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Old 12-29-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
WilliamSlayer
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Originally Posted by LandoAllen View Post

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?
You may not have enough time. I would give an educated guess that you'll extend your time out for a week...maybe two. And that would be to dryness (1.000). Get the hops and oak in the secondary and rack the cider onto it.

Never used oak or hops for so small a batch, but I would try 1/4 oz of hops and 1/4 oz of oak. You won't get a long time on either one, so if that seems a small ammount to other brewers, chime in now guys!

Hope this helps Lando!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:04 AM   #12
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Today I checked the SG and I was perfectly at 1.012 which is where I wanted to stop the fermentation. I prepared my hop bags for the 4 jugs that need it and I used .1 oz of hops per gallon. Then I racked each of the 7 gallons into secondary.. I then cleared out a bunch of fridge space and put all 7 gallons into the fridge at 34F for a cold crash for clarity/make the yeast dormant. I plan on taking samples periodically to see how the hop flavor is coming along.

I decided to put the oak chips into a glass canning jar and pour Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum (which is aged in charred oak barrels) over it to permeate the flavor of the oak. I will add this into the bottling bucket for the oak flavor when I go to bottle. I figured this would be easier for my first time than experimenting how much oak chips to add into the secondary and how long to keep them in there.

The secondary will stay in the fridge for almost two weeks because I'm leaving Thursday for my wedding in TX. My future wife is going to have quite a surprise when she sees my refrigerator has no food and full of homebrew. When I get back from the honeymoon ill bottle these batches and give updates.

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #13
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Congrats on both hitting your target gravity, and the wedding! :-)

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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I cold steeped the hops for 4.5 days and I took a taste test today. It is clearing up nicely and there is great apple flavor. The hopped cider tasted amazing! I am very happy with how the S-05 ale yeast/ colder temp brew/ stopping fermentation at 1.012 preserved the apple flavor. I can't wait to add the oak flavor and bottle these experiment batches in two weeks.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:48 AM   #15
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RESULTS...


START DATE: 12-22-12
RACKING DATE: 12-28-12
COLD CRASH DATE: 12-29-12 until 1-19-13
BOTTLING DATE: 1-19-13

Fermentation Temp: 60 F
Yeast: US-05
OG 1.059
FG: 1.012
ABV: about 6.25-6.45%
Final pH (after back-sweetening): 3.51


3 Kroger brand frozen apple juice concentrate used per gallon batch and the added water was poured from a Britta filter to fill each jug up to 1 gallon.

1 crushed Campden tablet was added 24 hours prior to adding nutrients, pectin enzyme, acid blend, tannin, and pitching yeast to help inoculate any bacteria and yeast present in the frozen concentrate or water.

1/8 tsp of tannin was added per gallon (to add a crisp flavor that it lacks due to using frozen concentrate)
1 tsp of Fermax Yeast Nutrient was added per gallon (to help feed the yeast)
½ tsp of pectin enzyme was added per gallon (to help clear the pectin protein out of suspension in the cider)
¾ tsp Acid Blend was added per gallon (to boost the acidity level since it is frozen concentrate)

On 12-22-12 ¾ tsp Safale US-05 yeast was pitched per gallon


Cold Crashed for three weeks. At beginning of cold crash I opened up 4 tea bags, dumped out the tea leaves, and filled them with .1 oz of Czech Saaz hops with an AA of 3%. I sanitized them in some star san solution first and then I steeped 3 of the carboys for 4 days. The other one carboy I steeped for the entire duration of the cold crash because I accidentally ripped the tea bag open when trying to take it out at day 4 and the hops fell inside.

I back-sweetened with Kroger brand apple juice concentrate that had been treated with campden tablet 24 hours before. I also racked the concentrate into a clean jug in case the concentrate had any sediment. When I racked the cider into the bottling bucket I stirred up tiny bit of yeast on the bottom so I could make sure yeast would be available for bottle carbing. I was afraid that after cold-crashing for three weeks there may not be any yeast in suspension...
I used 12 oz soda bottles so I can roughly test the carbonation so I know when I need to bottle pasteurize.

Overall the cider retained a LOT of the original apple flavor (at least compared to the Red Star wine and champagne yeasts I've used). The taste was very clean and I didn't taste andy sour or odd off flavors. The cider was VERY clear when bottling but I would hope so after cold-crashing for so long.

The tea bags worked great for keeping the hops out of the cider. Dry hopping the cider for four days seemed to be perfect. The four day hop batch had a nice hoppy/apple smell and the bitterness of the hops was complimentary to the semi-sweet cider. However, the one carboy with the tea bag that broke open was full of hops and did not clear well. Also dry hopping the cider for three weeks seemed to be too much. That batch had a very bitter hoppy taste and it overpowered the cider. I am hoping that the hops will dissipate in the coming months.

The lightly toasted American oak chips that had been steeping for 3 weeks in Bacardi Oakheart Rum had steeped a lot of the oak flavor and had a nice dark brown hue to it. I added this rum to each kind of cider for oak taste. The oak added an interesting flavor...especially when combined with the hops. I could taste sever different flavors in the cider and each flavor seemed to hit at different points in the tasting.

Now the carbonation, bottle pasteurization, and aging process begins
I will post details in months to come...

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 AM   #16
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I just pasteurized all the bottles over the weekend and I had a few friends try the new brew. Everyone loved the control cider and the hoped cider. The heavily hopped cider was a hit for those who like more of the IPA style beers and such. The oak flavor was good but didn't have as big of an attraction as the others. All of the ciders were a huge success and I will for sure be using these recipes again in the future, especially in regards to using ale yeasts and dry-hopping. I can't wait to see how these ciders turns out as they age a bit.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:11 PM   #17
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Great idea using the tea bags! congrats on your success.

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