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Old 06-12-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
unclejimbay
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Default Noob cider help... How long do you generally ferment Cider?

I am new to this cider thing. I have been brewing a year.

I have two 1 Gallon test cider batches with Nottingham Ale yeast @ ~2 weeks that started on 5/27/09. I also have one 2 Gallon test batch of Cider that was mixed with US 05 Ale yeast that was started on 6/4/09. I am also going to make some future test batches using Fermentis Ale T58 and WB06.

I have 3 questions;

1. How long do you usually wait for full fermentation before you bottle? I do 2 weeks of prmary for my beers. Is 2 weeks sufficient? Do I need to wait 4 weeks?
2. Is a secondary required fro Ciders? Can I leave it in a primary for the full fermentation.
3. What is the typical FG for ciders using Ale yeasts? (Specifically Nottingham and/or US05)?

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Old 06-12-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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#1 until final gravity is at or around 1.00 assuming you didn't add any extra fermentables, etc.
#2 it helps, the cider will throw lees from up to a year, and yes you can bottle early, but the lees can flake off when you poor, tastes bad, and is off putting to some people. many think cider doesn't reach peak flavor for about a year.
#3 1.00 or so.

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Old 06-12-2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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1. How long do you usually wait for full fermentation before you bottle? I do 2 weeks of prmary for my beers. Is 2 weeks sufficient? Do I need to wait 4 weeks?
2. Is a secondary required fro Ciders? Can I leave it in a primary for the full fermentation.
3. What is the typical FG for ciders using Ale yeasts? (Specifically Nottingham and/or US05)?[/QUOTE]

1. If you're looking for a cider that ferments like a beer check out the recipe for Graff by Brandon O in the cider recipe section. I didn't bottle my cider until it had 4 weeks in primary and nearly 8 in secondary, which I admit might be a bit excessive...

2. Secondary isn't really required, although it would certainly help a lot. If you prefer primary-only cider look into using Hefeweizen yeast to ferment your cider. Hefeweizens are meant be be consumed young after a short primary and bottle conditioning period. There will still be yeast in suspension and thus, your cider will be cloudy but it's supposed to be!

3. I think Nottingham Ale yeast finishes around 1.008 IIRC.

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Old 11-18-2010, 03:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejimbay View Post
I am new to this cider thing. I have been brewing a year.

I have two 1 Gallon test cider batches with Nottingham Ale yeast @ ~2 weeks that started on 5/27/09. I also have one 2 Gallon test batch of Cider that was mixed with US 05 Ale yeast that was started on 6/4/09. I am also going to make some future test batches using Fermentis Ale T58 and WB06.

I have 3 questions;

1. How long do you usually wait for full fermentation before you bottle? I do 2 weeks of prmary for my beers. Is 2 weeks sufficient? Do I need to wait 4 weeks?
2. Is a secondary required fro Ciders? Can I leave it in a primary for the full fermentation.
3. What is the typical FG for ciders using Ale yeasts? (Specifically Nottingham and/or US05)?

These guys are hitting the nail on the head. So as a side note:
Do yourself a favor and get 10-20 gallons going. When you bottle, try to space out your drinking so you can taste the maturation as time goes along. If you are like most of us, the cider won't last unless you have a lot in your stock (even if the cider isn't perfectly aged). Most of my cider I can drink when I rack the first time - though it is green tasting. If you put in a few tablespoons of fresh cider, you can drink just about any stuff you have fermented.

I reccomend racking off right when the fermentation slows (very slow bubbles through your S airlock). Rack into another glass container and top off with cider. Since the fermentation hasn't halted you will ferment out the new sugars but most of the lees will be absent. Now you can let your cider sit for 3-4 or more months to bulk condition. When it clears you can bottle, but I find bulk conditioning for several months in the carboy after first racking makes the cider more uniform. Bottling only after bulk conditioing occurs.

Any swill you get in the lees after racking dump into a small tall container. If you put that in the refrig it separates and you can rack off the remainder of cleared cider and enjoy.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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reading this thread makes me thirsty

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:22 PM   #6
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I add sugar to my cider (about 1/2 lb per gallon) and nutrient and mine takes about 2 months to ferment. I've used Nottingham for my first 3 batches and am on my 4th now using S-04 and it's going on 2 months and I still have bubbles. I haven't taken a gravity reading since fermentation started but my OG was 1.070 for this last batch. Previous batches I didn't have a hydrometer. I recommend making a lot as it takes a while to brew and really should age for a while. I'm sadly behind on my cider making and have at least a month to wait before I can drink the stuff which is still slowly bubbling away now.

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:49 PM   #7
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I hear you both... thirsty indeed. I have made ciders up to 1.010 that fermented out dry, as well as some that are higher in sugars (but unmeasured) because the sugar releases out from the fruit over the fermentation. I know the rule is to wait, and I do. but it sure doesn't hurt to have some encouragement (bottom swill leftovers haha!)

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Old 11-22-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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I'm on my first batch and am getting to experience the waiting game for the first time... It's driving me crazy enough that i'm going out to buy another primary asap to get started on another batch!

Doesn't help when all of your friends and co-workers are nagging you about when they get to taste...

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Old 02-18-2011, 11:52 PM   #9
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so i have a question i have a 5 gal batch that started out at 1076, its been about two weeks the airlock has slowed alot but i still see action going on inside. It kinda looks like soda bubbles. Now when i get closer to being done i was going to add some apple juice concentrate to bring back some of the apple flavor and maybe some sweetness. Now i also want to make this stuff sparkling so im going to want to add some priming sugar. I guess theres a couple questions in here if anyone can make heads or tails of what i am saying give me some answers. I guess i really just want some input on what to do with my batch.

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Old 01-27-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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Great info on fermenting times.

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