable or juice can be purchased cheaper. I will absolutely do it that way next time if this works out!

I checked on them again this morning and the balloons on the bread and wine yeast are very inflated, even with the holes. The beer yeast is still limp, though bubbling still. The bread yeast is also very cloudy, though the wine and beer have stayed relatively clear.

And I swear pics to come soon.

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:09 AM   #8
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So...? Where are the pics!? It's over half a day later!
;-)

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/stup...tricks-123210/

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Oh my gosh, but cider's neat.
Taste's so sweet, it can't be beat.
Good in the cold or in the heat.
Oh my gosh, but cider's neat!

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:33 AM   #9
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Here are some of the photos I promised. I will grab a couple more shots when I get back later this week.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:08 AM   #10
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Ghetto-fabulous! This is a good way to discover for yourself which yeast you find creates the most palatable drink, although my money is on the Cooper's Ale yeast.

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