My first hard cider
I will start brewing some cider this weekend or the next and I wanted to start a topic so I could share the experience with you.
First of all, here are the instructions I'm going to use: http://www.livefromarlington.com/article.php?story=20040926163332887
I've done quite a bit research, and these instructions seem like the easiest.
A few things I plan on changing:
I will be making a champagne style hard cider, and as such I will use Lalvin 1118 (for more info on their different types of yeast: http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp#). I will only use one packet of yeast, at the expense that is may be slower to start up, I don't want to change the taste as the author says in his notes. The 1118 also is one of the most versatile of the yeasts they offer and is their fastest.
I will originally put the cider into a plastic bucket as I will mix in spices and extra sugar to have a higher OG.
I may or may not let the hard cider sit in the carboy for longer than 10 days to 2 weeks, if I see that it may help it clear up.
I will be bottling this into champagne grade bottles. As such, before bottling I will add about 220grams (1 - 1/3 cups) of dextrose to add carbonation.
That is all I can think of for the moment.
So does anyone have any suggestions?
I do have a question though: the author of that web page claims that the first bottles of hard cider he opened tasted a bit yeasty. I was wondering if that would be because his primary fermentation wasn't long enough or if his bottle conditioning wasn't long enough?
Also, how could I sweeten it if I find it to be too dry? I know that Splenda and Lactose are unfermentable...
Primary should last about 2 weeks, then rack and let sit for another month or 2, when it's all but clear, and there's a good bit of sediment in the secondary, go ahead and rack again. Another couple weeks in tertiary (or bulk aging for a couple months, if you wish), will make sure it comes out crystal clear (mind you, that also depends on the recipe).
If it's too yeasty, it's because he bottled too soon, make sure it's perfectly clear before you bottle, and you shouldn't have any problems.
And yes, if after you bottle it, you think it's too dry, just add a little splenda to the bottom of a glass before you pour the cider in. I personally use one packet of splenda per 750ml bottle of Apfelwein, and it comes out damn near perfect. My New England hard cider is almost to the bulk aging stage, so I don't know how that will come out (5 gallons fresh pressed cider, 1 packet Cote De Blancs, no extra sugar or spices).
I'll be doing the same. On my first batch I'm not going to add any sugar. On my 2nd I'm going to mix in a pound of brown sugar. Any info please send it my way via E-mail email@example.com
If you can't read the news paper though the carboy it's to early to bottle.
It looks like this thread died on the vine, but.... how did the hooch turn out? mrfocus? Adolphus79??
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