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Old 08-01-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
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about a month ago I decided to experiment with a cider. didn't follow any recipes, just winged it. in a 3 gallon carboy I used 2.5 gallons of unpasteurized apple juice, 1 lb of sugar, 1 lb of brown sugar, 5 atomic fireballs (those jaw-breaker type hard candy) 5 Cinnamon sticks, 1/4 cup of vanilla and a packet of wine yeast. I was going for a grandmas apple pie type flavor with some kick. after mixing this all together there was so much activity I thought the carboy was going to explode. the yeast cake is about an inch thick and after a month there is still some activity in the airlock and it is starting to clear, well kinda. any thoughts/opinions on what my concoction might turn out to be? how long should I let this sit?

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Old 08-01-2010, 12:46 PM   #2
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2 lbs of sugar (plus sugar candy) in 2.5 gallons of juice - I'm not surprised that the fermentation was explosive. I think there is a good chance that you have made hooch. Taste it and see

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Old 08-01-2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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What did the OG look like for that? I would imagine that it will take a good about of aging to let the hooch flavor die off.

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Old 08-01-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
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What did the OG look like for that? I would imagine that it will take a good about of aging to let the hooch flavor die off.
I forgot to take one I wonder if racking at some point will mellow the hooch flavor
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:02 PM   #5
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Well getting the cider off the lees with definitely help the flavor, but not so much in term of the hooch character. IMO it's still a smart move, sitting on the lees to long can impart other flavor compounds from yeast autolysis. You said it has been there for a month, it's problably a good time to transfer to secondary. At this point it should mostly be done fermenting, don't rely on airlock function to meassure fermentation...... take a gravity reading.

You may be able to back sweeten to cover up a bit of the hooch. Time is you other friend, it may be rough now, but six months might make the difference.

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Old 08-01-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Well getting the cider off the lees with definitely help the flavor, but not so much in term of the hooch character. IMO it's still a smart move, sitting on the lees to long can impart other flavor compounds from yeast autolysis. You said it has been there for a month, it's problably a good time to transfer to secondary. At this point it should mostly be done fermenting, don't rely on airlock function to meassure fermentation...... take a gravity reading.

You may be able to back sweeten to cover up a bit of the hooch. Time is you other friend, it may be rough now, but six months might make the difference.
thanks
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:05 AM   #7
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2 lbs of sugar in 2.5 gallons AJ should get you to 11-12% abv, so it shouldn't b e to hoochie.

Depending on what wine yeast you used you'll probably have to stop fermentation somehow before back sweetening.

I'd be a bit worried about what the cinnamon sticks and vanilla have done to it, a 1/4 cup seems like a lot to me.

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:04 AM   #8
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so whats the easy definition of back sweetening?

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Old 08-08-2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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just racked it yesterday and it tasted like a very strong wine. not at all the flavor I was hoping for

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
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You might be able to cut it with some regular apple cider to bring the abv down some and give it more apple flavor. Then bottle and let it naturally carb a bit on the sugars already present in the (non fermented) apple juice. Just a suggestion, I'm by no means an expert.

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