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Old 05-14-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
jessylemon
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Default Noob on the loose!

Greetings from sunny Florida! Just started my first cider (?) batch last weekend in the hubby's beer gear. I began with 4 gal store bought cider, 1 gal cranberry and enough brown sugar to take to 1.053 SG. Dropped a package of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast. It's now been 7 days and my gravity is down to right at 1.000. I'm guessing with the yeast I used, it will go lower. I'm trying to decide what steps to take next. I plan to wait until gravity stabilizes and then move to secondary. I've thought about tossing in a cinnamon stick or two, but I want to get my bearings before fiddling with things too much. A few questions for the pros...(or at least those with more experience than I...)

How long should I leave in secondary? How will I know when ready to bottle?

I want to back sweeten with something the yeasties can't eat...thinking Splenda or Truvia. Any recommendations?

I want to prime and bottle, but I'm not sure how much sugar to prime with for a five gallon batch without blowing up my bottles. If I prime, let sit for two weeks and then go to the fridge to stop fermentation, will that be sufficient?

I got the first part, and now I feel a bit stuck. Any help greatly appreciated!!!

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
CliffMongoloid
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you can back sweeten or carbonate... i believe you cant do both.

I could be wrong but i pretty sure thats how it is

Id let it sit in the primary for 2 months at least if ya can... if not at least a month... prime with 3/4 cup corn sugar and let sit in 70 degree room for 3 weeks... chill and drink .... or backsweeten if ya want

best of luck

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessylemon View Post
How long should I leave in secondary? How will I know when ready to bottle?

I want to back sweeten with something the yeasties can't eat...thinking Splenda or Truvia. Any recommendations?

I want to prime and bottle, but I'm not sure how much sugar to prime with for a five gallon batch without blowing up my bottles. If I prime, let sit for two weeks and then go to the fridge to stop fermentation, will that be sufficient?

I got the first part, and now I feel a bit stuck. Any help greatly appreciated!!!

Welcome to the forums.

Leave in the secondary until it's no longer dropping sediment. Cider may taste good early but will taste better with age. 4-6 months.

To carbonate 5 gallons I add 1 12oz can of Old Orchard Apple Juice Concentrate. It has roughly the amount of sugar to carb between 5 and 6 gallons. Make sure your cider is fully dried out though. Also try this carbonation calculator.

You might try sweetening samples to taste with different artificial sweeteners (don't forget Stevia, natural sweetener).

If artificial is not to your liking you can sweeten to taste with apple concentrate, add the extra concentrate to carb it and then when the bottles are carbed to your liking you can stove top pasteurize it. Bottle one in a plastic soda bottle and when it's firm to the squeeze the lot's ready to be pasteurized.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by cyberlord; 05-14-2012 at 02:51 AM. Reason: changed juice to concentrate in last paragraph
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:22 AM   #4
UpstateMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffMongoloid View Post
you can back sweeten or carbonate... i believe you cant do both.

I could be wrong but i pretty sure thats how it is
You are correct in being wrong.

I backsweeten and carbonate all the time. I use frozen concentrated apple juice. Sweeten to taste, perhaps 1 can per gallon. Then let it carb up to the desired level. Then stovetop pasteurize.

How To Stovetop Pasteurize
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:18 AM   #5
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On timing - my first few batches were with that same Champagne yeast. I tended to let sit in secondary for 2 weeks, until stuff has dropped down to the sediment layer and it is looking pretty clear. I usually then rack back off on that into a 5-gallon carboy to get rid of the sediment and allow for a more homogenous mixture for back sweetening/carbing. A little more risk in introducing yucky stuff, so just be as careful as you always are when sanitizing.

Ditto the comments on using apple juice concentrate then stovetop pasteurizing, that's how I do it. If you want to sweeten with a yeastie-non-edible, I would SLOWLY add that and taste often until you get the sweetness you want. THEN add the priming sugar, i.e. 1 AJ concentrate can for the 5 gallons. In theory this should all carb up, but not more so you don't have to do stovetop pasteurizing if you don't want.

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Old 05-15-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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I use about 2Tbsp per gallon of Xylitol to sweeten my cider. Its a natural non-fermentable sugar. It tastes more like real sugar than anything else out there. I even used a tbsp/gal of lactose in my last batch, it adds a little body and mouthfeel to the cider.

3/4 cup corn sugar didnt give me enough carbonation for a cider. Used the calculator, and I use about 5oz for a 5 gal batch for 2.5-3atm. More carb than a beer.

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