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dr_al 04-19-2011 03:40 AM

My first real batch of hard cider hopefully...
Hi there, i have lurked and in Feb. I started a batch of Apflelwein, then in March some JOAM. After reading a few books about wine making I have figured out Apfelwein is not quite what i'm trying to make so this went in the bucket last night

1.5 gallons of Sam's club AJ
1 packet of nottingham
1 tsp acid blend
1/4 tsp tannin
1 tsp of nutrient
1/2 tsp of pectic enzyme
corn sugar to bring it up to 1.060 OG

Its bubbling away like mad and making my cool closet smell very very apply and good. My bucket most likely does not seal well as the airlock has no movement or even a pressure change but as much as its bubbling away I wont worry.

at 66 to 68 degrees most of the time should i wait a week to start checking readings or just a few days? Then transfer to multiple secondaries for a few weeks then prime and bottle.

My goal is a carbed cider around 7% or 8% sweetened with a bit of splenda if needed and possibly primed with a good apple juice to bring back a hint of apples if that will make any difference at all.

Still very new but I try to read allot and be well informed before I start talking lol :mug:

Pappers_ 04-19-2011 05:02 AM

Hi Doc A. Have you read www.makinghardcider.com? Its a great resource for beginning cider makers.

dr_al 04-19-2011 11:48 AM

Thank you Pappers, i had read that once but quite a while ago and forgot about the site, its a great resource and i bookmarked it this time.

minerkj 04-19-2011 09:08 PM

For your next batch you might try a graff, which sounds like what you are aiming for


Good luck!

dr_al 04-20-2011 01:09 AM

That Is the next on the list, I need to hit the LHBS and get a 5 gal Carboy and the rest of the ingredients.

dr_al 04-23-2011 05:27 PM

1.007 or 1.009 right around there, the bubbles make it a bit squirrely.

i figured i may as well taste it since i have it out of course, its just a bit tart not bad at all mild apply flavor and a bit of yeasty flavor at the end but not a bad flavor.

its still bubbling just a bit in the bucket would it be safe to leave it there for another week? its only been 6 days but i had free time and some one to pay attention to the kids so i dipped in and checked it out :mug

dr_al 04-27-2011 01:20 AM

ok, 1.007 again when i checked, transfered to a 1 gallon jug and a wine bottle and airlocked. i had enough to fill a pint glass and a bit more so i drank the remains, the yeasty taste is gone or much lessened at least, the budweiser after taste has gone away. it has a bit of a wine flavor and some hints of apple but i will let it sit in the secondary for a few weeks to let the rest of what i stirred up settle out, i found out i needed to shorten up my siphon big time, it worked but i had it so long it stopped a few times.

i picked up some brewers best apple flavoring, i will add just a bit to my bottling bucket after the priming sugar and siphon on top of them both to mix it all together. its much drier than i would like, but i will sweeten just a bit with splenda.

Does the apple flavoring have ferment-able sugars in it? If so i will adjust my priming solution but I don't imagine it will have to be by much.

DoctorWho 04-27-2011 12:17 PM

From one Doctor to another, there is really one thing that seems to help ciders tremendously (as you have no doubt read) and that is ol' Father Time. I just taste tested (it really the hardest part of the job;)) some Apfelwein that I started 1.5 months ago, and it has potential, but I wouldn't want to drink it right now - not very much apple flavor and a bit tart. I think in 2 or 3 months it's going to be great.

Your recipe looks good and the acids and tannin will add to the "mouth feel" of your cider. The notty yeast will leave some residual sweetness. In fact at 1.007 it's probably done fermenting. I don't see anything wrong with adding apple flavoring, but you may want to leave a bottle or two natural and let them age to have something to compare down the road.

Sorry I can't answer your question about apple flavoring (never used it personally), I did some research and couldn't find any info, but my guess being that it's specifically for beer and wine, would be that it's a non fermentable.

Also, I just wanted to add my very good experience with Brandon O's Graff. This one I fermented for 3 weeks and its been one week bottle conditioning (so far) and it is SO much better tasting right now. I started a new batch last night, because I fear for my mental safety if I run out.

Welcome to Cidertown, and HBT! Let me know how you like the apple flavoring...I have thought about it before, but now that I have a supply of the good stuff, I am going to let my others age!

The Doctor

dr_al 04-27-2011 01:38 PM

ahh yes I would bet that is correct it is for beer and wine so no fermentable sugars. My Apfelwein has been in the secondary for almost a month now, started it 1/28 so i bet the flavor is improving greatly and its finally clearing up

dr_al 05-06-2011 02:24 AM

Well 13 bottles and a bit of frustration later it's done. The Budweiser after taste is almost unnoticeable now, my y siphon is going away. Auto-siphon here I come.

I added 10 tsp of splenda and 1 oz of apple concentrate. Honestly I don't notice much difference yet maybe a bit more apple in the end but I'm no tasting expert.

I used coopers carb tabs. My friend got them with his kit and had a bunch left over so I gave it a shot.

Can't wait to try it and hope nothing goes boom.

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