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Old 06-14-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
Vox
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Default New Cider Maker

Hey all. I'm new to cider making, but have loved enjoying the apple goodness for years. I have read MANY forums, sited, and even bought the highest rayed cider book. I have a five gallon brew set and I just got a 3 gallon carboy. I was wondering if anyone had some good, detailed recipe suggestions for a newbie using the five or 3 gallon equipment listed. I've read that you can make a simple, but good cider with 365 organic cider from Whole Foods and some dry champagne or ale yeast or White Labs English Cider Yeast. I would like a bit more in detail regarding the procedure and measurements.
Do I need to boil and prepare the yeast? How much yeast and cider for 6.5 gallon buckets or 3 gallon carboy? Do I just pour the cider into the bucket or carboy, pour the yeast in, cap it with an airlock til it stops bubbling? Do I need to siphon off into a secondary fermentor? Do I need priming sugar or anything special when I bottle?
I basically want a somewhat simple and delicious cider , but find many recipes and posts don't list/assume you know the standard procedures, measurements, and temperatures. I know some things are up to preference, but I have yet to find detailed info on a simple, yet good cider for five or 3 galllon batches. Thank you in advance and forgive my neebie-ness.



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Old 06-14-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Here ya go:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-i-love-apfelwein-14860/



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Old 06-15-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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I am also new to cider making and I am using the above link to brew my first batch. Except I am using brown sugar. Its simple recipe, goes together really fast.

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Old 06-15-2012, 04:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox
Do I need to boil and prepare the yeast?
That'd be be a good way to kill those puppies off.

Preparing them in 90f water is what seems recommended for dry yeast. Yeast that comes wet like English Labs is a bit different. For those you typically just leave them out for a couple hours at room temps and follow any other instructions on the package.

As for recipes, you can follow one of these or just be wild and crazy and just make something up. After all, you only really need apple juice, some yeast and some clean equipment. From there modifying is easy.

Just a tip though if you add any additional sugars, mix the shart out of the batch before you measure the sg. My first batch was a bit stronger than anticipated because I was afraid to disturb it long before fermentation was even an issue.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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I made the apfelwein per the link you put on my post. 5 gallons of cider, two lbs of dextrose, and yeast in a six gallon carboy. Someone on the forum just told me I can't have only five gallons in a six gallon carboy as it needs to be filled up to the neck for minimal surface to air something or other. Is this necessary or preferred? If I add another gallon of juice, do I need to add more dextrose or yeast? Thank you.

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Old 06-25-2012, 07:02 AM   #6
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Vox, the idea is you don't want oxygen sitting on it. This usually applies to secondary and on since there isn't too much co2 produced.

Use sanitized marbles to displace enough liquid and push it up to where you want it.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
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just to add to the above post, if you ferment in the big carboy, that's fine. there's oxygen to help the fermentation and eventually it's replaced by CO2 which is essentially inert and fills the large headspace. you can leave it there for a while, no problem. no danger of oxidation if there's no oxygen. if you get rid of that CO2 then the cider is vulnerable to oxidation. so if you rack it to another carboy then make sure you fill it to the top. you can always just add a bit more juice, it will ferment out and you won't know the difference. or add marbles or whatever. you don't have to be 100% anal, a tiny bit of air isn't going to kill the cider, just best to be aware of the danger and do what's practical to minimize the air exposure after fermentation is done.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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I recently made a cider with some juice from Fresh Market (similar to Whole Foods). I dumped in 5 gallons of juice and a smack pack of Wyeast 3711 French Saison yeast. It's pretty great. Rather dry, with a tart finish - similar flavor to champagne, but with more of an apple flavor. Very refreshing. Everyone who's tried it loves it - and it didn't take a ton of aging time either. I was drinking it 6-8 weeks after pitching the yeast.

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Old 06-26-2012, 03:57 AM   #9
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I planned on just keeping it in the carboy for a few months, then bottling. No secondary. The link doesn't say how long to then age it in the bottles. I don't mind adding another gallon of juice if that won't harm it any. But if its fine as is, I will leave it that way.

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #10
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Also, does the carboy need to be kept in a dark area or does it not matter for cider?



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