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Old 12-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
yaddayadda93
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Default One-gallon test batch of cranberry cider

Mixing and matching parts from a number of different existing recipes, this is the 1-gallon test batch I put together today. I'd love to hear any critiques, thoughts, questions, etc.

  • 1 12-oz. can frozen apple juice concentrate (Fred Meyer/Kroger brand, 174g sugar, vitamin C added)
  • 112 oz. (roughly) cranberry juice cocktail (Fred Meyer/Kroger brand, 476g sugar, pasteurized, contains cranberry juice, high fructose corn sugar, cranberry juice concentrate, vitamin C)
  • 12 oz. dextrose (about 2 cups? about 326g sugar?)
  • 1 gram S-04 yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. yeast nutrient

Pour frozen apple juice concentrate, first 64oz. bottle of cranberry juice cocktail, and dextrose into 1-gallon carboy. Cap and shake well to dissolve dextrose. Pour remaining cranberry juice cocktail into carboy to top off and take OG reading. Pitch dry yeast and yeast nutrient. Cap and shake well to distribute yeast and yeast nutrient, replace cap with airlock and set aside to ferment.

OG = 1.074 at 56.5F, recalculated to 1.073 at 68F using beerfriend.com.

The plan is to ferment down to 1.01 to 1.00 over the next couple of weeks (ABV should be 8.5 to 9.3), then rack into secondary for as long as I can wait with a handful of frozen whole cranberries.

I'll post updates here as I move along.

NOTES:
  • Fermentation is going to take a while to kick off because I forgot to bring liquids to room temperature before brewing. The yeast got pitched into liquid that was 56F, way too cold.
  • The number of grams of sugar for the dextrose is an educated guess. I was measuring by weight (ounces), not volume. The only translation I can find for grams of sugar in dextrose is 10.2 grams per tablespoon. If memory serves, the volume was about 2 cups.
  • If I was doing it again, I would probably activate the yeast in warm water rather than pitching dry. It just "feels" like it ought to distribute and start working faster if it is in liquid form.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:01 AM   #2
wirbech
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I did something simular for my first test batch of cranberry apple. The only things that I did differently was to add one cup of corn suger into the juice and Lalvin EC 1118 yeast. Put all the ingrediante into the gallon jug with a full packet of yeast at room temp (75 degrees). Then let it go for three weeks until the fg was at 1.000 for 4 days. I added 2 tablespoons of corn suger at bottleing time. It has been about 45 day since then and the flavors are good with a fair amount of carb to it. Yours should be just as good if not better. The EC 1118 drys it out more than the S-04. Keep us posted on how it turns out.

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Old 12-19-2012, 03:05 AM   #3
yaddayadda93
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So ... nine days in and the fermentation seems to be going well. It's been bubbling pretty good and is still going about one bubble every five seconds or so. But it's still at 1.054. It's fermenting at 65-67 degrees, which is about as good as it's going to get in Idaho in December. Is that why it's taking so long? For what it's worth, it tastes good.

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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Bottled the cider today. Primed with one 12-oz. can of Kroger brand raspberry lemonade frozen concentrate (180g sugar). FG was 1.029, not nearly as close to 1.000 as I was hoping for. My guess is the temperature it was fermenting at. We keep the house at 60F during the day while we are at work at overnight, and bump it to 68F during the evenings and weekends while we are home. That's not probably not enough time at a high enough temperature to get the job done.

But the 1.029 still gives me a ABV of 5.8%, which is OK. I bottled eight 12-oz. bottles plus a plastic 6-oz. bottle to keep an eye on the carbonation. Should be ready to drink in a week or so.

EDIT: In my first post I referred to beerfriend.com. That should have been brewersfriend.com.

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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I believe your fermentation stalled out because you used a beer yeast. They typically don't eat as many sugars as a wine yeast, but you will have residual sweetness, which is awesome! Your temps look good to me. Ciders don't provide a healthy environment for most yeasts, too many simple sugars, as compared to beer wort.

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
yaddayadda93
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That's interesting and I hadn't thought about that. Can you recommend a different yeast? The 6-oz bottle was pretty hard this morning, which tells me it has carbed up already. I moved the bottles to the cold garage this morning and I'll try a bottle this evening. I took a sip from the small bottle. Pretty good, but maybe a little yeasty flavor? I'll know more tonight after a full bottle.

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