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Old 04-04-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
mbrown121500
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Default noob Cider questions

So I have 2 batches going at the moment(first and second batches).

1) With smaller batches is the time in the first fermentor going to be shorter, I would assume it would, but would like to make sure. I am trying a run of apple jack recipe but did a 2.5 gal batch instead of 5 Gal.

2) After I rack and cold crash, if I want to ensure that I stop the yeast, I can bottle pasteurize right? I am wanting a flat cider, so carbonation isn't something I am worried about.

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Old 04-04-2014, 02:15 PM   #2
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1. I don't believe there is a direct 1to1 relationship between volume and fermentation time...did you use the same amount of yeast to start with for both the 2.5 and 5 gallon batches? What I've read here at HBT is that the yeast first multiplies to the volume necessary to consume the sugar, it then proceeds to work...not sure if that is true/correct.
2. Why the rack and cold crash? Are you trying to stop fermentation prior to completion?

Keep up the good work!

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Old 04-04-2014, 02:27 PM   #3
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1. I don't think it would be a 1:1, but I would assume that it would have less sugars to convert due to the smaller volume so it would take less time. I halved every ingredient except the yeast, used a champagne yeast, which I was told would not carry much if any flavorings.

2. I might have used the wrong terms on this one, I will be moving from one container to a second, and if there is any obvious sediment, leaving that behind, and then using the freezer concentration method that was in the recipe. Would then like to back sweeten and put into a permanent glass container, and pasteurize via hot water, to ensure that the sugars used by back-sweetening are not consumed by any left over yeast.

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Old 04-04-2014, 02:48 PM   #4
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1. I'd think that it would take less time, but the only way to be sure is to check the hydrometer.
2. I don't hear a lot about pasteurization for this purpose - most of what I hear here is instead to back-sweeten with a sugar that the yeast can't work on, like lactose or others...

I'd be really interested to hear what more experienced ciderers think.

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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Update:

5 gal seems to be nearing the end of its fermentation only a week or so in. (checked Saturday was at 1.004) would you guys consider this "done"? I did not take a OG reading, was my first batch and was like "YAY I make cider!!" I do plan to back sweeten, and then bottle pasteurize, no carbonation in this one.

3 gal seems to be going strong, sat was at 1.022 started at 1.064, should be done in a couple days I would assume for the first fermentation.

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #6
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If you're backsweetening and bottle pasteurizing, and you like the flavour and clarity, go ahead and call your 5 gallon batch done. just keep in mind that if you're taking notes and want to replicate this recipe again, it may be a touch more difficult to make sure you backsweeten at exactly the same time. But otherwise, go for it.

For your 3 gallon batch, I find that my batches sometimes take a long while to finish the last bit of sugars, but my ferments seems to be long and slow, with the exception of a Perry I did recently.

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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I don't make beer so when I ferment fruit or honey I aim to ferment dry - that means that the gravity falls below 1.000 - possibly to .998 or even lower. The sugar in apples is all fermentable and if you used a good yeast then you can expect that the yeast will do its job. After you have reached this kind of gravity and it is stable for at least 3 days then you can reasonably assume that there is no more sugar left to ferment.
Again, not coming from a beer making background I would then allow the cider to age for a few months. What happens during that time is that the yeast tends to drop out of suspension and if you rack every couple of months after two or three rackings you have very few yeast left in the cider. At that point you can chemically stabilize the cider by adding K-meta and K-sorbate. This prevents any remaining yeast from budding (reproducing).
After you have stabilized the cider you can then back sweeten with little concern that your cider will start to referment. If you backsweeten after all the sugar has been converted to alcohol and CO2 then you can replicate the process each time (see phug's post).
If you stabilize and then backsweeten then you are free to use whatever kind of sweetening you prefer.
I wouldn't pasteurize the cider because you are not making jelly and heating apple juice (or cider) will encourage the pectins in the cider to form larger molecules which will at best create a haze but if you added pectinase before you added the yeast then that may not be an issue. But heating cider will very likely destroy some of the more volatile aromatics and flavor molecules...

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Old 04-07-2014, 09:03 PM   #8
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Phug, it was my first batch and was so simple its no big deal about repeating. I am going to try many of the various recipes on here prior to experimenting with my own. Yeah the three is not a huge deal on time, I planned on freezing it to concentrate it anyway. Just not sure when its "done" since its my first batch, will taste and make changes accordingly.

Bernardsmith, I plan on splitting it in 2 parts, letting 3 gal age, and drinking the rest. So that my impatient side wins, and my side that wants to do it right wins.

Plan right now is rack into a 3 gal for bulk aging, and the 2 gal for clearing and back sweetening, and pasteurization and drinking. Might experiment with the 2 gals, but most likely not.

Attempting to do most of mine without added chemicals if I can avoid it. Will be using bought over natural yeast so that I can work my that out of the equations of WTF did I do wrong. Bottle pasteurization over chemical tabs, and sulfides. Still debating on the gelatin for clearing, need more research on that.

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