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Old 10-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
rockytop714
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Default my cider is a little weak on flavor... suggestions?

All,

I'm a new guy to home brewing and cider making, so I had posted a while back, asking some guidance on making my cider. Thank you all so much for the input. I will say, though, that I finally got to taste the end product, Friday evening, only to be a little disappointed.

Let me say that it doesn't taste "bad", it just doesn't taste like much of anything. the apple flavor is minimal goes away, very quickly.

So, my process, in a nutshell, was 1 gallon of fresh-pressed, local cider, into which I dissolve one crushed campden table. after 24 hours, I added half of package of champagne yeast that I'd done a small starter with, with a water/honey solution. 2 weeks in a primary, racked into a secondary for another 2 weeks, bottled and conditioned for 4 weeks, and that was that.

the carbonation is great and, like I said, it tastes ok, but it's kind of "blah". So I'm looking for some pointers on different ways to up the flavor ante, preferabbly making it more "apple-y". My wife suggested mulling spices in the secondary, and I had considered aging it on fresh apple slices in the secondary if any of you have had experinces with either of these ideas or have a better suggestion, please let me know.

One thing that I've thought about, though, was that the cider I used was obviously very early season and even the fresh cider wasn't overly flavorful. So that could have a lot to do with it, too. I plan to do another batch in a few weeks with later-season cider, now that some of the tart apples have really come in, and see how that turns out, but I wanted to check in with the fine folks at homebrew talk before I gave it another go.

I'll be anxious to hear what you suggest. Thanks!

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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use concentrated apple juice as priming sugar before bottling. use 1/2 or more of a can per gallon

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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I will have to agree. My ciders taste more "appley cidery" when I prime with concentrate. Also if you let it ferment out completely I think you lose a lot of apple flavor.

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Old 10-28-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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Champagne yeast strips a lot of flavor. I like Nottingham ale yeast. Ferment cool and slow
Some flavor will normally come back over time, but if your fresh tasted weak your fermented likely will also. As state backsweetening with frozen AJC helps.

Mulling spices can be nice....little goes a long ways. Cinnamon and vanilla add nice flavor.

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Old 10-28-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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Where do you get your concentrated apple juice that doesn't have preservatives? Our grocery stores in Texas only sell the cheap kind with preservatives

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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I get mine from the grocery store. Asorbic acid is used, but not harmful to the fermentation.

I don't know that I remember seeing any concentrates that had chemicals that would prevent fermentation.

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Old 10-29-2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aggieeric View Post
Where do you get your concentrated apple juice that doesn't have preservatives? Our grocery stores in Texas only sell the cheap kind with preservatives
I use the frozen.......have never seen any with preservatives.....I buy the walmart stuff.

If you are backsweetening and not planning on carbonating, preservatives won't matter.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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great! this information is all very helpful. thank you all, so much.

I had read, before starting, that a champagne yeast will give you a dry cider where ale yeast would give you a sweeter cider. I wanted a dry cider but I still want it to taste like apples

I think maybe a later season press of cider might make a difference but I'm thinking that priming with apple juice concentrate is an excellent idea. I think I will probably give that a try.

if it still doesn't turn out the way I'd like, then maybe I'll give ale yeast a try on the next batch.

Just to make sure I understand everything, though, 1/2 can of AJ concentrate per gallon of cider will be enough to replace the corn sugar to carbonate the cider? ...and it should be preservative free, so as long as you use a pasteurized concentrate it should work?

Thanks again!

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Old 10-29-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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Another yeast option is a white wine yeast, I've been using Red Star Cotes de Blanc and liking my results for my last four or so batches. I got too much yeasty flavor out of Ale yeast, probably due to high temps and fast ferments. I'm trying a batch of carrot apple cider with US-04 right now at a lower temp, so I haven't given up on ale yeasts yet.

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Old 10-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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1/2 a can per gallon works well, you can bump a dry cider up to 1.010 or so. a full can can will be pretty sweet but not as much as woodchuck, which tastes like soda to me.

1/2can/gal will over carb bottles, so plan to bottle pasteurize or make some room in the fridge

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