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Old 12-25-2012, 04:13 AM   #1
LandoAllen
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I currently have 7 one gallon experiment batches going using Safale US-5 yeast because I wasn't overly impressed with how Red Star wine and champagne yeasts stripped the apple flavor out of previous batches so I intend to use an ale yeast. Here is my plan:

1 gallon regular hard cider using US-05 as a control
2 gallons of dry-hopped cider using US-05
2 gallons of hard cider aged with light toasted American oak chips using US-05
2 gallons of dry-hopped cider aged with light toasted American oak chips using US-05

I used 3 Kroger brand frozen apple juice concentrate per gallon batch and filled the rest of the gallon carboy up with water filtered through a Britta filter. [note] in the past I have always used orchard fresh unpasturized non-chemically treated cider but seeing as I live in northern Indiana and it is December fresh cider is a bit hard to come by these days.

1 crushed campden tablet was added to each gallon 24 hours before pitching yeast.

24 hours later the OG was read at 1.058-1.060 depending on the jug and then I added:
1/8 tsp tannin per gallon
1 tsp Fermax Yeast nutrient per gallon
1/2 tsp pectin enzyme per gallon
3/4 tsp acid blend per gallon

I shook the carboy up to dissolve all added ingredients and then pitched 3/4 tsp Safale US-05 yeast per gallon (no yeast starter made prior) and shook the yeast up. This came out to using about 1 and 1/4 packets of yeast for all 7 gallons.

Air lock were put on and the cider has begun fermenting at 60 degrees F. I had about 1 bubble every 45 seconds in the airlock 24 hours after pitching yeast and now I am up to 1 bubble every 15-20 seconds after 48 hours. Looking good!

image-4159146670.jpg

I intend to add in the hops and oak chips to the secondary. My problem that I'm having is that I like a sweet carbed cider and I really would like to halt the fermentation at 1.012 to avoid the yeast from chewing up all the complex sugars and eating up my apple taste. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can seep the hops and oak chips in the secondary without having to kill the yeast and the reason being is that I don't have a kegging system so I have to keep some yeast alive so I can bottle carb? I guess i should add that I don't have any fridge space to let the 7 carboys keep the yeast dormant while these flavors steep. I need to somehow keep the yeast dormant so they will not ferment my cider to totally dry while I steep flavors in secondary. After the steeping is done i plan on cold crashing the secondary, then bottling, and then pasteurizing the bottles after they have carbed up to my liking or at least that's what I've done in the past. Suggestions?



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Old 12-25-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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Maybe make a few larger swamp coolers and try chilling it down that way? Not sure you'd get it cold enough that way though.



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Old 12-25-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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I see a solution here. You need to keep the yeast alive, but not have them ferment AND you can't get them cold to put the yeast to sleep in the house...


1- find and outdoor spot that's cold enough. I've lived in Indiana, and it's December! A barn/shed interior that's just above freezing will do it.

Or

2- kill the yeast though sorbate/sulfite or pasturization, and add more yeast for carbing later.

Hope this helps!

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Old 12-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamSlayer
1- find and outdoor spot that's cold enough. I've lived in Indiana, and it's December! A barn/shed interior that's just above freezing will do it.

Or

2- kill the yeast though sorbate/sulfite or pasturization, and add more yeast for carbing later.
I thought about the outdoors idea. But I live in an apartment so the shed or garage option isn't possible for me. Plus the temps have been in the 20's outside lately so simply setting them on the balcony would be really risky. I did ponder the idea of trying to maintain a low 30 degree range outside using a swamp cooler but couldn't think of many ideas in this area to be able to successfully control the temp.

I do really like the idea of killing off the yeast and then re-pitching. If I did go this route, how should I go about doing it? I do have k-meta and sorbate but would like to avoid using them if possible. Has anyone had experience successfully cold crashing US-05 so no active yeast are left? Or any good ideas for pasteurizing? I've only bottle pasteurized before. Also how much yeast should I re-pitch before bottling? I would like to avoid a yeasty flavor and would like it to carb slowly so I can catch it in time before getting bottle bombs (I've had that happen before and it was scary). Should I make a yeast starter?
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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I plan on dry-hopping the cider in the secondary using Czech Saaz nitrogen-purged and it has an AA average of 3.0%. I think this will give a very light hop taste and aroma without overpowering my apple flavor.

The hops comes in little pellets that look like geese poop. Should I crush up the hops or break the pellets apart before putting into a mesh bag for steeping?


image-4037324261.jpg

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandoAllen View Post
I plan on dry-hopping the cider in the secondary using Czech Saaz nitrogen-purged and it has an AA average of 3.0%. I think this will give a very light hop taste and aroma without overpowering my apple flavor.

The hops comes in little pellets that look like geese poop. Should I crush up the hops or break the pellets apart before putting into a mesh bag for steeping?
Your s-05 can be 'crashed'. But remember you want them around for carbing so don't rack too much of the yeast off. If you end up killing/re_pitching be sure to be ready to pasturize as the yeast will go back to chewing through all the sugar again. Good luck!

No need to do anything to the hop pellets. They will expand on their own, loosening into a layer at the bottom of the carboy/jug.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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I just took a SG reading this morning and I'm sitting at about 1.024. Hopefully by tomorrow i will be able to cold crash it and then rack it to the secondary on Sunday.

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Old 12-27-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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I thought I would share my experience also. I have only used S-04 before with cider and not US-05. Not sure the differences. I typically stick with Nottingham.

I usually rack mine off to secondary after about 7-10 days. At temps around 60ºF that usually puts me around 1.020 moving into secondary. It then usually takes about 3 weeks to get down to around 1.002. (at around 60º) 1.002 is what I shoot for, and the 3+ weeks allows it to smooth out the flavor and bring the apple flavor back around.

After bottling, it typically takes about 2-3 weeks to carb up (with adding 3-4 oz dextrose) at around 4 weeks or so it's damn near perfect. If I leave them in the bottle for more than 2 months, the yeast eats EVERYTHING and they drop to near 1.000. They are dry, but the apple flavor is really nice.

I guess my point is, maybe you don't really need to cold crash before going to secondary? My experience has been that once you rack off the lees, it slows down quite a bit at temps around or below 60ºF.

Obviously, everyones fermentation etc is going to be different.

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Old 12-28-2012, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper View Post
I guess my point is, maybe you don't really need to cold crash before going to secondary? My experience has been that once you rack off the lees, it slows down quite a bit at temps around or below 60ºF.
I if were to simply rack to a secondary (without cold crashing first) to get the cider off the lees, which is providing lots of nutrients, would this allow enough time to dry hop and oak the cider before the SG dropped to around 1.012 which is where I was wanting to bottle it at? I'm currently at 1.020. It smells a bit sulfury but the taste is great.

Also does anyone have suggestions on how much hops to use in a one gallon batch and how long to steep it? I'm using Czech Saaz with AA average of 3.0%.

How much lightly toasted oak chips to use for a one gallon batch/ how long?
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #10
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I think it will all depend on your conditions. I've never used Yeast Nutrient, Pectic Enzymes, Acid Blends or anything like that, so I don't know how that will effect your secondary fermentation. I've also never used US-05 for cider.

I just looked on the fermentis web site and apparently S-04 is a higher flocculating yeast (US-05 is a medium flocculating yeast) Someone else might be able to weigh in better on this, but it may be that the US-05 might leave more yeasties in suspension allowing for more to be transferred to secondary. You might finish in secondary in a couple of weeks instead of 3+. (This is all just my theory of course)

I'd suggest taking readings every week to keep an eye on where you are. Of course, fermentation is all about experimenting and seeing what works best for your situation. You might consider just racking one and cold crashing another to see what works best. (Did I just make that even more confusing? haha)



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