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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > My first cider...
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:27 AM   #1
corvus
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Default My first cider...

Just finished mixing my first batch of cider...first time brewing anything! After reading through everyone's posts and gathering several recipes, I settled on something similar to this :

12 liters of unpasteurized apple cider
7.5 liters of apple juice (from frozen concentrate: apple juice, water, ascorbic acid)
2 kg dark brown sugar (raw cane sugar + molassas)
1 kg of clover honey
2 packages of Lavin EC-1118 yeast

I threw the unpasteurized cider in the carboy. I warmed each batch of reconstituted juice on the stove to bathtub temps mixing in the sugar and honey, then funneling it into the carboy. I rehydrated the yeast and pitched it in. Added water to the neck of the carboy. I gave it a good stir, and checked the specific gravity...1.0069. Put the airlock on.

Bubbling a bit already...

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Old 09-26-2005, 09:25 PM   #2
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Sounds good. Some would argue that would be more of a cyser because of the honey, but not really me

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

BTW, how long do you plan for primary and secondary? Going for a sweet, semi-sweet, dry?

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Old 09-26-2005, 11:34 PM   #3
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Default Sweet but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzud
BTW, how long do you plan for primary and secondary? Going for a sweet, semi-sweet, dry?
Probably standard 5-7 days then change, but I don't have alot of experience so I'll just wait until the bubbling slows and see. It's going very, very strongly now.

I'd prefer a sweet cider, but I hadn't planned on stopping the fermentation early and I don't have any campden tablets. From the looks of how fast it is going now, it seems like I'd have to use a campden tablet to stop fermentation if I want any sugar left in it.

It smells really great...I thought it was supposed to stink like hell?
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvus
I threw the unpasteurized cider in the carboy. I warmed each batch of reconstituted juice on the stove to bathtub temps mixing in the sugar and honey, then funneling it into the carboy. I rehydrated the yeast and pitched it in. Added water to the neck of the carboy. I gave it a good stir, and checked the specific gravity...1.0069. Put the airlock on.
Should not have filled it to the neck of the carboy...it bubbled up into the airlock and spilled out on the carboy. I cleaned and sanitized it, and took another hygrometer reading to lower the fluid level (1.0064). I'm a little worried that all this air exposure will cause mold or bacteria problems. Anyway, still bubbling well so we'll see in a few days.
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:48 PM   #5
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You found out about the initial fermentation fairly painlessly there it seems! You'll wing it i'm sure. For the price involved i'd recommend a brew bin to start the big fizz before transfering to glass and also campden tablets as a way of destroying bacteria when you move it as good belt & braces way of keeping the process more controlled. Interested in what you plan to do as mrzud asked regarding sweet, semi, or dry (or even primed and bottled?)...

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Old 09-29-2005, 06:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplan
You found out about the initial fermentation fairly painlessly there it seems! You'll wing it i'm sure. For the price involved i'd recommend a brew bin to start the big fizz before transfering to glass and also campden tablets as a way of destroying bacteria when you move it as good belt & braces way of keeping the process more controlled. Interested in what you plan to do as mrzud asked regarding sweet, semi, or dry (or even primed and bottled?)...
Well I'm on the 72nd hour of my primary fermentation, and it's finally just starting to slow down a bit. There's a thick rim of orangy paste around the neck of the carboy, but otherwise it looks good and smells ok too. This process is going to get boring soon so I better start planning my next batch.

I chose to do my primary fermentation in my carboy (I do have a bucket too) because I couldn't decide if I was going to do a single or double stage fermentation. I'm still undecided because I'd have to buy another carboy to rack it in to for a two-stage. Next time I do this, I will use the bucket for my primary because cleaning that carboy is going to be alot harder than cleaning a bucket.

I've decided I am going to avoid using the campden tablets to stop the ferment and let the cider go to completion. If it's too dry, I'll try using a sweet mead or ale yeast or something less aggressive next time. I can always add apple juice when I drink it if this batch is too dry.

I'll lightly prime most of the bottles because I prefer sparkling, but I'll leave some unprimed to see what happens. I have 32 stella bottles ready to go, no doubt I'll have the 66 in time for the batch to be done.
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Old 10-02-2005, 11:03 PM   #7
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One week! Checked the sg and it's at 1.028 now, so that's about 6% alcohol. It tastes delicious! Very sweet, and tons of honey and apple flavor. A little yeasty, but I suppose that will settle out over time. Hopefully if I don't screw up the racking or the bottling I'll have an excellent beverage!

Time to consider moving to the secondary...but it is still bubbling pretty strongly, a bubble every second. I thought I'm supposed to wait until it's done bubbling to move it? What happens if I move it to the secondary and it's still bubbling every second?

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Old 10-03-2005, 05:10 AM   #8
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From leeners (http://www.leeners.com/cider.html):

"Open the fermenter and check the specific gravity with a hydrometer. It should have dropped by at least 75%. If not, close the fermenter and allow to sit for a few more days. Do not leave the cider in the primary fermenter for more than 10 days. If the specific gravity has not dropped in that time, continue to the next step any way. "

Disclosure: I just bottled my first batch and am in no way shape or form very experienced (however my first batch didnt turn out bad).

I didnt have a hydrometer so I waited till bubbling slowed down to about 1 per minute which was only 5 or 6 days. I have read this somewhere, but I cant quite remember where (probably because I am burnt out on studying logic and computer design fundamentals, analysis and design of linear circuits, and differential equations... damn ECE major).

It was probably from one of these sites:
http://www.leeners.com/cider.html
http://brewery.org/brewery/library/cider0695.html
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/scrumpy/cider/homepage.htm
http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/andrew_lea/

or from the book Cider: Making, Using, & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider

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Old 10-03-2005, 05:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzud
From leeners (http://www.leeners.com/cider.html):

"Open the fermenter and check the specific gravity with a hydrometer. It should have dropped by at least 75%. If not, close the fermenter and allow to sit for a few more days. Do not leave the cider in the primary fermenter for more than 10 days. If the specific gravity has not dropped in that time, continue to the next step any way. "
Ok, by that logic then, I should target 1.017. I'll wait until Tuesday night. Thanks for the links!
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Old 10-03-2005, 10:24 PM   #10
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No problem. Good luck.

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