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Old 10-19-2005, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default OK, how about this recipe?

I'm wanting to go real basic for my first cider and experiment from there. I think I've finally decided to do this:
5 gallons preservative free apple juice
1 can of frozen concentrated apple juice
5 lbs of light brown sugar
2 packets champagne yeast.

Pour all of that into the fermenter and ferment until bubbling slows to one minute, rack to secondary until it clears warm a couple cups of apple juice and add 1 and a half cups of corn sugar add to bottling bucket and bottle.

I'm thinking of adding some frozen blueberries also. Would I need to put them in the primary or in the secondary? I've not really checked out the juice at the store yet. Will the preservative free have to be refrigerated? I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if it is seasonal.

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Old 10-19-2005, 02:07 PM   #2
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I'm not a cider maker (one idiot batch fermenting now on a whim), but... wow... that's a lot of brown sugar. That baby will be dry and hit you like a 10 pound hammer.

As a beer brewer, I want to boil everything that goes into my fermenter. While I know you can't do this with apple juice/cider because of pectin from the apples' skins, I would suggest at least boiling that brown sugar in some water before adding it to the mix.

As for the berries, you can probably just soak them in a small amount of vodka for a while to sanitize them and then dump them into the secondary. You COULD use the primary... it just depends on whether you want the blueberries to ferment, or just add flavor. (For fermented berries, use primary. for flavor, use secondary.)

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Old 10-19-2005, 02:13 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm OK with the 10 lb hammer, but I don't want dry I want semi-sweet.

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Desert Planet Brewing Co.

Primary :Bloody Nose Porter
Primary 2: Bloody Nose Porter
Secondary: Blackberry Melomel
Secondary 2:air
Bottled : 14 Pound Hammer Cider, Punkin Ale, know ale, Domino wheat
Keg 1: **** Inside Her
Keg 2: IPA
Keg 3: one on a weeknight, two on a weekend IIPA
Future : Ginger Cream Ale,

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Old 10-19-2005, 02:20 PM   #4
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you might want to use an ale yeast instad of the champagne yeast. That one will stop fermenting sugar when the alcohol content gets high enough. That will leave you with unfermented sugar to sweeten it up.

You would them probably have to add champaigne yeast when you bottle to get some carbonation.

REMINDER: I am not a cider maker. I've read some about it, but am by no means an expert. Just a budding scholar.

I'm sure a real cider maker will chime in here with better suggestions than mine.

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Old 10-19-2005, 02:28 PM   #5
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Purely on what I've read and a common sense angle, I'd either suggest either an ale yeast, or better yet, a cider yeast.

The champagne yeast is intended to fully ferment anything you throw at, which if you stick with that much brown sugar will give you a very dry cider.

I used White Labs English cider yeast on the batch I currently have aging in secondary. It has retained a noticable amount of flavor without being overly dry, but I only used a pound of brown sugar, so YMMV.

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Old 10-19-2005, 02:54 PM   #6
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Shoot, I thought I had read that champagne yeast left it sweeter. I've already bought my yeast. Am I doomed to a dry cider unless I buy different yeast?

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Desert Planet Brewing Co.

Primary :Bloody Nose Porter
Primary 2: Bloody Nose Porter
Secondary: Blackberry Melomel
Secondary 2:air
Bottled : 14 Pound Hammer Cider, Punkin Ale, know ale, Domino wheat
Keg 1: **** Inside Her
Keg 2: IPA
Keg 3: one on a weeknight, two on a weekend IIPA
Future : Ginger Cream Ale,

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Old 10-19-2005, 02:59 PM   #7
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Not necessarily. Maybe you can let it ferment, and then when it has the right sweetness, throw in those campden tablets to kill the yeast and stop the sugar conversion?

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Old 10-19-2005, 03:12 PM   #8
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Yeah, I guess I could. Now, I've just got to decide whether my time/money would be better spent going to the brew shop today and getting the right yeast or going later and getting some campden tablets.

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Desert Planet Brewing Co.

Primary :Bloody Nose Porter
Primary 2: Bloody Nose Porter
Secondary: Blackberry Melomel
Secondary 2:air
Bottled : 14 Pound Hammer Cider, Punkin Ale, know ale, Domino wheat
Keg 1: **** Inside Her
Keg 2: IPA
Keg 3: one on a weeknight, two on a weekend IIPA
Future : Ginger Cream Ale,

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Old 10-19-2005, 03:13 PM   #9
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Not really. What a lot of people seem to do is add even more juice in the secondary, or when they bottle, which restores the sweetness and all.

That way you just end up with a good and very alcoholic hard cider. <smiles>

Or yeah, the other way is to use the campden stuff, but either way works. Personally I am still scared of the chemicals.

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Old 10-19-2005, 03:17 PM   #10
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I have other ideas about how to sweeten it up, but I fear I am talking out of my @$$ since I have never made cider before. I'm sure someone will put me in my place.

One thing that might be an issue with adding campden is: what to do when it comes time to bottle and carbonate? If you pitch more (champagne) yeast, won't they pick up where the other batch left off and start eating sugar.... SO much sugar that your bottles will explode from the abundance of CO2?

Possible options for sweetening:

- MORE sugar. The champagne yeast will eventually stop working when the alcohol content gets too high. additional sugar will be there to sweeten. although... I don't know how you would get it to carbonate.

- lactose. it doesn't ferment and can be used to sweeten.

But, please don't listen to me. Wait for david_42 or caplan or one of the actual cider guys to give you advice.

-walker

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