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Old 02-24-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
Ozone
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Default Oak & cherry cider, help please?

Hi folks. New to the forum. I was a beer brewer for many years (started malt ended as an all grainer). Decided to begin fermenting things again, but at this point, due to time and space, I'm limited to juices, so wine and cider it is.

I've run a few VERY simple test recipes which have turned out quite well and decided to move into the world of flavor without getting too complex to begin. I decided on an oak and cherry cider.

At the moment, the primary ingredients are:
4 gallons store bought preservative free cider
4 pounds sugar (white for now, turbinate on next go)
Light toast American oak chips
Bing cherry juice

But, before I begin I have two questions which I haven't a clue regarding, so I ask the group for their experience:

1. I have a 4oz bag of oak chips (a good extra large handful). How much of this would you recommend add ing to a glass carboy during fermentation to produce a noticeable, but not overbearing, oak flavor.

2. Recommendations on juice? I have a few options.
I have access to bing cherries in a can from a local Amish market, no preservative, but a small amount of sugar added. I can add these during fermentation (with a bit of pectic enzyme) but, as with the oak, have no clue as per the amount to add.
Or, I can simply blend up the cherries in their juice, strain it, and add as required to finished fermentation with some K sorbate to prevent refermentation.
Thoughts?

Once it's finished I'll drop a post (if worthwhile).

Thanks in advance, and nice to be here. Think I'm gonna be spending a lot of time trolling about.

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Old 02-25-2010, 04:30 AM   #2
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I don't have answers for you, but if nobody responds, try again in the wine forum.

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Old 02-28-2010, 04:52 AM   #3
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Well, went ahead and got this show on the road yesterday. 4 gallons store bought preservative free cider, 4 pounds sugar, 2 containers (12oz each) of frozen 100% apple/cherry juice concentrate, 4oz Light toast American oak chips. I'm going to add fresh bing cherry juice at the end of fermentation to taste.

As per the oak chips... I opted to soak for a few minutes, then steam for 30 minutes. Dropped them straight into the fermenter and plan to taste check every 5 days or so, reracking when oak levels seem decent, assuming I don't keel over from some type of woodland bacterial infection. Never worked with oak, no clue what's going to happen. If anyone is interested I can post some updates.

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Old 02-28-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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Please do!

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Old 02-28-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
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Isn't oak supposed to be added to the secondaries? I've never used oak (yet), but that's how I thought they were used. Somebody else will have to give the final answer on that.

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
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Ecaz, will do.

Bush,
Wasn't sure when to add and digging seemed to provide answers pointing to primary and secondary. I'm going out to pick up some supplies tomorrow. I may pick up, lol who am I kidding, I'll be picking the gear for a few experiments. Hopefully will start up the lab next weekend. I'm dropping a new post in this forum in regards to the plans.

Update on the Cherry Oak:
24 hours in - All well in yeastville, definite whiskey odor, took out a drop or two to check I didn't overoak and need to correct but nada on any oak taste yet.

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